Substance Use | Emotional Recovery Consultant
Group Facilitation | Seminars
Conventional practices (think most psychotherapies, self-help and how-to literature and videos) can work well with the day-to-day challenges that most of us face at one time or another. Yet some of us are forced out of the mainstream into much deeper waters when faced with the consequences of an addiction, whether our own or someone else’s. I know this because I was raised by two excessive substance users, became one myself, and then started a lifelong recovery path predicated on abstinence over 37 years ago.
People addicted to substances or to process addictions (e.g. work, gambling, sex and love etc.) typically are sensitive and sometimes extremely gifted. The root cause for addiction issues typically can be found in childhood or in trauma so extensive that we conclude that responsibility for survival solely rests within ourselves and our own ingenuity. Our survival options may be further limited by our young age and/and dependency on others who harm us and themselves as well.
Substances and/or the development of self-soothing obsessive or compulsive behaviors is the ticket for many of us to psychological and emotional survival. For those of us who are genetically or in other ways susceptible to addiction, the initial solution (e.g. drinking, excessive fantasy, all-consuming work to escape dependency and remain independent etc.) becomes the thing that, over time, turns on us. What was once a solution becomes a problem as we prioritize our need to drink or work or pursue sex and romance over declining health and relationships. Understanding that the solution ultimately became the problem is the crux of recovery work.
Some of us do NOT engage in substance use or process addiction and instead shift our attention to what other people are or are not doing “properly.” A focus on “them” and our attempts to control “them” can also bring us to our knees.
SUBSTANCE USE | EMOTIONAL RECOVERY CONSULTATION
I provide consultation on a short or longer-term basis to people looking for recovery or who want to deepen their emotional recovery. Some look for harm reduction assistance; specifically their desire to use psychedelics or other chemical compounds to achieve or maintain physical and emotional recovery. In the instance of harm-reduction, I provide support to clients while they integrate their experience.
These consultations turn insight and discovery gained from conversation and client self-reflection into practical action. It is a process by which we start determining what is important and essential, and answering questions like: what is my addiction/recovery asking me to face? what is possible right now? what is the next right step I can take? how and where am I willing to try something new or change my behavior? what actions and activities can move me toward my heart’s desire or deepest longings? where do I need to say yes or no to myself or others?
I use hypnotherapy, specifically transpersonal hypnotherapy, either as an adjunct to consultation or as a stand-alone method of personal discovery. Transpersonal hypnotherapy takes place at the unconscious level. My responsibility is to create the ambiance and relaxation necessary for a client to retain his/her own awareness and ability to speak in the alpha or theta state of consciousness. I do not “insert” ideas into the client in this altered state: I guide them toward seeing, sensing or experiencing the parts of themselves, or metaphorical representations, that hold important information. In hypnotherapy, the client has firm control throughout the process and sets the agenda for each session.
Once in that deeper state, clients are ably to bypass their normal everyday consciousness and internalized cultural belief systems. Time is no longer fixed. Using age regression methods, I facilitate access to root cause events or metaphors that represent the difficulty. By exploring memories and other images that emerge to point the way, clients are able to access important unconscious information to perceive and unlock persistent blocks. Please see my blog page for videos that provide more in depth discussion on these topics.
Periodically behavioral health organizations do not have sufficient staffing or creative capital to respond to immediate operational or programmatic challenges. I work with staff and stakeholders to identify and name the problem, to create a strategy to address it, and to implement sustainable practices and procedures that align with the organization’s values and culture.
Recently I took responsibility for a massive national mental health/substance use training and awareness effort for a large NGO and coordinated all the moving parts; for other organizations I created bespoke seminars, re-implemented a poorly implemented product launch, documented policies and procedures and easy to understand workflows for staff, as well as provided administrative support for a growing spiritual center.
These assignments often run 6 months to a year as staff becomes able to manage necessary improvements on their own.
WHY CONSULTATION AND TRANSPERSONAL METHODS MATTER
Our culture promotes the value of experts: people who can explain us to ourselves and help us live our best lives. They persuade, influence, and monetize us through social media, often with the promise in changing us permanently in anywhere from 3-5 easy steps. They create “best practices.” Sometimes these best practices work and sometimes they don’t.
In recent years we have witnessed the underbelly and the crumbling of once highly respected religious, economic, and social institutions that provided purpose and meaning. Many of us are are now aware that external authorities and experts do not have all the answers, despite their strong assurances that they still know much more than we do. Many of us are reclaiming our right and responsibility to seek and find our own answers, both outside and within ourselves. Those of us who burn with a talent or impulse or creative urge to bring something fresh and evolutionary into the world recognize ourselves here.
I use my years of experience, insight, and transpersonal methods to help others access their own felt sense or true-north knowing. What makes the experience “transpersonal” is that clients can move beyond their normal thinking into their unconscious, to parts of themselves that are typically inaccessible. My experience has confirmed repeatedly that a person who wants to know their truth and to step into their healing will risk self-examination and exploration. People in recovery have a remarkable courage and facility to do inner work that sets them free. My calling is to participate in this revolutionary transformation.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
My work is client-centered and not technique driven. The goal of the work is: 1) discovery of inner-knowing and guidance; 2) harnessing will to explore, experiment, and become more aware of alternate skillful options; and 3) deliberate choice of more intentional, precise action.
Consulting conversations take place at the conscious beta level of mind. Discovery of new information, discernment, planning, evaluation, and determination of next steps take place here. Consultation is solution-focused and grounded in continual learning and growth.
Consultation is recommended for those who already have a fairly clear idea of the challenges they face, but do not yet have practical strategies for navigating these issues with greater awareness and skill. They are self-reflective and have a sense of their innate talents and strengths; also, where they are likely to struggle or repeat mistakes at work and home. Most importantly, they have the capacity to mobilize their inner and external resources to take constructive action once they identify what those actions could be.
There are others who are interested in personal exploration but do not have the capacity to make changes that they have identified for themselves as being necessary. People in this situation benefit more from psychotherapy than consultation as they need first to reclaim their ability to act on their own behalf. If clients are unable to take action on their own behalf, I suspend consultation and refer them out to psychotherapists. Hypnotherapy may be an excellent option here, however, so long as a client has a therapist with whom they can process their new awareness.
SERVICES AND TIMEFRAMES
Substance Use | Emotional Recovery Consultation:
$250/hour (some partial scholarships available)
Please contact me directly to discuss the scope and timing of the project
All sessions are offered via Zoom typically between 10am-5pm EST.
I offer a complementary 15 minute session to determine whether hypnotherapy can be a good fit and high level discussion of the issue at hand. If you do not have experience entering into altered states through meditation, visualization, or some other means, a shorter introductory practice session is recommended . Reach out here .
-Transpersonal hypnotherapy session: $350 @ 1 and 1/2 hours
-Introductory practice session for people new to altered states: $225 @ 1 hour
Group Facilitation | Seminars:
Please contact me directly for more information
ABOUT ELIZABETH SUDLER
I am a person in long-term recovery with considerable depth of knowledge in 12-Step, mental health, and other emotional recovery programs. I have held strategic roles in health and wellness divisions at both Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. As a senior leader at Magellan Behavioral Health and HealthNet, I had profit and loss responsibility for large clinical and call centers, one of which won a company-wide Distinguished Service Center of the Year for outstanding quality indicators.
I launched the first fee for service coaching program for US employees at Goldman Sachs’ corporate headquarters. I also helped design, deliver and incorporate resiliency and mindfulness training into all levels of Goldman Sachs Americas leadership and development programs before these practices became a national trend. Over a period of 30 years, I provided thousands of hours of clinical, coaching, and consultation services to managers and leaders across multiple industries. I’ve conducted hundreds of seminars in a wide variety of industries on topics related to change management, strategic self-care practices in the workplace, and mental health|substance use awareness. Most recently I directed a large recovery coaching program in western Massachusetts and organized and coordinated a massive US national training expansion for Mental Health First Aid at Work. I currently conduct addiction and emotional recovery training for people in inpatient and outpatient substance use programs, as well as private individual consultation.
PARTIAL CLIENT LIST
Previous clients include people in recovery, change agents, and employees and leaders in corporate, union, NGO and military settings, including: Bank of America, Towers Watson, Columbia University, B.F. Goodrich, Coca Cola, Deloitte, Oracle, EY, The New York Times, Coach, Carnegie Hall, World Bank, Kate Spade, US Army, US Coast Guard, Dunkin’ Donuts, National Hockey League, the International Coach Federation, the National Council for Behavioral Health and others.
DEGREES, LICENSES & PUBLICATIONS
I earned a master’s degree in community organization from Hunter College School of Social Work, and a BA in history and psychology from Sarah Lawrence College. In addition to being classified as an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Associate Coach, I hold certifications in Transpersonal Hypnosis, Clinical Meditation and Imagery, and Transpersonal Coaching. I am licensed in New York state in clinical social work, with a specialty in substance use and recovery. I am also a National Trainer for Mental Health First Aid at Work.
Although I maintain a clinical license, I no longer provide traditional insurance-covered psychotherapy.
I received performance-coaching training in London, England from Sir John Whitmore’s Performance Consultants International, and also from W. Timothy Gallwey, creator of the Inner Game coaching brand. I have been a long-term student at the New York Psychosynthesis Institute and the Huntington Meditation and Imagery Center.
The Children of Alcoholics Foundation published a series of remedial work skills training programs I developed for children from dysfunctional families. My corporate work has been featured in Fortune, Bloomberg, and Crain’s.