How We Are Different

Frequently Asked Questions

We want you to be fully informed about our programs. Below, find answers to the most common questions we get asked. If your question is not listed, please contact us.

Why is there a separate men’s and women’s program? What's wrong with men and women being in the same group?

We operate entirely separate men’s and women’s programs because they’re more effective for our clients. Research shows that men typically drink for different reasons and in different ways than women do. In separated groups we can spend time focusing on the aspects of recovery most effective and meaningful for each gender. We have found that men and women achieve more personal growth, more quickly, in groups of their own gender.

What if I like AA? Are you against AA or the 12-step program?

We do have clients who use Alcoholics Anonymous or another 12-step program as part of their community support, and we encourage using AA if you find it helps you. Those who use AA find that A Positive Alternative enhances their recovery process.

On the other hand, our method of treatment is complete without the use of AA. We believe that people are individuals and that there’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all”. We listen to your preferences, build on your strengths, help you identify and develop the tools you’ll need to continue to grow – even long after you’ve graduated from our program. We use what works and suggest many self-help options. For some of our clients, AA is part of what works. For others, it’s not. The important thing is that we’ll help you to find a path where you can live a satisfying life – free from dependency on alcohol or other drugs.

What if I'm not sure I want to quit drinking or using forever?

Many people are ambivalent about the idea of quitting; it’s a very hard decision to make. If you are unsure, we encourage you to contact A Positive Alternative for help in deciding what, if anything, to do about your drinking. We won’t label or push you. We’ll listen, and help you to think it through. Together, we’ll look at all the aspects of your relationship to alcohol or drugs, explore your options, and give you some guidance to help you come to a decision that you can live with.

How long are your programs?

Because of our individualized approach, our programs vary in length. Our intensive outpatient program can last for 8 weeks or longer, and our clients participate in a weekly continuing care group for 3-6 months and sometimes longer. You and your counselor will assess your progress each time you meet to decide how ready you are to transition to the next level of care.

How much does the program cost? Will insurance cover the program?

Cost of treatment is one of the primary concerns for the individuals and families who call us.  Often the cost is both unanticipated and just one of many crucial elements involved in navigating the path toward treatment. Ultimately the cost of treatment will vary greatly depending on an individual’s unique situation. This is due to many factors, including recommended level of care, financial circumstances, and insurance benefits.

In the interest of keeping our groups small and offering individualized, client-focused care, we have chosen not to be an in-network provider with any insurance companies. However, your plan may include benefits for out-of-network providers, in which case your program could be partially covered. Should you decide to pursue insurance, we handle communications with your insurance company, submit claims, and review payments so that you can focus on your recovery. For all others, we also accept private pay and work closely with each person to develop an affordable payment plan when needed.

If you are interested in investigating the cost of our program, please call us with your information and we will be happy to draw up an estimate for you based on your unique coverage, needs and situation.

Do you see clients of all ages? Will my group members be my age?

While we don’t discriminate based on age, we have found that having group members who are at similar points in their lives allows them to share more openly and relate to shared struggles. Our clients are typically mature professionals who have established their careers and may have started a family. Their drinking patterns may be based on similar situations, and we find that having these things in common allows them to encourage and learn from one another.

If you are younger but at a place in your life where you are interested in a program with more mature adults, please contact us. We can help you determine if APA will meet your needs, or perhaps recommend individual counseling if groups don’t feel like a good fit.

Do all members in the same group start at the same time?

Because we believe that new clients can benefit from exposure to others who have been advancing in their own recovery, our groups are designed not to be closed-ended. An intensive outpatient group could have members just beginning the program along with those who are preparing to make the transition to continuing care. This allows new clients to begin group as soon as they and their counselor decide they are ready.

What if APA’s is not the right program for me at this time? Will you help me find one that is?

When we receive an inquiry about our program, we do everything we can to make sure that the person contacting us feels supported and heard. We are not here to recruit you. We will listen to you and give options as to what may work best for your individual needs, whether that includes APA or not. If you decide that APA is not the right choice for you, we will do what we can to make the process of finding and starting with another program as easy as possible for you.

For more information about A Positive Alternative, please call us at (206) 547-1955.

“The combination of structured and flexible group environment was great—the understanding and flexibility of the counselor (and program) which allowed incorporation of real life needs with the group needs.”

— Female, 40

“The combination of structured and flexible group environment was great—the understanding and flexibility of the counselor (and program) which allowed incorporation of real life needs with the group needs.”

— Female, 40