My name is Richard … I have 31 years of continuous sobriety.

I grew up in a loving middle income family in New York City … My father was a business owner and an ALCOHOLIC … my mom was a stay at home mother….
My job was to IGNORE the stress of his drinking, anger, and bickering. I acted as if everything was normal … this is where I developed my CO-DEPENDENCE …
I learned to hold in the stress and compensate with FOOD, my first ADDICTION. It helped me to regulate my emotions and hide my pain.              
This was followed by  GIRLS, PORNOGRAPHY, ALCOHOL, FALLING IN LOVE, and  DRUGS…

BREAKING OUT

At the age of 23, I was married, and a salesman . I was like a 50 years old man!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At 26, in 1967, I tried L.S.D. and  TURNED ON and DROPPED OUT …
I left everything I knew and moved to the HAIGHT ASHBURY….  I WAS FREE !!!!!!!!!
I maintained an outlaw lifestyle,  moved to Palo Alto and lived in a  commune with a psychologist and, learned  a form of psychological acting called PSYCHODRAMA … 

LET THE PARTY BEGIN

I moved to Sausalito and became the manager of an infamous restaurant called THE TRIDENT …
FOOD, ALCOHOL, DRUGS SEX, AND ROCK AND ROLL  ..  it was HIGH TIMES!!!!!!

the party’s over

   
I had been using substances everyday since I was 20 years old …
I began to lose my balance.I hit my BOTTOM and the age of 44.  It was a very difficult                                      transition.
I began to FEEL.
life seemed overpowering.
my fears and low self esteem escalated.
I was living in SHAME.
I had used substances to regulate my emotions for most of my life.
the regulators turned into DI-REGULATORS…

RECOVERY

ABSTINENCE  was the doorway to a new REALITY
I reached out to those ahead of me on the journey to SOBRIETY… 
I began to get a new sense of self… 
I had to look at behaviors and beliefs that where counter productive to my new way of life….
I began to listen to my INNER GUIDE…
I did not have to be in CONTROL…
I learned to follow the path, negotiate conflict, feel LOVABLE and cared for, to care for other’s and to do SERVICE …
I began to RESTRUCTURE my life … after three years , I  went back to school and got a masters degree in clinical psychology . It took two years of classes and 3 years of internship to finally open up my office…

LIFE ON LIFE’S TERMS

I survived CANCER…
I lost both my parents…
I  found LOVE and married FRANCINE…
I became an interventionist…
I  found  PURPOSE and PASSION in my LIFE…

I work with individuals, couples, families, businesses who suffer from ALCOHOLISM…
I consult with treatment centers and bring psychological theatre to the clients I work to heal the INNER CHILD…
and to create an ADULT in RECOVERY…

I have realized my life has always been on a path I could not understand … All my experiences have led to who I am and what I do today … I have been a family therapist for 25 years … by WALKING THE PATH I can help others… i have become the MAN I never thought I could be

AND FOR THAT I AM GRATEFUL


Richard Lipfield, is a psychotherapist specializing in recovery from addiction. He has a private practice in Mill Valley, CA where he works with individuals, couples and families. lipfieldmft.com