The Couch of Willingness: An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and a Broken Recovery System by Michael PondThe Couch of Willingness: An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and a Broken Recovery System by Michael Pond

The Couch of Willingness: An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and a Broken Recovery System

byMichael Pond, Maureen Palmer

Paperback | May 10, 2014

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Michael Pond had helped hundreds of people recover from alcoholism, but he couldn't help himself

After two decades of helping clients battle addictions, Michael Pond, a successful therapist, succumbs to one himself. He loses his practice, his home and his family to alcoholism, ending up destitute in a rundown recovery home populated by a cast of characters straight out of Dickens.

The Couch of Willingness is a real couch in that home, a couch where Pond is forced to sleep until he surrenders and admits he's powerless over alcohol. But just when Pond gains any measure of sobriety, in sashays his other powerful addiction, Dana, a can of Red Bull in hand and a 26er of vodka in her purse.

Pond's harrowing two-year journey to sobriety takes stops in abandoned sheds, dumpsters, ditches, emergency wards, intensive care, and finally, prison. His riveting account crackles with raw energy and black humour as he plunges readers into a world few will ever have the misfortune to experience.

Along the way, Michael the drunk finds himself shamed and stigmatized by the very system in which Michael the therapist thrived. The dissonance rankles for Pond and, by the end of the story, for the reader too.

Maureen Palmer spent two decades as an award-winning producer at the CBC, where she held senior positions in both radio and television production. She left in 2000 to produce series for TLC and the Discovery Channel. Shortly thereafter, she co-founded Bountiful Films, which has produced a string of critically acclaimed documentaries.Mi...
Title:The Couch of Willingness: An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and a Broken Recovery SystemFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:May 10, 2014Publisher:Everywhere NowLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0993714706

ISBN - 13:9780993714702

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rocked me to my core and changed my life This book took me six months to read, not because of the content, but because it is so real and raw and heart-wrenching at times that I had to put it down to process after every single chapter. Michael shares his journey with such conviction and transparency that it's impossible not to be sucked in. If you or someone you love is in recovery or affected by addiction, parts of this book might be very hard for you. But, I promise that if you push on to the end, it will change something in your soul.
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling, insightful and important Yes. This book is an essential read for anyone who has, or who has a loved one who has, battled addiction of any kind (hint - that is everyone). Though I "know" how addiction works and that it is a disease and that it's not easy to quit - I didn't really ever understand and found myself frustrated with the alcoholics I know who just couldn't seem to stop drinking. After reading Mike Pond's story - I think I get it. Compelling, in the truest sense of the word as I felt compelled to keep reading until the end in one sitting, and well-written, this book really opens the door to a world I have been fortunate enough to know very little about. It gave me a renewed empathy for the folks I meet on the street. It has made me an addictions activist. But beyond that - it's just a great read. This book's greatest success is that you find yourself in a relationship with Mike - cheering him on. But that also means when Mike stumbles on his journey he disappoints you. You will find yourself simultaneously rooting for him while also wanting to slap him upside the head. Pick this book up. You won't regret it.
Date published: 2014-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Couch of Willingness What a great read! Emotional and insightful and, if I could write as well as Michael and Maureen, I'd say a lot more. It was the conversation at lunch today with friends and they are anxious to buy it.
Date published: 2014-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Healing Breathe; open your heart; clear your mind and absorb "Couch" Micheal's journey and struggle with alcohol; gritty; mind-bending; entertaining; sad; strong; engaging; HEALING; you wont be able to put this book down. WOW loved it thank you thank you Micheal Pond and Maureen Palmer well done
Date published: 2014-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I couldn't put it down What an absolutely fantastic book! It was such a sad but uplifting story of human struggle. I will never look at a homeless person the same way. How can our recovery systems be so broken? Thank you for sharing your story.
Date published: 2014-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read This is the most incredible true story I've read since Glass Castle. It is impossible to put down - beautifully written with enough humour to get you through Micheal Pond's heartbreaking and joyful journey to hell and back. You will love it
Date published: 2014-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Couch of Willingness This book is impossible to put down....Pond goes through a stunning array of humiliating and harrowing experiences and somehow comes out on the other side. Sad, funny and suspenseful at the same time...the treatment part is enlightening....this is what people have to go through to overcome addiction? A great read.
Date published: 2014-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More thriller than preachy self help book 'the Couch' reads like a John MacDonald detective novel. Dark & funny with a scrappy little hero you'll find yourself cheering for from the get-go. This book has the potential to do for alcoholism what William Styron's 'Darkness Visible' did for depression.
Date published: 2014-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Couch of Willingness Despite the endless flags and cautions society posts regarding alcohol addiction and the countless stories and even movies that have dramatized its assault on individuals and families, I've never really understood the drive of it, the power of it. I do now. Michael Ponds book, accelerator to the floor, takes you straight over the abyss and crashing down the back alleys of awfulness to ground zero. But even the shock and awe of arriving at places you never want to be take a back seat to the sheer force driving it all. After reading this book you won't ever look at the power of addiction in quite the same way. James Griffin
Date published: 2014-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fast-paced and riveting I read an advance copy of this book and couldn't put it down. It's a fast-paced, devastatingly honest look at how a person can slide from drinking casually with friends to losing everything to alcoholism. Michael Pond was a successful addictions therapist when he became an alcoholic, so he has the unique perspective of someone who both treats addictions and has been treated. He approaches the story with a wry sense of humour that makes a tough subject engaging.
Date published: 2014-04-25

Editorial Reviews

The Couch of Willingness is a passionate book around the struggle and path to recovery from addiction.