Dear Families and Professionals,
I’m Beverly Buncher, CEO and Lead Family Recovery Coach of Family Recovery Resources, where we help families blaze the trail to sobriety in their homes. As a person who has been in family recovery for 29 years, I know all too well the challenges facing families at each step of the addiction and recovery path.
Our Signature program, Called BALM or Be A Loving Mirror, emerged out of my own experience in Alanon where, 29 years ago, I noticed that most of my friends who were getting better were simply leaving their relationships with their using loved ones, unless of course those loved ones were their children. I remember leading meetings where parents would ask me why I stayed. “You don’t have to stay in a marriage to an addict. You could leave. Our addict is our child. We have no choice. We’re stuck,” they would say.
But I was a newlywed. I loved my husband. I didn’t want to leave. Though the old timers in Alanon were often staying in their marriages, a lot of the young people just weren’t. That’s not to say that there aren’t some good reasons to leave a marriage. But my question was whether family recovery could help me help my husband stay alive and give us the ability to succeed as a couple. My goal back then was to figure out if a part of Alanon’s message had gotten lost. So I combed the literature, got a sponsor who had been in Alanon for over 25 years and was happily married to the person she’d come to the program for, and kept looking for the secret I felt was tucked away in the program: how to get well, get them sober, and stay married.
In that first year, I learned three things that helped form the basis of our family recovery and family life: my husband wasn’t bad, he was sick; I didn’t cause the problem. But I could make a difference by behaving differently. Over the years, I continued to practice what I’d learned – sometimes well and sometimes not so well, got additional help from coaches, therapists, and even a spiritual director, and decided to help others dealing with similar situations. It takes courage to say all of this out loud and that courage is what has brought me to create and share the programs I’ve developed as a Family Recovery Coach.
While my signature program Be A Loving Mirror includes ideas and concepts from my entire journey and education, it all starts with a few simple ideas I learned in Alanon:
- The Four C’s, which I have since expanded to the seven C’s – we teach all seven at the beginning of all of our programs
- The power of the fourth C specifically – You CAN contribute to the recovery!
- That if you observe their behavior, and later when they are sober, calmly and lovingly, without malice or judgment, share your observations of the behavior and its consequences to others, you really can help them. We call that Be A Loving Mirror, and though it’s not easy to do on a regular basis, it can become a simple habit of mind, heart, and speech, once you learn how.
And that’s only the beginning of what we teach that helps families help themselves and their loved ones. Applying recovery principles in one’s life, and knowing which ones to apply when, truly worked back then and works today, too.
The work we do at FRR is designed to help family members first understand their role in the family disease of addiction, and then take action to get their own lives back, while learning to communicate in ways that encourage their loved one to get and stay sober.
If you and your family face the challenges of loving a person who struggles with drinking, drugging, or other habits that are wreaking havoc on their or your life, we are here to help you.
Looking forward to getting to know you!
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, CTPC
PS: When families learn how to Be A Loving Mirror and practice this way of life, they often find their relationships improving and their loved ones moving in the direction of more positive living day by day. My clients who practice the Be A Loving Mirror or BALM principles often report improvements in their lives and relationships that can only be described as transformative. But, of course, that’s something you’ll have to prove to yourself.