Other Appreciative Notes from Counselors

In over 20 years of directing needle exchange programs where I dealt with, literally, thousands of people, many, if not most, of whom injected drugs (heroin, cocaine and or methamphetamine) every day, I did not find any approach more valuable, in my work as a counselor, than the rational constructs of Stanton Peele and Thomas Szasz.

I witnessed many men and women cave under the crushing-weight of useless diagnoses, which offered no path to integrate years of experience and no paradigm to restore wholeness. But what was often worse, was to witness the public-hospital, psych-med guinea-pigs attempting to make sense of experience in a mental mix-master.

Psychiatric medications are not useless; they can obviously be valuable, when appropriately prescribed and adequately monitored, but they are not the panacea they are marketed to be. What I can report from my observations over a long period of time, is that I have never seen people become so unreachable, so irrational and, therefore, so dangerous, on any drug, as those I saw on psych-meds, as they were dispensed, where I worked.

Anyway, Stanton, this was just a note to say, "Thank You,"
for all of the wonderful people we helped to help themselves.

Joey Tranchina, Founding Executive Director
AIDS Prevention ACTION Network, Redwood City, CA USA


Dennis Walker was a college student when Archie Brodsky and Stanton first encountered him in Boston. Since 1995 he has had a private practice. He also works in an outpatient clinic with addicted veterans. Dennis’s career has followed Archie and Stanton’s ideas. Dennis explains what the Life Process Approach has to offer in very succinct terms:

You would be proud of my clinical career. I have remained true to the values I have learned from you and Stanton. The facts are Simple. You and Stanton are right. My clinical career and the people I have treated over the past 10 years do better when you can enhance their values (that is to say help them figure out what they believe in the most), respect their way of dealing with the problem (for many it’s moderation or drinking from time to time), and believe in their individual power to change.

Dennis Walker
Clinical Social Worker, Boston



After offering advice about dealing with a person preoccupied with traumatic and death-involving images (PTSD), Stanton received this thanks from a therapist:

Thank you Doctor. That's what I needed was a starting point! A lot of people depend on your ethics and knowledge......I know I have, and been glad it did.


Yesterday's meeting was a tour de force on your part. You have a wonderful way of giving people permission to speak what's on their minds, and of gently helping people find their own answers. And the permission to appreciate the positives of alcohol use is quite liberating. With the best intentions, we often essentially talk against alcohol use.

Your previous appearances with us have been outstanding, but last night was especially so. None of us there will ever forget your drawing out the evolution of alcohol use through three generations of Bill's family, or helping Louise see that difficulties in one or another area of one's life are a natural part of the life process.

Having a superb meeting like last night's gives me a great boost in morale in carrying on with the local group.

Many thanks.

Rudy Hoeltzel
Coordinator, Morris Township Moderation Management Group