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The History of 12-Step Therapy

For me, that does not work — in part because I have not changed, and in part because I do not have an intervening God that will reach down and remove my character defects. Does this make sense? Please remember that character is defined by behavior; therefore, character defects are behaviors, not feelings. Our feelings are God-given, and we cannot choose them.

What we can choose is our behavioral response to those feelings, but not the feelings themselves:. In the face of feeling terrified, we can choose the behavior of cowardice or the behavior of courage.

In the face of feeling enraged, we can choose the behavior of vengeance or the behavior of forgiveness. In the face of feeling lonely, we can choose the behavior of isolation and withholding or the behavior of reaching out and engaging.

The Twelve Step programme for Beginners

The 1st stop point is after you have created your list of defects, but before you define them — at that point you should stop and go over the list with your sponsor to make sure that everything on the list is really a character defect and not a feeling , and to make sure that there are no duplicates, e. The next stop point is after you have created your list of antonyms or opposites, but before you define them — at that point you should stop and go over the list with your sponsor to make sure that the antonyms are really Step appropriate. Only then can their amends to self and others have depth and weight.

Let me know your experience with this.

What Are 12-Step Programs?

April Smith. Olivia Pennelle. Stacey Rosenfeld. Lesley Wirth.

Intro: An In-Depth Look at the Twelve Steps

Helen Farrell. Raychelle C. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the Recovery. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither Recovery. Find the Right Addiction Recovery Center. Call Who Answers? Narcotics Anonymous was formed by addicts who did not relate to the specifics of alcohol dependency. Demographic preferences related to the addicts' drug of choice has led to the creation of Cocaine Anonymous , Crystal Meth Anonymous and Marijuana Anonymous.

Auxiliary groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon , for friends and family members of alcoholics and addicts, respectively, are part of a response to treating addiction as a disease that is enabled by family systems. Co-Dependents Anonymous CoDA addresses compulsions related to relationships, referred to as codependency. Bob", in Akron, Ohio.

In they formally established the twelve traditions to help deal with the issues of how various groups could relate and function as membership grew. As AA chapters were increasing in number during the s and s, the guiding principles were gradually defined as the Twelve Traditions. A singleness of purpose emerged as Tradition Five: "Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers".

The principles of AA have been used to form many numbers of other fellowships specifically designed for those recovering from various pathologies ; each emphasizes recovery from the specific malady which brought the sufferer into the fellowship. The following are the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous: [11]. In some cases, where other twelve-step groups have adapted the AA steps as guiding principles, step one is uniquely different for each organization, for example in Overeaters Anonymous, the first step read, "We admitted we were powerless over compulsive overeating- that our lives had become unmanageable.

The Twelve Traditions accompany the Twelve Steps. The Traditions provide guidelines for group governance. They were developed in AA in order to help resolve conflicts in the areas of publicity, politics, religion and finances. In the twelve-step program, the human structure is symbolically represented in three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual. The problems the groups deal with are understood to manifest themselves in each dimension. For addicts and alcoholics, the physical dimension is best described by the allergy-like bodily reaction resulting in the compulsion to continue using substances after the initial use.

The mental obsession is described as the cognitive processes that cause the individual to repeat the compulsive behavior after some period of abstinence, either knowing that the result will be an inability to stop or operating under the delusion that the result will be different.

A Deeper Look at the Twelve Steps of AA: Step 2 | Yellowstone Recovery

The description in the First Step of the life of the alcoholic or addict as "unmanageable" refers to the lack of choice that the mind of the addict or alcoholic affords concerning whether to drink or use again. The illness of the spiritual dimension, or "spiritual malady," is considered in all twelve-step groups to be self-centeredness.

In twelve-step fellowships, "spiritual awakening" is believed to most frequently develop slowly over a period of time. In accordance with the First Step, twelve-step groups emphasize self-admission by members of the problem they are recovering from. A sponsor is a more experienced person in recovery who guides the less-experienced aspirant "sponsee" through the program's twelve steps.

What is the 12-Step Program?

New members in twelve-step programs are encouraged to secure a relationship with at least one sponsor who both has a sponsor and has taken the twelve steps themselves. Sponsors share their experience, strength, and hope with their sponsees A sponsor's role is not that of a legal adviser, a banker, a parent, a marriage counselor, or a social worker.

Nor is a sponsor a therapist offering some sort of professional advice. A sponsor is simply another addict in recovery who is willing to share his or her journey through the Twelve Steps. Sponsors and sponsees participate in activities that lead to spiritual growth. Experiences in the program are often shared by outgoing members with incoming members. This rotation of experience is often considered to have a great spiritual reward.

Completing the program usually implies competency to guide newcomers which is often encouraged. The Fifth Step, as well as the Ninth Step, have been compared to confession and penitence. The personal nature of the behavioral issues that lead to seeking help in twelve-step fellowships results in a strong relationship between sponsee and sponsor. As the relationship is based on spiritual principles, it is unique and not generally characterized as "friendship".

Fundamentally, the sponsor has the single purpose of helping the sponsee recover from the behavioral problem that brought the sufferer into twelve-step work, which reflexively helps the sponsor recover. A study of sponsorship as practiced in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous found that providing direction and support to other alcoholics and addicts is associated with sustained abstinence for the sponsor, but suggested that there were few short-term benefits for the sponsee's one-year sustained abstinence rate.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the largest of all the twelve-step programs from which all other twelve-steps programs are derived , followed by Narcotics Anonymous [ citation needed ] ; the majority of twelve-step members are recovering from addiction to alcohol or other drugs. The majority of twelve-step programs, however, address illnesses other than substance addiction. For example, the third-largest twelve-step program, Al-Anon , assists family members and friends of people who have alcoholism and other addictions.

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About twenty percent of twelve-step programs are for substance addiction recovery, the other eighty percent address a variety of problems from debt to depression. The criticisms of twelve-step groups are as varied as the pathologies they address. People have attended twelve-step meetings, only to find success eluded them. Their varied success rate and the belief in a Higher Power suggested in them, are common criticisms of their universal applicability and efficacy. The Twelve Traditions encourage members to practice the spiritual principle of anonymity in the public media and members are also asked to respect each other's confidentiality.

Professionals and paraprofessionals who refer patients to these groups, to avoid both civil liability and licensure problems, have been advised that they should alert their patients that, at any time, their statements made in meetings may be disclosed. One review warned of detrimental iatrogenic effects of twelve-step philosophy and labeled the organizations as cults , [41] while another review asserts that these programs bore little semblance to religious cults and that the techniques used appeared beneficial to some.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. As summarized by the American Psychological Association , the process involves the following: [1] admitting that one cannot control one's alcoholism, addiction or compulsion; recognizing a higher power that can give strength; examining past errors with the help of a sponsor experienced member ; making amends for these errors; learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior; helping others who suffer from the same alcoholism, addictions or compulsions.

Further information: History of Alcoholics Anonymous. Further information: List of Twelve Step alternate wordings. An extensive chronology and background about the history of A. The twelve steps of the program are listed above and on the steps page in generic form. Other groups who have adopted the 12 steps to address their own particular addictive or dysfunctional behavior have similar ideas, usually with only minor variations.

These steps are meant to be worked sequentially as a process of getting rid of addictive behaviors and should result in a growth in freedom and happiness, as outlined in the Promises. The general governing approach for A. There is a wealth of further information about 12 Step programs in Wikipedia , including a list of 12 step groups , and also from the numerous links in our directory of recovery related websites.

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Newcomers Guide View the Newcomers Guide for some straightforward tips and a quick overview about starting a 12 Step program. It could be the best thing you ever did. View videos covering the steps in general or for each step individually. These cover a wide variety of perspectives about the 12 steps. Review how the different fellowships A. A, CoDA, etc. Find an online meeting in our calendar of meetings.

These are broken out by fellowship, website and meeting format video, chat, telephone.