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12 Step Programs

26 Pages | 4,481 Words
Nicoletta Nance, PhD (#113587)

Since the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous 1935, 12 step programs have become the keystone of recovery from substance abuse, eating disorders, compulsive gambling, and sexual addiction. Everything You Need to Know About 12 Step Programs describes how Alcoholics Anonymous has evolved over the last eight decades. It tells the story of the program’s two founders, alcoholics themselves, who began a mission to help other struggling alcoholics by sharing their own stories. Everything You Need to Know About 12 Step Programs describes the evolution of the program that now serves millions of alcoholics and drug addicts around the world. The earliest program to spring from the original organization of AA was Al-anon, which still supports partners and families of alcoholics and addicts. Over the years, 12 Step programs have become a staple for compulsive gamblers, overeaters, and sex addicts.

Everything You Need to Know About 12 Step Programs explains the philosophy of 12 Step Programs in depth, including the 12 traditions that have maintained the integrity of AA and its derivative programs. The reader will learn the meaning of each of the 12 steps and gain an understanding of how people in recovery “work the steps” to transform their lives. The processes of 12 Step programs are described to remove the mystique about how meetings are conducted and what is expected of those who attend. Another integral component of 12 Step programs, mentoring new comers through sponsorship, is discussed. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Serenity Prayer, and other literature used in 12 Step Programs is discussed. Everything You Need to Know About 12 Step Programs is a useful reference for helping professionals from all disciplines, who need a working knowledge of 12 Step Programs to assist their clients.

This book is ideal for students of psychology, counseling, social work, and nursing, as well as for people already working in those professions. The clear and simple language of Everything You Need to Know About 12 Step Programs makes it an excellent primer for partners and families of addicts as well as for those contemplating recovery.

An Introduction to 12 Step Programs

A mental health counselor tells her colleague, “I am just not getting anywhere with Mr. Jones. He is just starting to recognize that self-medicating by drinking is only making his depression worse. He doesn't have the money for rehab.”

A woman laments, “I just can’t do it anymore. My husband just won’t quit using drugs. I can’t leave because he needs me. No one understands that he drinks because of deeper issues.” Her best friend tells her she ought to start thinking about her own deeper issues, and figure out why she stays with such a person.

A man leaves the courthouse angry. He has been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated. He is now required to attend AA meetings weekly. He asks, ”What are they going to do for me?” His recovering brother says, “Nothing, but if you want to, they can show you how to do it for yourself.”

Domestic violence, property crimes, and violent crimes are more often than not committed by perpetrators who were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse used to be seen as a lack of will power, but in 2003, the National Institute of Drug Abuse released a statement declaring that “the biochemical, cellular and molecular bases of addiction indicate that addiction is a disease of the brain.” Like many other diseases, addiction has a predictable course, responds predictably to treatment, is triggered by stress, and gets worse if untreated.

This book is intended to provide a guide for those who serve those with addictions to substances and behaviors. Treatment for the disease of addiction is most effective when it addresses the physical, psychological, social, and emotional issues of the addict. Since the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, 12 Step Programs have been underpinning of sustained recovery for millions. Helping professionals from all disciplines use 12 Step Programs as an adjunct to treatment.

Members of 12 Step Programs strive to act with honesty, personal responsibility, and humility. AA and the 12 Step Programs that followed are not treatment programs, and have no professional leaders. 12 Step meetings are designed to provide anonymity for those who attend. Meetings provide emotional safety in a group of people who share the same problems, and therefore, are non-judgmental. The importance and impact of 12 Step Programs warrant the deeper understanding that this book offers.

About the Author

Nicoletta Nance, PhD

Active since Nov 2013

Nicki Nance, PhD, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has provided mental health, substance abuse, and employee assistance services for more than 40 years in hospitals, agencies, correctional facilities, and in private practice. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor, who also holds certifications as Master Addictions Counselor and Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She currently teaches graduate level counseling courses and undergraduate psychology courses.

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