Alternative solutions to 12 step

Alternative solutions to 12 step Methods

The 12 step AA type approach is still the most widely used and virtually anybody who has been in recovery will have been asked if they have “worked the steps”. The AA 12 step approach started in Midwest America in 1935 and have not evolved since then. They are not suitable for many people and can cause harm. Step 4 and 5 often seemed to trigger relapses. Many who work in the addiction industry in rehabs, have often come through the 12 step path and desperate to show others the method that has worked for them. They have little interest in other methods, that they have not tried. They see recovery as needing a one size fits all solution.

Unfortunately, because of the massive head start that AA has over more rational and modern methods, many more sensible approaches do not get a huge amount of exposure, despite having a better success rate. I was pleased to see the following article appear, which is aimed at social workers. It provides them with information  on other groups that will hopefully help those not suited to AA.

It points out the difference between the AA method where you are asked to view yourself as powerless for life and other methods such as Smart which do the opposite and help people empower themselves. I feel that helping an addict  choose the most sensible approach for an individual is so important in the early stages, as well as being able to recognise when things are not working and help them to try something else. It is easy to view somebody as a failure when the 12 step model does not work for them, but it is simply a stupid approach for many as it will attack their central beliefs with its take on religion.

Here is the link from “Social Work Today”

I think it is well worth reading.

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