Misconceptions About 12 Step Programs Can Get in The Way of Their Impact

Understanding the twelve steps is part of the process of completing their program. Commonly, misinformed beliefs about twelve step programs and alcoholics anonymous can get in the way of their ability to have a life changing impact.


Twelve Step Programs Are Religious And Require Religious Devotion

In the actual text of the “12 steps” the word “God” is used exactly four times. Throughout the book Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly called “The Big Book”, the word God is used as a general name to express a power greater than the self. Referred to as a spiritual program which helps people find a higher power of their own understanding, the 12 steps are non-denominational and do not align with any sect. Instead, as it is told through the personal journey of AA founder Bill Wilson, members of AA are encouraged to come up with their own “God” or higher power. AA doesn’t not require religion or any religious devotion. Simply a willingness to be open-minded to the ideas of spiritual principles and living a spiritually focused lifestyle.


Twelve Step Programs Are For People Who Can’t Help Themselves

Twelve step programs are adaptable to anyone for any kind of problem. For many years, addicts and alcoholics tried to stop on their own devices but found they could not. Themes of surrender are common in AA and 12 step programs. However, many people overlook an important fact: choosing to go to an AA meeting, choosing to stay, choosing to come back, choosing to stay sober, and choosing to “work” the steps, are personal choices, a definite sign that people who go to AA and other twelve step programs can help themselves and do so through the twelve step program.


Twelve Step Programs Don’t Have To Be Done By The Twelve Step Example

The twelve steps are not open for customization, though many people attempt to do so. Developing an idea of a higher power and defining a relationship with that higher power is open to the conceptions of each individual. The founders of the twelve steps worked with psychologists, philosophers, and spiritual leaders to develop the steps in a specific format. By following the twelve steps as they are laid out, each individual is believed to be able to have a “spiritual experience”.


Twelve Step Programs Don’t Work

Millions of people around the world develop a manner of living through twelve step programs which demands rigorous honesty and a willingness to grow along spiritual lines. For many other people, the twelve steps are not enough. Most often, twelve step programs are advocated as a part of a recovery program. Since the publishing of The Big Book in 1935 minimal changes have been made. Over 80 years of the same program have helped millions in different countries, languages, and cultures.


Integrating the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous helps our patients connect with a global network of other people in recovery. For over 25 years, Castle Craig has proudly served over 10,000 patients with high rates of success. For more information on our residential treatment programmes, please call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 808 271 7500 (normal charges apply).

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