12 Steps programs
The first 12 steps program was Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which started in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith.
All such programs follow certain version of the Twelve Steps, but many programs since have adapted AA's original steps to their own ends.
Here are the 12 steps suggested as a program of recovery:
1. We admit that we were powerless over alcohol— that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We made the decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.The principles set down are guidelines to progress; spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. The steps are not “rules” but suggestions.
One of the most widely-recognized characteristics of twelve-step programs is the requirement that members admit that they "have a problem". This explains why several members open their address to the group along the lines of, "Hi, I'm Pam and I'm an alcoholic"
Certain of the therapeutic actions suggested in 12 Step programs are going to meetings ( meetings are a place to hear how other individuals apply the steps to their lives and to learn how to take actions that will change your feelings ), reading the program literature, calling people in the program to develop a network of support, getting a sponsor, working the steps with the sponsor, praying and meditating daily, writing out your steps and writing about troubling incidents so that you can see the patterns you may have developed to cope which may not be so helpful now.
Note: The 12 steps are not successful for everyone. Nor that the 12 steps alone will be enough for everyone to remain sober.
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