"We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects."
-Alex de Tocqueville
About 12 Step Integration
Twelve-step integration is an active engagement strategy designed to increase the likelihood of an individual becoming affiliated with and actively involved in 12-step self-help groups. Many health professionals, researchers, law enforcement and mental health agencies recognize that the 12 steps play an important role in recovery and that integrating them with other treatments creates a successful foundation on which to build long-lasting recovery.
The combination of education, counseling, abstinence, life skills training and other therapies are extremely effective in helping addicts get sober. With that said, the sense of community and belonging, and the “therapeutic value of one addict helping another” is what seems to help addicts and alcoholics stay sober for the long haul.
Working the steps has been a life-changing event for countless addicts and alcoholics, and the fact that the program continues to endure as the decades go by and times change is a testament to its effectiveness.
For those in treatment, the combination of cutting-edge therapies and 12 step programs only seem to complement each other. We integrate the 12 steps with both in-house and outside meetings. The 12 step literature is readily available, and we encourage sponsorship and fellowship. Our clients begin to share their experience, strength and hope with each other and find ways to help support each other in their early days of recovery together.
Want to know more about the 12 steps? Click here »
Incorporating Spirtuality into Addition Treatment
What are the 12 steps that are part of the program?
Many recovery programs utilize some version of a 12-step model that originated with the establishment of Alcoholics Anonymous. The purpose of exploring the steps in depth during inpatient or outpatient treatment is to gain insight into your own experiences through sharing with others. Additionally, becoming familiar with the 12-steps can provide you with hope and strength for long-term recovery.
The foundations of a 12-step recovery program include:
- Honesty. Step one is to admit that one is powerless over their addiction.
- Faith. This need not be religious faith, only a willingness to consider a power greater than the ego self. Whether one calls that the Higher Self, God, or Spirit does not matter. What matters is having hope which will facilitate healing.
- Surrender. The step of surrender is really the adopting of a mindset that “we are better together.” Surrender is the game-changing step that allows the person in recovery to stop trying to heal on their own.
- Self-reflection. Taking inventory is a large part of understanding past behaviors and experiences that may have fostered an attitude of addiction.
- Integrity. Sharing what has been learned through self-reflection opens the door to greater humility and also a deeper sense of integrity.
- Acceptance. In order to let go of the old ways of being, one must accept themselves wholly, “flaws” and all.
- Humility. With a humble attitude, one can receive the assistance of others and their chosen Higher Power to accomplish a new mindset and pattern of behaviors.
- Take inventory of past hurts. In this step, we are asked to write a list of the people we may have harmed prior to entering recovery.
- Make amends. From the list that has been created, we make amends wherever possible.
- Continued mindfulness. After taking inventory of behaviors, including those that were harmful to our relationships, and atoning for those hurts, it is important to remain mindful of when and where one is wrong in daily life. It can be challenging to own up to wrongdoing, but this step enables one to hold onto their sense of integrity.
- Stillness. In the original AA framework, Step 11 involved prayer and meditation. Today, the latter is more appealing to many people. Keeping in mind that a 12-step program need not include religious dogma, a person may create a habit of stillness that enables them to remain connected to their highest purpose, their god, or their soul.
- Service. One “pays if forward” by putting the principles of the program into practice in their daily lives.
What are the origins of 12 step facilitation?
Twelve-step models of recovery originated with the framework of Alcoholics Anonymous that was established in 1939. Facilitation within recovery centers began in the 1950s, when studies revealed that long-term sobriety was attained more effectively with a multi-disciplinary approach. Namely, that patients entered a 12-step program following inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment.
Can 12 step integration be combined with other addiction treatments?
Twelve-step treatment is one piece of the whole when it comes to addiction recovery. Inpatient and outpatient programs are only the beginning of a life of sobriety. Ongoing engagement in a 12-step program is ideal, as it maintains connection with others who have a unique understanding of addiction and the harm it can cause. It also maintains connection with others who are committed to their best, sober lives. In addition to a 12-step community, the person in recovery may also benefit greatly from individual therapy, whether that be cognitive behavioral therapy, somatic therapy, hypnotherapy, or another modality.
What types of 12 Step programs are available?
Alcoholics Anonymous is the most well-known 12-step program. However, there are many such communities available to assist people with various additions. Examples include:
Are there alternatives treatment options for addiction?
There are several treatment options for addiction and also several options for alternative 12-step programs that may feel more aligned to one’s needs for support. As new research has surfaced, we’ve seen the world of 12-step programs evolve. While the general concept is similar among alternative groups, to find peer support and tools to minimize the chances of relapse, small details of a group may vary. For example, many alternatives to AA promote learning internal control and connection to one’s self rather than submitting to an external source of power.
Some common alternatives to 12-Step programs include:
What should I expect during the 12-step integration treatment?
Recovery does not end with clinical treatment. This is why 12-step integration is a vital aspect of our programs. Integration into a 12-step recovery program after clinical treatment can significantly increase the chances of successful sobriety throughout one’s life. Our clients are set up for continued success through the introduction of the 12-step framework. Clients are educated in the way that 12-step programs work and what they can expect when they begin working with their own program sponsor. In this way, the transition after clinical treatment is more seamless.