The Secret Behind Fellowship: Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-Step Approach

For more than 80 years now, Alcoholics Anonymous has been helping people understand that you don’t have to overcome your alcohol addiction alone. Reaching out for support is one of the best ways to get on the path to long-term recovery. A time-tested and proven approach that enlists the support of others, the 12-step method has led to the creation of numerous other fellowship groups designed to help people triumph over their addictions.

Today, there are 12-step programs for substance abuse, behavioral issues such as overeating, hoarding, or gambling, and even for those who work too much. Fellowship programs like these help get people back on a journey toward living life in control rather than accommodating (and repeating) compulsive, unhealthy behaviors in a pattern that quickly derails your entire life.

But have you ever stopped to wonder exactly what these 12 steps entail? Here’s some insight:

The Twelve Steps

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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 others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps, copyright 1996 by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.

The Choice 12-Step Approach

At Choice House, we integrate 12-step facilitation into all programs and dedicate our energies to helping clients build community, discover a deep personal and spiritual meaning and fill their lives with recovery, camaraderie, and principles to build a life around healthy beliefs and behaviors.

Choice House therapists apply multiple modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills, Motivational Interviewing, 12-Step facilitation, and meditation/mindfulness techniques to provide the structure and support that contributes to better outcomes. Choice House sober living homes recommend that men attend local Boulder- and Denver-area 12-step meetings and actively work with a sponsor to grow their recovery community and help build their recovery capital.

If you or someone you love struggle with addiction, help (and fellowship) is available. And while the 12 steps offer a clearly outlined path to sobriety, the very first step is one of the most critical: make that call or reach out via email today.

Leave a Comment