Attending a 12-Step group can be a powerful move towards understanding your relationship with alcohol and how it has impacted your life. Going to a group doesn’t mean you are automatically dubbed an alcoholic. It means you see that alcohol has caused problems for you and you want to take back control of the role alcohol plays in your life. In fact, going to a 12-Step group can also teach you about how to be deeply honest with yourself, how to be vulnerable and authentic with others, and how to both offer and accept support from those around you.
You’ve probably heard of Alcoholics Anonymous at some point in your life. AA was founded in 1935 and has been a huge influence on our understanding of alcoholism and recovery. But, did you know there are several other types of 12-Step groups available?
If Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t quite the right fit for you, check out some of these other options. Each has its own flavor and focus. We always recommend going to several different groups of whatever type you choose, as each individual group has its own personality and feel. Finding a support group that feels comfortable and welcoming, and whose philosophy you connect with, can make all the difference in your success and growth.
SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training)
SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program® supports people who want to recover from all types of addictive behaviors. The main focus is on changing negative thinking, managing emotions, and choosing your actions consciously to work toward a more satisfying and successful life. These groups have less focus on a higher power or spiritual component which some people struggle with when attending meetings with AA. Local groups can be found at www.smartrecovery.org.
Refuge Recovery offers mindfulness-based addiction recovery support that uses Buddhist philosophy as the foundation of the recovery process. They draw from the core teachings of the Four Noble Truths with an emphasis on knowledge and empathy as a path to overcoming addiction. Those struggling with any kind of addiction can benefit when they seek to understand the suffering that addiction has created and develop compassion for the pain they have experienced. Local groups can be found at www.refugerecovery.org.
Celebrate Recovery is a 12-Step program, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, blended with the Christian teachings of Jesus Christ. Celebrate Recovery also uses its 8 Principles based on the Beatitudes to support the sobriety, spiritual health, and success of its members. Local groups can be found at www.celebraterecovery.com.
Written By Derica Waller, MSW, LCSW, LICSW
Derica Waller has been a coach and therapist for over 20 years. She is a master level therapist and is one of Reynolds Defense Firm’s Window of Clarity Coaches. Derica is also our Window of Clarity Coordinator. She sees her role as helping clients to manage life’s challenges with her clinical expertise and compassionate support. Window of Clarity is a scientifically validated program and helps others take charge of their lives by making positive, lasting changes. For more about Derica and the Window of Clarity Program, visit www.windowofclarity.com.