The 12 Steps of AA

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Psychotherapy

The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are a set of guiding principles for recovery from addiction, originally developed by AA as a means of helping individuals overcome alcoholism. The 12 Steps have since been adapted for use in various other addiction recovery programs, and have also been incorporated into a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches.

12 Steps Of Aa

The 12 Steps are:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, 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 beings 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 alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The 12 Steps emphasize the importance of seeking help and support from others, confessing and making amends for past wrongs, and developing a relationship with a higher power. These principles can be extremely helpful in the recovery process, as they provide a structured and supportive framework for individuals to work through their addiction and address the underlying issues that contribute to it.

The 12 Steps and Therapy

In psychotherapy, the 12 Steps can be used as a complement to other treatment approaches. For example, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can be used to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to their addiction, while the 12 Steps can provide a spiritual and emotional foundation for recovery.

One way in which the 12 Steps can be integrated into psychotherapy is through the use of “step work,” in which the therapist helps the client work through each of the 12 Steps in turn. This can involve exploring the meaning and significance of each step, identifying challenges and obstacles to progress, and developing strategies for addressing these challenges.

In addition to step work, the 12 Steps can also be integrated into other forms of psychotherapy, such as mindfulness-based therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). In these approaches, the 12 Steps can serve as a guiding framework for helping individuals cultivate greater self-awareness, acceptance and commitment to their recovery journey.

Overall, the 12 Steps of AA can be a valuable complement to psychotherapy for individuals seeking recovery from addiction. By providing a structured and supportive framework for addressing the root causes of addiction and developing healthy habits and patterns of behaviour, the 12 Steps can help individuals build a strong foundation for lasting recovery and long-term well-being.

12 Steps Of Aa

Taking the First Step

Taking the first steps in acknowledging addiction and considering counselling or therapy can be a big step. What the therapy will entail and how it can help with addiction can be worrying. All of the Leone Centre counsellors and therapists are experienced, accredited and highly professional.

At the Leone Centre we can help you to choose a therapist, book your appointment and explain the process. Alternatively, if you are ready to get started, you can book directly here or call us now on 0203 930 1007.


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