The purpose is to recover from compulsive and out-of-control behaviors and restore manageability and order in your life. It's a way of seeing that your behavior is just a symptom, a kind of engine control light to find out what's really going on under the hood. First developed in 1935 by Bill Wilson & Dr. Bob during the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the 12 Steps is a recovery program designed to help people suffering from alcoholism and addiction achieve lasting and satisfied sobriety.
The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to establish guidelines for overcoming an alcohol addiction. The program was successful enough in its early years for other addiction support groups to adapt the steps to their specific substance or addictive behavior. And finally, the twelfth step is to bring the message of recovery to other alcoholics. You'll share what the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Al-Anon steps offer those struggling with addiction.
Steps 1, 2, and 3 are considered the basis of a 12-step program and it is recommended to practice every day. Sometimes people need a break between the Steps, sometimes people need to spend more time in one Step than another, some people never stop working on the 12 Steps because they become part of life. If you've ruled out 12-step programs or think they're not right for you after just one meeting, you might be surprised to find that a different meeting is exactly what you need. The twelfth step is a time to be satisfied with your accomplishments, but still remember that recovery is a lifelong process.
In the Twelve Steps, where people learn about God through their own experiences with him, there is no need to persuade with theology or verbal arguments. Known as the Great Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the publication not only changed the conversation about alcoholism, but also catapulted the Twelve Step recovery model to the public. For some it can be quite a powerful and immediate experience, for others it is a continuous and co-current part of working the 12 steps. In fact, most participants find that as they grow in their recovery, they will need to review some steps or even tackle more than one step at a time.
While it is true that the 12 Steps were originally based on the principles of a spiritual organization, the world is not the same as it was in 1935 when AA and the 12-step program were founded. They don't work for everyone, but the twelve steps and twelve traditions provide many with spiritual growth and peace of mind. Newly sober members should never participate in a 12th Step call, and AA members should never do it alone. Although the 12 steps are based on spiritual principles, many non-religious people have found the program to be of great help.
While 12-step facilitation programs don't necessarily follow the steps, they promote the use of a 12-step methodology, in the hope that clients will move to a 12-step program after rehabilitation to help maintain sobriety. In addition, the program offers resources and 12 steps designed to help the family and other loved ones of alcoholics.