What is a 12 Step Program?
To understand a Non-12 step program, we must first very briefly talk about what 12 step is.
12 step is the program associated with Alcoholics Anonymous, but it’s applied effectively by facilities and professionals across addictions.
12 step programs have helped many around the world, but they’re not for everyone for 4 primary reasons:
- 12 step programs require you to accept that you are completely powerless to change because you’re controlled by an addiction that’s destroying your life.
- They require you to submit to a higher power and ask him/her/it to save you.
- They see the addiction as the core of all of your problems.
- They believe “once an addict, always an addict”
How is a Non-12 Step Rehab Program Different?
A non-12 step rehab program doesn’t consider the addict to be powerless. These programs focus on restoring self-worth and self-control while empowering the one suffering to take charge of his/her own life.
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Non-12 steps aren’t inherently non-religious, but they don’t put the same focus on submitting to a higher power. They instead work to put the power back in the hands of the addicted person.
They do acknowledge the control that addiction has over the individual, but they don’t see that addiction as being the core of all of the person’s “problems.”
Instead, they look for underlying causes like:
- unresolved anger
- mental disorders
- environmental issues
- using drugs with friends or family
- community drug use
- job problems
This is not, however, a “blame game”. It’s about healing.
The responsibility is placed upon the addicted person to identify the underlying issues and work with doctors, therapists and family to heal them.
While these programs do promote personal responsibility, they put great focus on the importance of family and support systems. They see individuals as a piece within a whole (family unit). If one piece is sick, then the whole is sick as well. The addict is simply expressing the sickness in a more visible way.
In order for the individual to heal, they need their family around them to heal. This may require them to deal with some of their own trauma, learn more constructive ways to express themselves and how to support their family member in recovery.
They may need to heal some resentment they have toward the addict regarding things that happened in the past, so that they can help him/her in the choice to stay sober now and in the future.
While the work with the family will not be as prolonged and intensive as the work with the addiction sufferer, non-12 steps strongly believe that this overall healing must take place for the recovery to be lasting.
Non-12 step programs don’t generally see addiction as an incurable disease. They believe that if they can get to the root causes the addict can fully recover.
Non-12 Step Rehab programs are highly individualized and research-based.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Emotion Therapy<?li>
- Addressing negative self-talk and replacing it with more constructive thought patterns and actions
- Developing coping skills
- Spotting triggers
- Improving relationship skills
- Treatment for physical and mental conditions
- Other therapies as needed to meet specific needs
The Benefits of a Non 12 Step Program
- It encourages personal responsibility.
- It attempts to work with the whole family, creating a support group of love and understanding around the individual.
- The program doesn’t throw one in recovery back into the surroundings out of which the addiction was born. Instead, they try to help the whole family heal.
- It’s based on science rather than religion.
- It doesn’t place great focus on a higher power, so it’s open to both those who believe in God and those who don’t.
- It gets to the root causes rather than just treating a symptom (using) so recovery is more lasting.
- The entire family benefits from the program.
Finding a Non-12 Step Rehab Program
Our treatment team is dedicated to connecting those suffering from addiction and their families with respected and effective treatment programs that meet their unique physical, behavioral, spiritual and financial needs. Our team of knowledgeable and compassionate mental health professionals, licensed counselors and those in recovery listen and work with you to get on the path to lasting recovery.