If you’re seeking treatment for a alcohol addiction or another substance abuse problem or addiction, you may notice that many treatment programs are centered primarily on the Twelve Steps, while other programs strictly advocate alternative, non-Twelve Step approaches.
More often, Twelve Step programs are offered as only one part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes traditional counseling, various therapies and education programs, as well as other spirituality-based components such as meditation or yoga. This introduction to Twelve Step programs as an aspect of treatment is generally known as Twelve Step facilitation therapy.
Twelve Step facilitation therapy is a structured program based on the principles of Twelve Step programs such as Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. A counselor assesses the client’s individual alcohol or drug use, explains advanced concepts of the Twelve Steps, and facilitates initial participation and involvement in the program, which involves fellowship with other people who are dealing with similar issues.
Participants are asked to work through a series of spiritual and moral principles, beginning with an honest acknowledgement of powerlessness over the addictive substance or behavior, a willingness to acknowledge the existence of a power greater than oneself, and a commitment to surrender to that higher power.
Treatment methods are a personal choice and Twelve Step programs aren’t suitable for everybody. However, research indicates that people who participate in Twelve Step facilitation therapy are more likely to continue the Twelve Step program after treatment, and to remain abstinent for longer periods of time.
Researchers believe the positive benefits of Twelve Step facilitation are due to increased spirituality, improved self-confidence, development of sober social networks and the understanding that reaching out to other people is a replacement for a self-centered lifestyle.
Studies also indicate that Twelve Step Facilitation results in decreased symptoms of depression and hopelessness. In turn, improvements in overall well-being usually lead to more positive life changes and an increased chance of life free of addiction and substance abuse.