The Benefits of 12-Step Therapy

As part of our recovery programmes for addiction, we believe that the use of 12-step therapy is essential when it comes to achieving permanent sobriety. The 12-step principle is used across the world and is the basis for fellowship support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous. Most addiction recovery experts believe that 12-step therapy forms an essential part of the recovery process and that not including it can be detrimental to long-term success.

What Is 12-Step Therapy?

The 12 steps are the foundation of mutual support groups where the idea is that groups of recovering addicts come together to help each other get sober and stay that way. Sharing stories and experiences is at the heart of fellowship support groups and the fact that millions of people around the world are tantamount to the success of such organisations will give you some understanding as to why it is such a crucial element when it comes to addiction recovery.

The 12-steps are used as a guide to recovery and are broken down into three stages – the decision steps, the action steps and the maintenance steps. Incorporating 12-step therapy into your recovery programme means working through each of the 12 steps until you reach a point where you are strong enough in your own journey to be able to help others with theirs.

What Are the 12 Steps?

The first three steps deal with acceptance of the problem and the decision to do something about it. These steps encourage you to admit that you have an issue that you have no control over; this is often considered the hardest part of the process. Once you have admitted to having a problem, you can make the decision to do something about it. Step two is about recognising that there is a solution to your problem, while step three is where you decide to do something to solve your current situation.

Steps four to nine centre around the action you must take to overcome your problem. These six steps will take you through the process of recovery whereby you search yourself to get to the root of your problem. This will take place with the help of professional counsellors and therapists through various therapies such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Steps eight and nine are about making amends with the people you have harmed during your addiction. This is an important part of the recovery process and can help to heal your mind and spirit. Once you have completed these ten steps, you will be ready to begin the work of maintaining your sobriety and helping others with their recoveries.

What Are the Benefits of 12-Step Therapy?

It is unlikely that you will work through all twelve steps during your rehabilitation programme. 12-step therapy is used in conjunction with other techniques such as individual counselling, group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and various holistic treatments as part of a whole-person approach to recovery.

You will be introduced to the principles of fellowship support groups and will get started on the twelve steps. It is likely that you will be encouraged to join your local fellowship support group to continue working through the remainder of the steps when your rehab programme comes to an end.

Twelve-step therapy works; it has worked for millions of people across the world for decades, which is what makes it such an important part of any addiction treatment programme. Although it is not compulsory to follow the twelve steps, most members who join fellowship support groups will do so because they know that these help with permanent sobriety.

What Does This Therapy Involve?

Working through the twelve steps is optional but encouraged. As part of 12-step therapy, you may be encouraged to write down your life history, which is the fourth step and the first of the action steps. Writing a life history means delving deep into your past, and this can be extremely enlightening.

A life history is an essential learning experience and a vital part of the recovery process. You will be encouraged to begin with the day you were born and then to write down as much as you can remember. Your counsellor or therapist can guide you through this process by asking relevant questions that will prompt your memory. You should include everything you can remember, such as where you were born, what your parents’ names are, and what they did for a living when you were young.

As you move through the years, you will be encouraged to document notable events. Your counsellor will probably turn your focus to the first time you remember being exposed to alcohol or drugs and the first time you tried one of these chemicals. You may find that memories surface that you have not thought about for many years, but that can play a key role in why you developed your addiction in the first place.

Your life history is yours and you do not have to share it with anyone else, although you may find it helpful to do so. You might find that there are certain issues that you do not want to write about, but this is a big part of this therapeutic process. The issues that are holding you back are probably those that you need to talk about. Your counsellor or therapist will help you with these issues.

When you read back over your life history, do not be surprised to discover some surprising revelations. You may find that the issues that brought you to this point are clear to see, even though you had never given them much thought previously.

When you have finished your story and reviewed it, you will be encouraged to get rid of it however you see fit. This is designed to help you move forward with your recovery.

Do I Need to Continue with 12-Step Therapy after Rehab?

There are major benefits to getting involved with your local fellowship support group and continuing working through the twelve-steps when your rehab programme concludes. Aftercare support is an essential part of your comprehensive recovery programme and fellowship support groups can provide this additional support.

Banbury Lodge believes that 12-step therapy is essential when it comes to helping you overcome your addictive behaviours, and we will help and encourage you to get involved with your local support group. As well as helping you to maintain your sobriety going forward, being a member of such groups will give you the opportunity to develop a whole new set of friends that you can relate to. Your local support group will be a place where you can go for support and inspiration in a non-judgemental and compassionate environment.

You will have a place where you can talk to others who know exactly what you have been through and who will understand the issues that are facing you on a day to day basis. In this environment, you will have the ability to be completely honest with yourself and others without fear of being judged or rejected.

You can also learn from the mistakes of others and discover the strategies that they are using to help them stay sober. Your mutual support group will include people with similar backgrounds to yours and those who come from completely different backgrounds. There will be some who have been managing their sobriety for many years and those who are as new to the process as you are. Nevertheless, together you can all help each other to stay on the right track.

If you would like more information about Banbury Lodge’s 12-step therapy programme or any other aspect of our treatment, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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