About the 12 Step Program
Twelve Step programmes are well known for their use in recovery from addictive and dysfunctional behaviours. The first 12 step programme began with Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) in the 1930s and has since grown to be the most widely used approach in dealing not only with recovery from alcoholism, but also from drug abuse and various other addictive and dysfunctional behaviours.
The first book written to cover the 12-step programme was entitled "Alcoholics Anonymous", affectionately known as 'the Big Book' by programme members. Following the subsequent extensive growth of twelve step programmes for other addictive and dysfunctional behaviours, many additional books were written and recordings and videos were produced. These cover the steps in greater detail and how people have specifically applied the steps in their lives.
The 12 Steps, as outlined in the original Big Book and presented by the AA are:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - 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 being 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.