One of the central facets of addiction is the unwillingness to take responsibility. Without exercising the all-important watershed of self-responsibility, breaking the compulsive cycle that leads to addictive behavior is all but impossible. Systems like AA or the Minnesota Model, which allow the abdication of self-responsibility to The Program, The Meeting, The Sponsor and even God, are, from this perspective, clearly suspect and, as the numbers bear out, considerably — and understatedly — less than successful.

In this moment, the heads of 12 Step proponents are exploding, for I have blasphemed. Before you do explode, however, consider that, if you have maintained some semblance of sobriety for any extended period coincident to participating in a 12 Step-type program, you constitute less than 5% of all those who entered into that program within the 12 month period of your initial participation, and 95% of your brethren left that program sometime in those same 12 months. Given that the Harvard Medical School reports spontaneous remission of alcoholic behavior at 50%, rethinking the Holy Grail of AA and its sister systems, with their historically less than 5% success rate, might be worthwhile.


This is from a blog that I enjoy reading. I don't agree with everything this man says but I find he is spot on most of the time. What I find interesting as a therapist is our countries addiction to the 12 step program even though there is no empirical evidence to actually suggest it works for the vast majority of people.  We have 12 steps for everything. For a fun time go to your local bookstore, or hit up Amazon and do a search of books on sex addiction. Guess what the vast majority advocate. If you guessed 12 steps you are correct. This is not to say that 12 steps works for no one, but the numbers simply don't bear out that it works for many. What are your thoughts?

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