12-Step Facilitation Therapy

Founded by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), 12-Step is a well-known mutual aid program used for treatment of substance use disorders that spans not only AA but other support groups to help people understand the journey to recovery.

12-Step mutual support programs offer powerful, community-based recovery for people who struggle with substance use disorders and process addictions. The prominence of 12-Step programs in addiction recovery is closely tied to Twelve-Step Facilitation, a set of semi-structured therapies that encourage the participation in 12-Step programs.

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    Could you or someone you know need Twelve-Step Facilitation Therapy? Reach out today.

    Twelve-Step Facilitation Interventions

    There are several different kinds of Twelve-Step Facilitation interventions:

    Making AA Easy (MAAEZ) Network Support

    Systematic Linkage

    Twelve-step integrated within cognitive-behavioral problem-solving framework[2]

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    Each of these interventions has a different manner of facilitating 12-Step mutual-help participation. Some rely on AA and other mutual-help organizations, while others focus entirely on AA and its core principles, as with Project Match TSF.[3]

    No matter how much focus the intervention has on AA, the common thread is that the person engages and actively participates with mutual-help organizations to achieve and sustain abstinence.

    TSF involves several sessions with a provider to encourage and facilitate attendance at mutual-support meetings. Participation may be tracked with logs or journals. The provider may discuss the themes of meetings and explore attitudes surrounding these themes and the higher power. TSF also emphasizes abstinence as a treatment goal.

    How (and Why) 12-Step Therapy Works

    Despite the focus on a higher power, 12-Step programs are open to all socioeconomic backgrounds and faiths. Beyond the Steps themselves, the only rules are to be on time and respectful and not to talk over others.

    It’s important to remember that 12-Step meetings are not an addiction treatment program. They are peer-based mutual-help programs that may be used in conjunction with other treatments. Meetings are free and open to the public, all participants remain anonymous and are welcome to share their experiences, though it’s not compulsory. Cross talk or offering advice is discouraged.

    Participants often learn how to work the 12 Steps through a sponsor who is familiar with the recovery program. This ensures additional support and one-on-one attention beyond the group meetings. Working through the 12 Steps is a continuous process with the goal of abstinence, not a final “completion” of the 12 Steps.

    The 12-Step recovery program combines accountability, inspiration, and education to help participants overcome addiction and reinforce healthy thoughts and behaviors. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) finds the 12-Step program to be an effective evidence-based program when combined with other therapies in a specialty addiction program.[6]

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    What’s the Best Way to Find 12-Step Facilitation in Connecticut?

    12-Step programs are often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for addiction, but you can speak to your physician or therapist to learn about the options in your area. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also offers resources to find 12-Step programs with different groups.

    If you want to take the first step today, Paramount Wellness Retreat offers a 24/7 confidential addiction helpline to discuss your options. Contact us today.

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    Cost of 12-Step Therapy

    12-Step therapy programs are often free and offered as community-based programs, but they may be combined with other therapies as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. Fortunately, many insurance providers cover substance use disorder treatment. Contact us today to see if your insurance provider is in network.

    The 12-Step Facilitation Model

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    As defined by the Big Book from AA, the 12 Steps are:
    1.     Admitting powerlessness over the addiction
    2.     Believing that a higher power (in whatever form) can help
    3.     Deciding to turn control over to the higher power
    4.     Taking a personal inventory
    5.     Admitting to the higher power, oneself, and another person the wrongs done
    6.     Being ready to have the higher power correct any shortcomings in one’s character
    7.     Asking the higher power to remove those shortcomings
    8.     Making a list of wrongs done to others and being willing to make amends for those wrongs
    9.     Contacting those who have been hurt, unless doing so would harm the person
    10.  Continuing to take personal inventory and admitting when one is wrong
    11.  Seeking enlightenment and connection with the higher power via prayer and meditation
    12.  Carrying the message of the 12 Steps to others in need[4]
    The premise of the 12-Step model is that people can help each other in achieving and maintaining abstinence from substances of abuse. This can happen through sharing in meetings and showing support for one another.

    Research suggests that people who abstain together have better mental health outcomes than those who don’t abstain together. The 12-Step model offers a framework to break the cycle of addiction, process the experience, and move forward with healthier patterns. The model supports this goal by helping with the following mental and emotional transformative practices and tools:

    • The ability to recognize that you’re experiencing addiction
    • Surrendering to the idea that addiction exists and seeking control through an outer guide
    • Self-observation and awareness of the behaviors that were part of and arose from addiction
    • An opportunity to practice restrain and build self-esteem with one’s positive capabilities
    • Self-acceptance and the ability to change behaviors
    • Compassion for those who have been affected by addiction and for others struggling[5]

    12-Step programs may be introduced during inpatient, intensive outpatient, outpatient, or aftercare, depending on the individual’s needs. Mutual-support groups are often combined with other therapies within a comprehensive care plan.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about 12-Step Facilitation

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