12 Steps Programs

12 Steps Programs


12 Steps Programs are popularly known for their use in treating the dysfunctional and addictive behaviors. The very first 12 Step Programs started with the A.A. (Alcoholic Anonymous) in 1930s and ever since, it has grown to be the leading approach used in dealing with the alcoholism recovery as well as from drug abuse and many other dysfunctional and addictive behaviors.


The first book that was written in order to cover the 12 Step Programs was entitled as Alcoholic Anonymous, which is affectionately known as ‘Big Book’ by the program members. By following the extensive subsequent growth of the 12 Step Programs for the other dysfunctional and addictive behaviors, many other books were written and published, and several videos and recording were also produced. Those materials cover the 12 steps in much greater detail as well as how people have followed or applied those steps to change their lives. An extensive background and chronology about the Alcoholic Anonymous history has been placed together at several books and institutions.


The 12 Steps programs were also adopted by many groups in order to address their own dysfunctional or addictive behavior with similar idea and only with minor variations. The 12 Step Programs were meant to sequentially work as a process to get rid of the dysfunctional and addictive behavior and must result in a huge growth in happiness and freedom, as outline in the first A.A. book.

Because of the fact that recovery is a lifelong process, there is no wrong way in approaching the 12 Step Programs as the member or participant tries to identify what works out best for his/her individual needs. As a matter of fact, most of the participants notice that they must revisit some of the steps back or even tackle a single step several times before proceeding to next.


Here is the list of 12 Steps as defined by the Alcoholic Anonymous:

1.We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that out 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 a the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.