The core philosophy of the 12-Steps emphasizes personal accountability, abstinence, humility, honesty, powerlessness over addiction and connection with a higher power.
Although the 12 Steps are heavy on spirituality, many nonreligious people have found the program immensely helpful. The language emphasizes the presence of God as each participant understands him, allowing for different interpretations and religious beliefs.
Here are the 12 Steps as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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.
We incorporate the 12 – Steps and their principles into our group sessions in a variety of different ways in order to meet the group conscious and begin to encourage participation in the fellowship in the early stages of Outpatient Programming.