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The 12 Steps

Man running up steps

Many people, who suffer from addiction or similar psychological disorders, find they experience feelings of unease even when there appears to be no immediate cause.

These negative feelings will often continue to persist even when the addictive behaviour (such as abusing alcohol or drugs) is removed. This condition has famously been described as experiencing a general feeling of restlessness, and being irritable and discontented.

If left unaddressed, this troubled state inevitably leads to psychological cravings and the whole cycle of destructive behaviour reoccurs. In order to enjoy the benefits of long-term recovery, many people find they require a deeper, more spiritual solution, such as The 12 Steps.

The Minnesota Model & The 12 Steps

We suggest that clients at The Kusnacht Practice may wish to benefit from The 12 Steps as part of a treatment programme that is known as The Minnesota Model. This was developed in the 1950s and involves treatment combined with on-going abstinence and the principles of The 12 Steps, which were first published by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1935.

At the heart of the programme is the idea that recovery requires a ‘spiritual awakening’ that can be achieve by taking certain steps, such as examining past behaviour. This may initially sound like an abstract concept, but at The Kusnacht Practice we have witnessed The 12 Steps facilitate the saving of numerous lives.

Is it suitable for everybody?

Many individuals who suffer from addictions may initially be skeptical about the benefits of a spiritual solution. This is understandable as it invariably involves learning a new way of thinking about life. Individuals who suffer from disorders that do not involve substance abuse may also wonder why it can help them. In fact, individuals can be addicted to behavioural processes as well as substances, hence the wide relevance of The 12 Steps.

Self-help fellowships that now use The 12 Steps include Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Codependents Anonymous, and Depressed Anonymous, plus others.

Some individuals may question what they perceive to be religious references in The 12 Steps. In fact, the programme is spiritual rather than religious and has benefitted thousands of agnostics and atheists, as well as people of all religions worldwide. For clients who wish to benefit from The 12 Steps, all that is required is an open-mind and willingness to change.