What is the 12 Step Recovery Program?
“The 12 Step program is vital for me. It’s the most important thing in my life. It was the only thing that ever worked to keep me sober, and beyond keeping me sober, it healed my soul and made me a better person.”
–Justin, Cycles of Change alumni
Our 12 step program in Palmdale, CA begins during rehab, and provides help and guidance into long-term recovery. Note that we also offer “non 12 step” alternatives.
We believe that using Bill Wilson’s original form of the 12 step program for addiction recovery at our Palmdale center gives patients the most effective base for successful rehab experience.
What are the 12 Steps?
Created in the 1930s by Bill Wilson, a businessman close to losing everything through alcoholism, along with recovering alcoholic Dr. Bob Smith, the 12 Step Program is a structured system for long-term recovery.
During their first meeting, when “Bill W.” was afraid that he was again going to fall off the wagon, they realized the power of sharing experiences about seeking and keeping sobriety.
Alcoholics Anonymous was created from this chance meeting and friendship, and “Bill W.” wrote a book outlining 12 specific steps that needed to be followed in order to gain sobriety. Even now, these 12 steps to recovery are used in small support fellowships and by individuals to maintain day-by-day remain sober.
A pure 12 step program closely follows the original 12 steps to recovery. The most important foundation step is that in order achieve control of alcohol a person must accept the fact that they are completely powerless over their drinking, and need to put their faith in a higher power.
Individuals are encouraged to have a personal understanding of the idea of a “higher power”, and are not required to follow any particular religious tradition.
The 12 Steps:
Cycles of Change is faithful to the 12 steps that were first written and have been shown to be the most consistent in terms of their effectiveness.
- Admitting that one is powerless over alcohol – that one’s life has become unmanageable.
- Coming to believe that a Power greater than oneself can restore sanity.
- Made a decision to turn one’s will and one’s life over to the care of God as an individual understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of oneself.
- Admitted to God, to oneself, and to another human being the exact nature of one’s wrongs.
- One is entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove one’s shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons one has 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 one is wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve one’s conscious contact with God, as the individual understands Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for one and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, one tries to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all of one’s affairs.
Living the 12 Step Program
The 12 Step program is extremely important to me because I wasn’t able to find any other way to stay sober. This was the only way that I could have a spiritual experience and be able to help other addicts. I truly believe that’s what helped me stay sober today.
–Adam, Cycles of Change alumni
Cycles of Change views the 12 Step program as the hub of the treatment wheel, providing a life-long way for those in recovery to keep their sobriety. With other types of therapy supporting the 12 steps to recovery.
Some clients attending rehabilitation at Cycles of Change are learning about the 12 steps for the first time. Others have tried a less structured and “repurposed” 12 step program created around a modified idea of 12 steps, but were not able to remain sober.