Alternatives To The 12
Some people dont like or are not interested in the 12-Step model, even with the variations above or through organizations that facilitate the 12-Step model. Some people dont like basing their recovery on the idea that they cannot control their addiction, when there is evidence that there are ways of practicing internal control over the recovery process.
Some of the programs based on this active control model include groups like SMART Recovery and Moderation Management. These groups use a similar peer-sharing model, but they dont rely on the idea of surrender. They instead promote the empowerment of the individual to exercise control over the treatment of and recovery from addiction
Sex And Love Addicts Anonymous
|Formation||1976 47 years ago|
|Sex addiction and love addiction recovery|
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is a twelve-step program for people recovering from sex addiction and love addiction. SLAA was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, by a member of Alcoholics Anonymous . Though he had been a member of AA for many years, he repeatedly acted out and was serially unfaithful to his wife. He founded SLAA as an attempt to stop his compulsive sexual and “romantic” behavior. SLAA is also sometimes known as the , because early members saw many of their shared symptoms described by St. Augustine of Hippo in his work Confessions.COSLAA is another twelve-step fellowship created to support the family members and friends of sex and love addicts.
Many of those practicing the SLAA recovery program develop the ability to engage in a healthy committed relationship. SLAA encourages recovery from sexual anorexia, emotional anorexia and social anorexia, three related areas of self-deprivation that lead to isolation and often accompany patterns of addictive behavior.
The 12 Steps With Other Treatments
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuses Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide, short-term residential programs developed the idea of using a modified 12-Step approach to provide a shorter stay in treatment that included follow-up through a 12-Step fellowship.9 This is seen as a way to provide the important post-treatment structure that helps people maintain long-term recovery. Other programs have also incorporated the 12 Steps, both by encouraging clients to attend 12-Step fellowship meetings, and by incorporating 12-Step ideas into their practices.
While 12-Step facilitation programs dont necessarily follow the steps, they promote the use of a 12-Step methodology, in the hope that clients will move to a 12-Step program after rehab to help maintain sobriety. In addition, certain treatment centers base their model for service around some of the ideas promoted through the 12-Step program. These centers can offer research-based services and promote a more scientific understanding of addiction treatment, but they incorporate some of the spiritual, psychological, and practical practices that the 12-Step program promotes. This results in an encompassing model of care designed to support clients through rehab and to give tools that they can use after treatment to maintain their recovery for the long-term.
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Looking For Enlightenment And Conscious Contact With The Higher Power Through Meditation And Prayer
Step 11 can take several different forms, and it is best to let your relationship with a higher power take the lead. Prayer and meditation are one of the most important ways to receive help and guidance. This step is about giving yourself over to the freedom that you have been looking for. The higher power will guide you, and there is a great chance that you will be able to connect with it. This step is about finding your inner peace as you move forward in your recovery.
Causes Of Love Addiction
Experts explain that people who experience feelings of love addiction may be dealing with issues of childhood trauma and fear of abandonment.
Gaba says that those with a history of trauma may be people who might have grown up in a family where their parents were emotionally unavailable. They didnt get what they needed, so they are trying to fill that empty void and fix what they didnt get growing up.
While some individuals who identify with the love addiction label experienced childhood abandonment or neglect, Cohen explains these prior difficulties are not necessarily a prerequisite. Instead, she believes that culturally, we are set up for love addiction.
If you think about it, relationships are always treated like destinations, Cohen says. We go through the whole movie, for instance, and it ends with the now theyre together. Its a terrible setup for all of us. We are very much given the message that love will resolve your pain.
Although the causes may vary, a commonality of love addiction may be a false notion that your romantic partner will save you. This can be a lot of pressure to put on another person. Dye explains that this may cause partners to pull away because it may feel overwhelming or exhausting.
There are some possible consequences associated with behaviors that resemble a love addiction. Individuals with obsessive or unhealthy feelings around love may:
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Love And Sex Addiction Some Basic Definitions
It is no surprise then, that the term addiction has been applied to compulsive sexual and relational behavior, as it has been for drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Out of that application, support groups such as SLAA and CODA have emerged. Their aim is to provide group meetings, education, and a spiritually-based 12-Step program to help members overcome an addiction to love and/or sex. SLAAs website defines sex and love addiction in this way:
- Having few healthy boundaries, we become sexually involved with and/or emotionally attached to people without knowing them.
- Fearing abandonment and loneliness, we stay in and return to painful, destructive relationships.
- We confuse love with neediness, physical and sexual attraction, pity and/or the need to rescue or be rescued.
- We sexualize stress, guilt, loneliness, anger, shame, fear and envy..
- To avoid feeling vulnerable, we may retreat from all intimate involvement
The Twelve Steps Of Slaa
1. We admitted we were powerless over sex and love addiction that our 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 God.
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 God 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 a Power greater than ourselves, praying only for knowledge of Gods will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to sex and love addicts, and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.
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What Is Love Addiction
Love addiction is a process addiction, lifestyle addiction, or a soft addiction,’ says Sherry Gaba, LCSW, a psychotherapist and love addiction specialist in Southern California.
So, youre not addicted to the substance. Youre addicted to the behavior. Someone with a love addiction has a feeling of emptiness or nothingness. They almost feel like unless they are in a relationship, theres nothing to be happy about.
According to Gaba, the difference between healthy love versus love addiction is that those who experience the latter tend to focus more on the beginning stages of love when emotions are intense. These feelings of euphoria may lead to infatuation and even obsession.
As a relationship progresses, this addiction-like dynamic between two partners usually subsides. But a person who may have an unhealthy relationship to love may not want those initial feelings of intensity to go away.
Sometimes they get bored because that feeling does go away, Gaba says. They are more addicted to the feeling than the actual relationship. Thats why they go from one relationship to the next.
Love addiction is not classified as a mental illness because its not yet recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition .
However, scientific evidence suggests that problematic feelings about love may cause a similar response in the brain as substance use disorder and addiction.
Variations Of The 12 Steps
Since its origin with AA, the 12-Step model has been adopted and altered by many groups to fit other programs for addiction treatment and otherwise. Many groups, like Narcotics Anonymous, use the steps exactly as they were conceived by AA. Others have modified the steps to fit their own needs and cultures. For example, a Native American group has combined the 12 Steps with the Native American concept of the Medicine Wheel to create a program designed specifically to help indigenous Americans who struggle with alcoholism and addiction, the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps program. Others have come up with similar ideas to integrate the basic ideas of the 12 Steps into a cultural framework that makes sense for members of that culture.
Another variation comes from the fact that some people are uncomfortable with the specific, religious aspects of the 12-Step program. As stated above, and as evident by the steps themselves, the 12-Step model originated from a Christian point of view. Those who are not Christian have modified the steps to refer to their specific religious or spiritual practice as a way to connect more with the structure of the 12-Step program. In addition, a number of non-religious 12-Step groups have modified the steps to fit a secular model that can help those who are agnostic or atheist practice the program without feeling forced to adhere to a religion they dont believe in.
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Why Is Slaa Effective
Sex and love addiction is a disease, just as any other mental illness, and it will only progressively get worse until destructive behaviors are addressed. This disease cannot be overcome by willpower alone. Although many individuals were living in isolation and hiding their guilt, shame and trust issues from others, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous offers a safe environment for individuals to speak freely and never feel judged. Members are encouraged to share their experiences and struggles when they feel comfortable enough to and are never forced to share anything they dont want to.
One of the reasons the fellowship is so beneficial is because it is important for sex and love addicts to know that they are never alone. The disease can force individuals to keep secrets, which only makes them sicker. Before attending meetings, many of these individuals felt like there was nowhere left to turn until they realized that there were other people like them, who shared similar stories and experiences. In the fellowship, members can begin building a strong support system, which may have seemed impossible to do outside of the program. After they begin to attend meetings regularly and work the steps of the program, members will begin to see positive changes in their lives. They will start taking responsibility for their own lives, take care of themselves before getting involved with others, and continue being honest in their everyday lives.
What Is A 12
The first twelve-step program, Alcoholics Anonymous , was founded in 1935 by Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, a surgeon from Ohio, and Bill Wilson, a New York City stockbroker, whom Smith had helped recover from an alcohol use disorder.
Since its founding, the 12-step model has been adopted and adapted to treat a variety of substance abuse, addiction, and behavioral health issues, including gambling, eating disorders, and more.
The 12-step program is a plan that emphasizes the importance of accepting addiction as a disease that can be treated but never fully eliminated. Therefore, the overarching goal is to provide participants with the necessary support to abstain from substances, a community of peers , and a set of 12 guiding principles or steps to be followed in the recovery process. Groups are free to join and frequently run by members without the involvement of healthcare professionals.
The 12-step model also places a strong emphasis on helping other members get and stay clean and sober. New members are encouraged to connect with a sponsor a senior member of the 12-step program, who has been in recovery for at least a year. Sponsors are available to help people navigate the ins and outs of 12-step membership, answer questions, provide support while working on the 12-steps, and offer accountability.
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Why Do Love Addictions Form
The roots of love addiction extend back to early childhood. A history of abandonment, neglect, or inadequate or inconsistent nurturing can lead to love addiction. Like other addictions, love addiction is often the result of insecure attachment patterns.
Attachment patterns develop during the first 18 months of life as a result of how the primary caregiver interacts with the infant. In order for the infant to develop secure attachment, the child must feel SAFE, SEEN, and SOOTHED. The way the caregiver relates to their child at times when the child is upset or in distress is of utmost importance.
A securely attached child will consistently turn to their parent for comfort and connection when they are upset, get soothed, calm down, and then go back to whatever they were doing before. Insecure attachment develops when a parent is unable to consistently sooth their child. In this scenario, the upset child turns to their parent for comfort and connection, but they get ignored, or their parent is too anxious or distracted to properly sooth them, or they are scolded or even abused for crying and having needs. How attuned the parent is to their child at times of distress over time forms an attachment pattern that follows the child into their adult relationships. You can learn more about various attachment patterns here.
The Purpose Of The 12 Steps
The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to establish guidelines to overcome an addiction to alcohol. The program gained enough success in its early years for other addiction support groups to adapt the steps to their specific substance or addictive behavior.
There are many 12-step programs for various addictions and compulsive behaviors, ranging from Cocaine Anonymous to Debtors Anonymousall using the same 12-Step methods.
Although the 12 Steps are based on spiritual principles, many nonreligious people have found the program immensely helpful. The language emphasizes the presence of God as each participant understands God, allowing for different interpretations and religious beliefs.
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Determining To Carry This Message Of Hope To Other Alcoholics And Addicts
In Step 12, you are ready to take a personal inventory of your life and your recovery progress and share it with other people who are struggling with their addictions. You want to share what you have learned, and you want to help other people who are suffering. You are determined to carry the message of hope to other drug and alcohol users in an attempt to make a difference in their lives.
How Long Do The 12 Steps Take
It is best to follow a 12-step program as long as it takes. You will never get over your addiction until you truly understand and accept yourself. Only then can you make solid choices in your life and be ready for the next step in your recovery. However, typically it takes approximately 90 days or meetings before you see a significant improvement in your life to become one step ahead of your addiction. During this time, you are likely to experience intense discomfort from your addiction, so it is best to stick with the program and those who can help in your recovery.
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What Are The 12 Traditions
Each 12-step group is governed by the 12 traditions a set of guidelines that determine how each group operates, within itself and in regard to the larger community. The 12 traditions emphasize the importance of anonymity, unity, effective leadership, and independence. They also address questions related to how 12-step groups should approach financing and public relations.
The Twelve Traditions Of Slaa *
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