Alcoholism AA and Lies
Today’s title is a bit controversial, but very apt. I was reading an article about a new book published in the United States called “US of AA: How The Twelve Steps Hijacked The Science of Alcoholism”. This book is a long time coming. I have worked with people for neigh on three decades who have had unhealthy relationships with alcohol. Almost universally, they were first recommended to go to Alcoholics Anonymous to undertake the 12 Step Programme.
Whether by accident or design the 12 Step Programme has cornered the market when it comes to alcohol treatment. This being the case, when it is next to impossible to actually determine through empirical research as to whether it actually works or not. This, despite the fact, that we live in an evidenced based world which demands proof for all types of treatment. AA for far too long has not had to account for their claims.
In my experience, the idea of telling a person that they will never be cured, but only ever in recovery creates dependence. Dependence and therapy do not mix. People can change and develop a new relationship with alcohol and learn moderation. They do not have to continue telling their narrative to unqualified people who really cannot help them to move forward. It is time for therapists to show that there are many ways to work with alcohol issues and that AA, though the answer for some, is by no means the answer for everyone. Which, by the way is the message I have been presenting for the better part of 30 years.