12-step Programme

One of the most widely-recognised methods for addiction recovery is the 12-step programme. Although it was originally designed for use by individuals with alcohol use disorders, the 12-step has been expanded to treat several behavioural and substance addictions.

At Linwood House, we root our recovery programmes in a 12-step model, offered alongside holistic approaches and workshops to help give you the best chance of recovery. If you are considering the 12-step programme read more below to find out how it works, who it’s suitable for and what to expect from treatment.

12-step programme - book on recovery

What is the 12-step programme?

This method takes you through 12 different steps, which will help you reflect on your actions, make commitments and make progress towards achieving long-term recovery. It was originally laid out in the Alcoholics Anonymous guidebook and has now expanded to other substances, behavioural dependencies and mood disorders.

12-Step programmes endeavour to treat all aspects of addiction, including physical, psychological and emotional. Our treatment programme is predominately group based with weekly one to one sessions, the 12 step programme is delivered in a group setting so that you gain feedback from a variety of perspectives aiding self awareness and positive behavioural change.

Support groups and the 12-step programme

At Linwood House, we introduce you to the 12 steps and explain how each step works, within a group setting. 12-step work can be complex so we break these down into relatable examples and help you put targets in place through open discussion and education. Everyone works through the steps at their own pace, using the connection of the group to support one another and learn from others that may be ahead in the programme.

The group component is an important element of this form of treatment, helping to create an inclusive environment where others who are on the same path to recovery can share their experiences. In order to continue working the 12 steps clients are encouraged to attend fellowship meetings with a view to finding a sponsor as part of their ongoing recovery plan.

The method is based on cultivating motivation and believing that you can change and be freed from your addiction. Incorporating spirituality, faith and self-determination, the 12-step celebrates the individual behind the addiction and encourages you to find your inner strength. You are encouraged to celebrate other group members’ successes while talking openly about your fears and relapses, as you can find solace and advice in others.

The 12 steps

Each step is concerned with a different aspect of recovery. While different groups may interpret slightly different meanings, there is a strong thread which runs through all 12-step communities.

Step one: Acceptance

We encourage you to acknowledge your lack of control over your addiction.

Step two: Faith

You are encouraged to accept that there is some higher power or person who can help you through the recovery process.

Step three: Surrender

This part of the process involves accepting that you can only overcome your addiction with the help of others.

Step four: Moral examination

Here, we help people in rehab examine their drug-related behaviours and identify the driving factors behind them.

12-step programme - moral examination

Step five: Admission

At this step, we support you in facing up to your past mistakes and seeking to make amends for them.

Step six: Let go of the past

We support you in letting go of the negative behaviours that lead to drug abuse and embracing healthier behaviours.

Step seven: Practise humility

Here, we encourage you to ask for and accept help in overcoming your addiction and the triggers that caused it.

Step eight: Decide to make amends

We will aid you in acknowledging all the harms caused by your addiction and creating a plan to begin addressing them.

12-step programme - rebuilding relationship

Step nine: Rebuild relationships

This part of rehab involves taking concrete steps to repair damaged relationships.

Step ten: Reflection

Ongoing self-reflection and continued commitment to recovery are key aspects of this stage of rehab.

Step eleven: What is your purpose?

We encourage you to embrace practices such as meditation to provide strength and guidance throughout your recovery.

Step twelve: Share the message

During the final step, you are encouraged to share your experience with others who are struggling with addiction and to maintain your commitment to the 12-steps throughout your recovery.

How long do the 12-steps take?

There is no set timeline for the 12-step process; rather, you work at your own pace and are free to remain in the group as long as necessary. Many people are initially advised to take part in 90 fellowship meetings over 90 days, most of which may be attended once you finish your programme. This may feel like a significant commitment of time, but it is suggested to give you the best chances at a full and sustained recovery.

Devoting time and energy to these group sessions is a brilliant way to refocus. We encourage you to maintain good communication with your group beyond your stay at Linwood House to keep you on the right path.

It’s important to accept from the beginning that recovery is a lifelong journey. The journey will be challenging at times but beautiful at others. You will learn about yourself and the world around you in ways you could never hope to while in the grips of addiction. The 12 steps are a guide which you can travel through at your own pace, without any sense of competition. It is not a race to get to the end, rather it’s a chance to build a better, stronger sense of yourself and your ambitions for life.

Does 12-step work?

12-Step programmes are a globally recognised process which can be found in many different forms. Although there are many forms of treatment for addiction recovery, the 12-step programme is repeatedly found to be one of the most effective methods.

It is thought that the emphasis on self-determination, empowerment and belief is a significant factor in success rates. Attending a 12-step programme is not going to heal you from addiction immediately. Much of the work comes from the individual and their own sense of willpower. However, it can provide you with a stable community on which you can depend on difficult days.

12-step programmes at Linwood House

You will be able to access our 12-step support regardless of which rehab programme you are enrolled in at Linwood House. Our therapists will guide you through each step and help you incorporate them into your daily routine. We will also help you utilise the 12-step ‘Big Book’, which provides guidance and structure throughout your recovery. This will culminate in a personal 12-step plan, which you will continue to work on after rehab.

If you are ready to embark on recovery, contact us at Linwood House to discuss your options. Starting out with addiction treatment can be a scary process, but there are people who can help you through it. Our team of experts are specialists in addiction recovery, and they are ready to invite you into the community.

Frequently asked questions

What does it mean to make amends in a 12-step programme?
Making amends is step 9 of the 12 steps. This is associated with healing the relationships which were damaged during your addiction. This is usually a difficult process, but it is one of the most important steps.

By accepting your mistakes and taking responsibility for the pain caused, you can move from the past into a brighter future. Many people find that moving through this step relieves them of a heavy burden they have been carrying. All 12 steps contain elements of forgiveness, and this step is especially focused towards it.

Can I combine the 12 steps with other treatments?
It is strongly advised to use a combination of treatments with the 12-step programme. 12-step is a form of group therapy, and it is usually necessary to have individual treatment, too, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or dialectical behavioural therapy. If you are unsure of what treatment is best suited to your experiences, get in touch with our team to talk through your options.
Do I have to be religious to use the 12 steps?
No, you don’t have to be religious to benefit from the 12 steps. This is a common misconception due to how steps 2 and 3 are worded. The ‘higher power’ mentioned here does not have to be religious or spiritual at all and can be any place or person you draw strength from.
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UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

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