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Many Roads One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Steps Paperback – June 17, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wide-ranging and refreshing, this is a feminist, New Age critique of the Alcoholics Anonymous approach to addictions, including caffeine, nicotine and TV. Kasl ( Women, Sex and Addiction ) links addiction and treatment with chakras, nutrition and patriarchy--and she's on target. A.A.'s approach is patriarchal, okay for affluent white men but not for others, especially women, she finds. The book offers numerous, surprising examples of how A.A. meetings, slogans, traditions and steps hurt women: while it might be good for white men to humble themselves and make amends to everyone, Kasl contends that women should ignore that A.A. exhortation--they've done enough of that sort of thing already. Ultimately, everyone's recovery is based on recapturing personal power, recognizing social oppression and revering life. This guide should put some of the needful back on track. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Unbound edition.

From Library Journal

Add Kasl to the growing number of au thors who are challenging the structure and tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and its 12 steps. Other recent books on the sub ject include Jack Trimpey's The Small Book: A Revolutionary Alternative for Over coming Alcohol and Drug Dependence (De lacorte, 1992) and Christopher James's How To Stay Sober Without Religion (LJ 5/1/92). Examining AA from a feminist point of view, Kasl contends that while AA helps many maintain sobriety, its dogmat ic, male-oriented doctrines and the un yielding way in which some groups inter pret them are damaging to others, especially women. Drawing from her own experiences and those of other twelve-step pers, the author argues that the rigid de mands of some groups for strict adherence discourages rational thinking. For exam ple, a rigid demand to "admit powerless ness" or to yield to a "higher power" may harm women who are fighting to gain con trol of their lives. The author offers her own 16-step recovery model with guide lines for finding or forming alternative groups. Both lay readers and professionals will gain insight from this book. Purchase for psychology, addiction/recovery, and feminist collections.
-Linda S. Greene, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Unbound edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (June 17, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060965185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060965181
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

There are 21 translations of 42 foreign editions with 800,000 in print of Charlotte Kasl's books which include some titles such as; the If The Buddha series, Women's Love, Sex, and Addiction, Many Roads One Journey, Finding Joy, A Home For The Heart, Yes You Can!, and more. Please check out additional books and articles available by Charlotte Kasl on Amazon.

Charlotte Kasl has an M.A. in Piano from The University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Counseling from Ohio University in 1982. She was a Licensed Psychologist in Minnesota for 15 years and is currently a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Montana. She is a Certified Addiction Specialist in the areas of chemical dependency and sexuality and has had a private psychotherapy practice for more than 30 years. She is the author of nine books and numerous articles.

Dr. Kasl has conducted a wide variety of workshops on relationships, addiction, sexuality, spirituality, community, healing from incest and abuse, casting out internalized oppression, preventing burn out, quantum healing, empowerment, and finding joy, both in the United States and abroad. Her groundbreaking book Many Roads, One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Steps, published in 1992, introduced a 16-step empowerment approach for overcoming addiction that focuses on finding one's voice, building confidence, taking action on one's behalf, and understanding addiction in a cultural context. It has been used throughout the United States and Canada, as well as Europe, to assist in overcoming trauma, addiction, and depression.

In 1987, she was part of a task force funded by the Department of Human Services in Minnesota to create a model treatment program for chemically dependent women. She was on the advisory board of The Women's Recovery Network, The Women's Action Alliance for Alcohol and Drug Education, and invited twice by the National Center for Substance Abuse Prevention to participate in a synthesis conference to make recommendations on the needs of women. She has consulted with numerous treatment programs and served on several advisory boards, such as The Organization for Secular Sobriety, known as Save OurSelves (SOS).

Dr. Kasl is also a founding member of ATTACH, The Association for the Teaching and Training in the Attachment of Children. In 1997, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, (now knows as SASH Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health) for her work with women and sexuality. In 2000, If the Buddha Dated was one of five finalists for the National Books for Better Living Awards. In addition, she was listed in Self magazine as one of 50 "sage" psychologists in the United States.

In her psychotherapy therapy practice, Dr. Kasl takes an empowering approach by helping people address the core issues underlying depression, anxiety, addictions, and relationship difficulties. She works with numerous therapeutic approaches, such as ego state therapy, hypnosis, quantum psychology, EMDR, cognitive therapy, and emotionally focused therapy for couples. She is also an avid hiker, pianist, and has been a Reiki Master Healer since 1983.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a treasure. I am a black female. I read this book last year. I was making 10,000 a year working as a clerk and, I was in a relationship with an abusive, sex addict. I attended several traditional CODA 12-step groups where they were telling everyone to become more humble, less egotistical and ask others to forgive them for all the bad things they've done and so on. I guess that works if you are a member of a group/several groups who have always had social and economic power and priviledge in America. I would always leave feeling even less self-esteem that before I came. This would have the effect of making me try even harder to put up with this "relationship". Now I understand why the 12-steps did'nt work for me. Her insight and compassion for women and other races/socio-economic groups is unbelievable! If you have found that the 12-steps are not working for you, (even if you are financially independant/white male--her approach is intelligent and loving to everyone) read her book and you may get insite that can give you strength and hope. Thank you Charlotte. Now if only I could find a group that uses the "empowerment" model she discuss in the book...
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was raised in a family where everyone was/is involved in one or more of the 12-Step programs and was taught that attending AA and working the 12 Steps was the only way to stop drinking, or to recover from being a child of an alcoholic. In fact, to my subsequent embarassment, I have preached those rules to people without really knowing what I was talking about. But in spite of this, I have always felt uncomfortable with some of the language in the 12-Steps and other 'conference-approved literature', and this book helped me figure out WHY I was uncomfortable, and also reassured me that I wasn't going to go to hell for not being in a 12-Step program (I'm joking here, but since the 12-step 12-step philosophy is essentially my family's religion, the comparison is apt.)
This book clearly explains the history of the 12 Steps, the original intentions of Bill W. (founder of AA), the ways the steps are implemented in current 12 Step programs, and, very importantly, why they don't "work" for a lot of people (contrary to the message that one gets in AA and other step groups). She also takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of alternative recovery programs.

Despite the opinions of some other readers, I found the book very non-judgmental - Ms. Kasl doesn't tell people not to go to AA or whatever if it is working for them, and she certainly doesn't tell people that her sixteen-step method is "the way", or that you need to agree with everything she believes. She just points that, contrary to many people believe, "working the steps and going to meetings" is NOT the only way, and there are many people who have gotten and stayed sober without AA.
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My only regret is that I didn't read this book years ago. Although there is much to be said for 12 step programs (especially in initial stages of recovery), many people feel excluded by them for various reasons. Sadly, they are then told by people in the addiction field and in AA that they "are not trying hard enough" or just "don't want sobriety badly enough" .
Alternatives to 12 step groups are not offered by many treatment centers and counselors so those who do not fit into the mold reeive no guidance or choices. To read a book which not only spells out other options, but sets out reasons why you may not fit in AA is affirmingAlthough I concluded years ago that I would never fit into the mold, this is the first time I have ever had my reality validated. It is refreshing to read a book in the addiction field that encourages thinking outside of the box. This book will save lives - hopefully people will realize they do not have to choose between sobriety and being part of a herd. If you are a therapist and work with alcoholics, addicts, etc. you owe it to your clients to read this book and familiarize yourself with options other than 12 step groups.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
I spent 5 years in AA trying to "get it". After reading Charlotte's wonderful book, it became clear that the 12 steps were written by and for individuals of a specific gender, and of a specific socio economic group. (WASPy men of the 1930s) Today's 12 step climate draws individuals of vastly different backgrounds, who try to personalize the 12 steps only to find guilt, shame and disempowerment. (the opposite of what they need!) Such a result might be an appropriate "balancing out" goal for sociopathic grandiose indivdiuals who lack a sense of guilt or shame when hurting people, however it can have disastrous results for those who feel guilt & shame easily! Charlotte's book is a must-read for anyone (especially women & minorities!!!) who wishes to join a 12 step group. Thank you Charlotte for your insight. I am now offering your book on my website. Hopefully others will find it in time and get off the 12 step stairmaster and find a more empowering and uplifting path.
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