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A Gentle Path through the Twelve Steps: The Classic Guide for All People in the Process of Recovery Paperback – April 13, 2012
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--Wendy Maltz, MSW
"This book emphasizes the common themes at the heart of all Twelve Step fellowships and offers an especially clear explanation of what 'working the program' means."
--Claudia Black, PhD
About the Author
Patrick J. Carnes, PhD, is an internationally known authority and speaker on addiction and recovery issues. He has authored over twenty books including the bestselling titles Out of the Shadows: Understanding Addiction Recovery, Betrayal Bond, Don’t Call It Love, The Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps and The Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles.Dr. Carnes’ research provides the architecture for the “task model” of treating addictions that is used by thousands of therapists worldwide and many well-known treatment centers, residential facilities, and hospitals. He founded IITAP (International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals), which provides CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) training and certification as well as cutting-edge information for addiction professionals. Dr. Carnes currently serves as a Senior Fellow and Executive Director for the Gentle Path Program at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona.For more information on his work and contributions: www.patrickcarnes.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter: @drpatrickcarnes
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have a sponsor and you're serious about your recovery, buy this book for yourself AND HIM or HER!! This will show your sponsor you mean business, and it will make doing step work with your sponsor so much easier and structured. If your sponsor is a die-hard, he/she will love the concept of having their own copy so that they can work their steps again with you.
However, the Gentle Path recommends working the Eleventh Step in a way that I do not believe is practical for most people (e.g., taking months to prepare for a spiritual quest). Taking an extended spiritual quest may be helpful, but it is not one of the Twelve Steps. There are a handful of other places where Carnes throws in exercises that are his interpretation of how to work the Steps. My sponsor and I scratched are heads at these exercises and moved on.
95% of this book is a well-structured, well-planned approach to working a program of recovery. This book is not intended as an "end-all, be-all" approach to working the Twelve Steps. TGP is not a replacement but a supplement, and as supplement to the Big Book and program-published literature, it is effective. When I began working my program of recovery after hitting bottom, I humbly admitted to myself, "OK, I don't know actually KNOW how to take these twelve actions. How do I truly work the Steps?" I was overwhelmed by the amount of work required to do my first and fourth steps. Carnes takes these large steps and breaks them down into small, doable pieces. Once my sponsor showed me that, I began to have hope I could actually go through all Twelve Steps instead of stalling out on a single step for months or years.
I recommend most of the activities in this book in the order they are presented. The Gentle Path is like any other suggested tool in recovery: it works if you are willing to work it. If you don't agree or don't understand something in TGP, run it by your sponsor. If you feel uncomfortable, skip it, and work that step using the Big Book or other program literature.
The naysayers who oppose The Gentle Path have, in my experience, done nothing to help me work my Steps, nor have they been able to give concrete evidence of specific examples where Carnes wrote something which opposes program published-literature. Some of the activities in TGP didn't make sense to me, but after doing this book from cover to cover (minus a few activities for reasons already described), I did not find anything that contradicts the Big Book or Step into Action literature. The only reason I give TGP 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the approach it contains to working the Eleventh Step.