59 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Arguments Against 12-Step Programs
, February 16, 2014
This review is from: The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry (Hardcover)
I was curious about this book because I have read many books derived from the 12-Step movement and found them helpful. I also have had friends who benefited from attending 12-Step programs. However, I have long had questions about various aspects of the 12-Step movement which 12-Step books didn't address.
This book is a sustained attack on the 12-Step movement. It reads like a reaction to the many books praising the 12-Step movement.
The co-authors argue that there is no real scientific proof for the 12-Step movement's effectiveness, that it is in some ways a religion rather than a recovery system, that in some instances 12-Step groups may do more harm than good, that some segments of the rehab industry are fraudulent, and that current theories of addiction need to be reviewed from a scientific standpoint.
I think the co-authors' critique of the fraud and malpractice in the rehab industry warrants close attention.
I believe that anyone considering joining a 12-Step group or simply reading 12-Step literature should have a look at his book to give them the other side of the story. They may then wish to review 12-Step literature and perhaps attend a few meetings to see the positive qualities of the 12-Step movement. Then they can decide for themselves if the 12-Step movement is personally useful for them.
I hope this book will contribute to the development of more treatment methods for people dealing with addiction beyond the 12-Step movement. It is obvious that the 12-Step movement meets some recovering addicts' needs -- and those of people suffering from other problems -- beautifully, but it is also obvious that closer scientific scrutiny of the movement's claims would be useful, so that people who are not comfortable with the 12-Step movement can have more options.
The book's co-authors apparently feel that psychotherapy would fix most addicts' problems. I am uncertain about this, as some cases of addiction and other emotional problems are deeply rooted.
While I personally benefited from the 12-Step books I read, I can see from "The Sober Truth" how aspects of the 12-Step movement that helped me would irritate or alienate other people, who need different pathways to recovery.
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