Christian 12-Step Based Therapy
Struggling with addiction isn't easy, no matter who you are or what you believe. As a Christian, the effects of substance abuse can be particularly damaging, most notably for those who feel as though developing an addiction is acting directly against the advice of the Lord.
Even if addiction has shaken your faith, it's possible to return to God's graces once more with a proper approach to treatment. There is no shame in seeking help; in reality, many options available throughout rehabilitation can actually strengthen your resilience and enhance your connection to Christ. One such treatment program, known as the 12 Steps, emphasizes a spiritual journey that requires personal reflection, dedication, and focus to complete in full.
The 12 Steps have served as a model for success for recovery groups around the country. At Road to Freedom, we are able to incorporate this strategy into our care, working with Christians from all walks of life to commit to abstinence and inspire long-lasting sobriety.
What Are the 12 Steps?
Originally developed as a part of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 Steps were created in Akron, OH in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith. Devised with God in mind, these steps are a progressive series of beliefs and behaviors that, when followed properly, can help substance abusers to overcome the physical and mental bonds of addiction.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)
Admitting powerlessness can be extremely hard, especially for autonomous adults who have been making their own decisions for years. However, this first step is critically important and is key to the proper mindset for recovery. After all, you have to admit your own failings before you can pave a path forward.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
This step involves understanding that God and His wisdom are a necessary part of breaking the cycle of addiction. Even if you have turned away from God during your abuse, this step requires a commitment to a renewed relationship.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
In step three, participants are encouraged to turn their lives over to God, admitting that they cannot make the right choices without His guidance. For those who have felt abandoned by God in the midst of addiction, this may not be easy, but finding strength in your faith is critical to recovery.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40)
The 12 Steps are all about accountability, which means honesty with yourself and God about where you have gone wrong. This step can be uncomfortable – it can be hard to face your own failings head on – but taking an authentic and realistic inventory of yourself and your actions is very valuable in identifying your own shortcomings.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
Thinking about your failings and actually vocalizing them can be quite different. This step requires participants to come clean about mistakes and moral wrongs, coming to terms with them personally and within the confines of faith.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
Asking for help from God can be overwhelming, but it's a big part of recovery. This step asks those participating to let go of their former selves and commit fully to sobriety with help from God, giving oneself up to him in order to overcome mistakes.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Forgiveness is a long process, especially within your faith. In this step, you must be willing to ask God for forgiveness and request His help in moving past the personal shortcomings that led to addiction.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
Addiction affects many people, from friends and family members to colleagues and classmates. This step requires determining everyone harmed through substance abuse and developing a willingness to address and apologize for any wrongdoings.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
A willingness to admit fault and make amends is a good start, but actions speak louder than words. This step asks participants to physically approach those they wronged to apologize for any damage done through addiction. However, if apologizing would cause undue and unreasonable distress to either party, it's acceptable to omit reparations.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Sin is a reality of the human condition, and acknowledging mistakes once isn't enough. Recovery is a long-term process, and that means regular introspection of your actions, thoughts, and feelings. When issues do arise again, participants should be prepared to take measures to repeat past steps in order to admit fault and seek forgiveness.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Colossians 3:16)
Spiritual guidance is critical to your recovery. This step requires participants to pray regularly and strengthen their bonds to Christ, using his wisdom and guidance to live a healthy, Godly life.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
The final step requires participants to live within the logic and guidance of the Steps at all times while promoting the wisdom within to others in need. Faith is a large part of this, and a consistent relationship with God is an expected component of fulfilling this final stage.
Why the 12 Steps Work
As a progressive process, the 12 Steps seek to guide recovering addicts through stages of healing that facilitate personal growth and development. This concept operates on the premise that recovery is a long and drawn out process, and that certain steps must be followed to fully progress through the changes in attitude and habits that lend themselves to recovery. As many psychologists are aware, overcoming addiction requires a personal want; without truly desiring recovery, most patients will not experience long-term success. The Steps reinforce this, as participants cannot move forward without dedication and introspection.
Like other forms of therapy, this strategy emphasizes self-exploration, spirituality, and personal development in an ongoing format, effectively keeping individuals engaged in sobriety for months or years after completion of a rehabilitation program. This journey can be extremely effective in staving off relapse as participants embrace the feelings of fulfillment that come with completing steps.
The Importance of 12-Step Therapy
When in the throes of addiction, it's easy to feel overtaken by your problems. You may want to put your mind on something else or do your best to forget that there's something haunting you. However, if you want to recover, failing to acknowledge and cope with your addiction can only worsen your struggles, giving you an excuse to sink further into your addictive behaviors.
Rather than teaching you to avoid problematic feelings, 12 Step programs put addiction front and center. With the Steps as a focus of your day to day life, it's easier to find the strength to confront your demons. There's no way to ignore the pressures of substance abuse or the consequences it causes, forcing you to put energy into rehabilitation, sobriety, and your connection to God.
Road to Freedom and 12-Step Programs
At Road to Freedom, the 12 Steps are a key element in our practice, utilizing proven recovery techniques to promote inner strength and spread the message of the Lord. Through our 12-Step programs, which are led by trained faith-based counselors, we are able to help our patients find a positive approach to confronting addictions and rebuilding connections with God.
Our 12-Step programs work in conjunction with our numerous other therapies and forms of treatment to customize your ideal approach to care. Additional options include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Family workshops
- Court liaison services
- Christian Counseling
- Weekly church services
- Life skills training
- Biblically-Based 12 Step Meetings
- Family Workshops
- Court Liaison Program
- Chronic Pain Management
- Holistic Therapies
- Relapse Prevention
- Aftercare Services
Start Your Journey to Recovery
"Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh." - Romans 13:14
When you're ready to face your substance abuse head on, Road to Freedom and our faith-based 12-Step programs are here to guide you. With our help, your relationship with God can be a shining beacon throughout your recovery, restoring hope and inspiring positive momentum. Together, we can find a way for you to lead a fulfilling life, one step at a time.