Understanding Twelve-Step Programs


If you have significant contact with a person involved in a twelve-step program, Understanding Twelve-Step Programs is intended for you. That person may be a friend, family member, parishioner, patient or employee. This book may also be useful if you have been told that you could benefit from a twelve-step program, but have yet to get involved in a group, or if you are still new to twelve-step programs. This book is not clinical; rather, I present the material as an experienced insider. Its topics include what goes on in meetings, addiction and withdrawal, how each step works, sponsorship, spirituality, anonymity, helping addicts, and recovery for friends and family. My purpose is to de-mystify twelve-step programs and to help you better understand the nature of recovery.
Brown provides us with an insightful look into the world of recovery. As a substance abuse therapist I will find this a valuable tool in helping others understand 12 step work. I liked the book very much and believe it will be a useful tool to ministers, lay people, and those considering 12 step meetings.
-Lisa B. Creef, L.C.S.W., L.C.A.S.
Brown has accurately assessed the value of healing communities and their immeasurable impact for personal recovery. His practical and experiential knowledge of 12 step programs can lend us expert assistance for transformative ministry.
-J. Bruce Ritter, Senior Pastor, Christian Life Center
Bruce Brown came into his first twelve-step program in early 1993. Since then he has attended at least ten different types of twelve-step programs. His recovery has involved meetings in fifteen states covering all regions of the U.S. as well as online meetings. He has sponsored over twenty people and worked intensely with ten sponsors of his own. Bruce has spoken at many gatherings, and served his twelve-step fellowships at local, regional and national levels. As a result, his experience is broad enough to make generalizations about twelve-step programs that go beyond one type of fellowship or one region. Because of Bruce's focus on written step work, he has been labeled a "Step Nazi." He has worked the Twelve Steps numerous times.

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