Pros and Cons of Twelve-Step Programs

pros and cons of twelve-step programsWhat are the pro and cons of twelve-step programs? In the early 20th century, Bill Wilson founded Alcoholics Anonymous in an attempt to address and ultimately cure his confounding and baffling condition. The approach and philosophy of AA are based on medical insights, ancient spiritual traditions, and consultation with a handful of psychologists and more than a few alcoholics.

 

Today, AA and other 12-step programs are easily the most widely known and available support for addiction. Although AA is the original, many splinter groups have formed based on the same 12-step philosophy, including Narcotics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, and Debtors Anonymous.

 

I’ve often referred clients to twelve-step groups if I think they’d be a good fit for such a group and if they’d likely find it helpful. But I’ve realized that AA and its variations aren’t for everyone. Here are some of my thoughts about the pros and cons of twelve-step programs to help you determine what’s right for you.

Batman, Superheroes, & God: Our Longing to Be Healed (Part 2)

There’s something very spiritual about superheroes, as we began to explore in part 1 of this two-part post. I wrote these about five years ago now but never published them; it was just after The Dark Knight Rises was released and the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado occurred, tragedy which sadly reminds us of our need to be healed. In part two, my geekiness really comes out, but in such a way that I hope speaks to this longing that I think we’ve all felt in one way or another.

Batman, Superheroes, & God: Our Longing to Be Healed (Part 1)

Recently I saw the official trailer for the new Avengers movie opening in May. Now, I’m a DC fan at heart, which means my heroes have always been Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the Justice League. (Yes, I was geeked at the release of the Justice League movie last year, if not somewhat disappointed.) Nevertheless, it was pretty awesome. If you missed it somehow, take a look-see below.

 

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 3 of 2)

This is part 3 in a series of posts originally intended to be a two-part pageturner. You can check out part 1 here and part 2 here.

 

counselor with depressed manIt’s the middle of January, which is the most common month that people seek out counseling. Of course, many factors go into choosing a therapist—location, specialty, a perception that he or she can help with your concerns, fees and insurance, and so on.

 

It’s also been my guess in this series that you also are wondering how in the world to pick an effective counselor. There are online reviews but only sometimes, and therapist websites can only give us clues about a counselor’s competence.

 

It’s been my goal to help you pick a good counselor, one that you can know with a little more clarity if the help you’re getting is worth your time and investment. Ultimately, I do feel that there’s a ineffable quality of “fit” between a counselor and a client that makes therapy work, and that’s hard to write about.

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 2 of 2)

woman in therapyIn case you missed it, in my last post I summarized some findings from the American Psychological Association about the characteristics of an effective counselor. You can check out the APA’s own write-up of the research here. According to the APA, an effective counselor has 14 key qualities that contribute to successful treatment. This time of year, when a lot of people are looking for counseling, these are great things to keep in mind when looking for help.

 

Of course, counseling seems simple on the face of it, but there’s actually a lot going on in your counselor’s mind in session, not to mention the ton of stuff going on in the relationship between you and your counselor. All that to say, great outcomes are the product of a host of variables in counseling, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that these therapist qualities make successful treatment more likely. 

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 1 of 2)

Looking for a therapist in the New Year? You’re not alone. In fact, January tends to be the most popular month of the year for seeking counseling. Why? It’s hard to say, really, but there are probably several reasons:

  1. The holidays are over. With New Year’s, it’s time for a change.
  2. Being with family around the holidays can encourage people to want better relationships and emotional wellbeing.
  3. There’s a good stretch of time before summer, so people usually are going to be able to go to therapy for some time before traveling again.

 

counselor with clientWhatever the reason, if you’re looking for counseling right now, it’s a perfect time to think about the qualities you want in your counselor. More specifically, you probably want to know more about those characteristics of a good counselor, and what a good counselor does. 

4 Tips for Safe Drinking

Happy holidays, everyone! Drinking around the holidays can be enjoyable, but if you’ve had some problems with alcohol in the past (like me), this time of year can be challenging. If you’re thinking about making some changes to how you drink or just want to drink more intentionally, here are four tips for safe drinking to keep mind. Well, okay, they’re not so much “tips” on their own as aspects of drinking to consider when planning to drink.

19 Tips for Moderate Drinking During the Holidays

The holidays are a season for laughter, merrymaking, time with family, and gatherings with friends—all of which are often accompanied by alcohol.

 

That’s why for many in recovery the holidays are a tough time. Not only does this time of year bring up a lot of emotional “stuff,” which alone can be triggering, booze is a frequent guest at holiday parties and social gatherings.

My Top Six Books for Partners of Sex and Porn Addicts

Last time, we took a tour of some of my recommended books for those struggling with porn and sex addiction. Today, we’ll consider some books for partners of sex and porn addicts. Fortunately, resources have become more and more available for partners in recent years; the mental health professionals treating sex addiction are recognizing the devastating effects of the addict’s betrayal upon his or her partner. Discovery of the addict’s behaviors is extraordinarily traumatic, so that partners too need supportive care.