Women in Sobriety
anonymous Asks ...
I was just on the women for sobriety website. Some of their steps are: I have a life-threatening problem that once had me. I now take charge of my life and my disease. I accept the responsibility. Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to. I now better understand my problems and do not permit problems to overwhelm me. I am what I think. I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman. Happiness is a habit I will develop. Happiness is created, not waited for…this is very different from the 12 steps program and that appeals to me. I am a long time heavy drinker. I have been to AA meetings before. Are you familiar with women for sobriety? Is this an effective program to get involved with?
Jennifer Hamilton Says ...
I have heard of Women In Sobriety, but more importantly, I believe in the type of reframing/ reprogramming that this question lists and attributes to Women In Sobriety. There is a branch of Psychology known as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP for short) that does exactly what these "steps" are doing. The concept of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to recognize how thoughts lead to emotions and emotions to behaviors and help you change your thoughts, usually to thoughts that are more positive or rational. NLP takes this a step further to have you ask yourself whether a thought while true is helpful to think given your goals in life.
For example, if you think "I am an alcoholic", in AA this may be labeled the "first step" "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our life had become unmanageable" and in NLP, this would be taken further to ask "how is that thought helpful, even if it is true"? So for example, if believing you were an alcoholic and therefore doomed to drink forever and your goal was to stop, that would not be a helpful thought and you would reframe it. (I am an alcoholic who can stop drinking by going to AA, working the steps and abstaining from alcohol). If you thought, "I am an alcoholic and therefore since I am, I have an allergy to alcohol" and that HELPS you CHOOSE and DECIDE not to drink alcohol because of that, then it would be helpful thought that heads you toward your goal of sobriety.
In summary, taking charge of your thought life (and only the individual can do that, no one else is responsible or can be for that inner dialogue we all have) is VERY useful both in recovery and life in general.