The Twelve Steps

The Twelve Step tradition is a time tested method of recovery from various obsessive-compulsive behaviors which the affected individuals believe have made their lives unmanageable. These simple tools for living have been used by millions of people to successfully change their lives and recover from negative and even life threatening behaviors. They are based on a set of Spiritual (not religious) principles originally created by Alcoholics Anonymous in the United States in 1935. Anonymity as a Spiritual principle is the underpinning of the Twelve-Step way of life. Sharing and supporting in groups with like-minded individuals and ongoing fellowship is a major ingredient in the success of the program.

These are the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  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.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.