Introduction to 12-Step Programs with John M of Sober Speak
Counselor Toolbox

00:00 / 73:05

Overview of 12-Steps & Interview with John M from Sober Speak
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director: AllCEUs Counselor Education
Host: Counselor Toolbox Podcast

To access the CEU/OPD/CPD course go to in the US or if you are in Australia

~ Learn more about 12-Step Programs, the Big Book, the 12 & 12
~ Hear from Sober Speak Podcast Host John M. about
~ A variety of tools from the trenches
~ How clients can get started in 12-Step programs
Intro for Counselors
~ What are 12 Step Programs and how do they help?
~ What is the Big Book and what is its purpose?
~ To show other alcoholics precisely how they can recover is the main purpose of this book. (Experience, strength and hope)
~ What is a Big Book study and why do people do it?
~ Study of a specific part of the text that conveys a particular meaning
~ What is the 12 and 12 and what is its purpose?
~ What is a step study and what is its purpose
~ What does it mean to “work the steps?”
~ Aren’t 12-Step Programs religious in nature?
~ What is the difference between a sponsor and a counselor?
~ If someone has multiple addictions and grew up in an addicted family, which type of meeting should they go to? AA? NA? Al-Anon?
Intro for Counselors
~ How do 12-Step programs feel about people on prescribed psychotropic medication (i.e. for bipolar disorder)?
~ The Big Book says, “We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. … But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. … though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.” [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. 133]
~ How do 12-Step Programs feel about medication assisted therapy? MARA International
~ From “Alcoholics Anonymous and Psychiatric Medication (September 7, 2010) says that “it became clear just as it is wrong to enable or support any alcoholic to become re-addicted to any drug, it equally wrong to deprive any alcoholic of medication which can alleviate or control other disabling physical and or emotional problems.“”
Intro for Counselors
~ How do 12-Step Programs feel about treatment?
~ The Big Book says, “… we favor hospitalization for the alcoholic who is very jittery or befogged. More often than not, it is imperative that a man’s brain be cleared before he is approached, as he has then a better chance of understanding and accepting what we have to offer.” [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, pp. xxvi-xxvii]
~ “Of course an alcoholic ought to be freed from his physical craving for liquor, and this often requires a definite hospital procedure …” [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, pp. xxvii-xxviii]
Interview with John M.
~ What tools either you have or you have learned from others on your podcast that help people stay sober
~ Relapse prevention
~ Maintaining a recovery focus and not getting caught up in day to day minutiae
~ Dealing with PAWS
~ Returning or being in an environment that is dysfunctional
~ Regaining trust and support of significant others
~ Finding the right meeting for the individual

John M. cont…
~ How does someone start going to meetings?

~ How does your podcast, Sober Speak, provide experience, strength and hope and why are these three things so important?
~ 12 Step Programs are a viable option for many people.
~ For some, a history or trauma or other factors causing co-occurring mood issues and/or pain, professional treatment may be necessary.
~ For others, the desire to change, really working the program and the experience, strength, hope and support provided from the fellowship may be sufficient.
~ Not every meeting is for every person. It is important to try out different meetings to find the right fit.
~ Resources like and Sober Speak podcast are great places to start for people interested in exploring the 12-Step Philosophy.

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