The 12 step programs are far more than “faith based” solutions.

One of the great misconceptions of the last 20 years has been the view taken by many that the 12 step model and in particular AA is purely a “faith based program”.

While this view may have had some validity in the first 30/40 years of AA’s existence AA has long since evolved and grown into a model of recovery of which a faith based pathway is but one of the many recovery options available.

The tools of AA have been proven to work for atheists, agnostics and alcoholics from all religious persuasions…. why? because the fundamentals of AA are not faith based but belief based. Once the practising alcoholic comes to believe they can achieve sobriety within the rooms of AA they have multiple pathways to choose from.

Over the past 33 years I have attended thousands of AA meetings and counselled hundreds of alcoholics both seeking recovery and in recovery and I have no doubt the number one reason why AA has and continues to enjoy its preeminent position in the market place is “testimonials.” On any day of the week, in any part of the world you can attend an AA meeting and hear not one, not two, but several recovering alcoholics who have found within the AA program a way to obtain and enjoy sobriety. These are real stories from real people who have been to hell and have found a way back.

The power of these testimonials cannot be overstated. The undeniable truth at any meeting is AA has worked for many of the people in the room at that meeting. The newcomer may have doubts as to whether it can work for them, they may have doubts about a lot of things they hear at a meeting but they never doubt the validity of the testimonials of recovering alcoholics who they hear at every meeting of AA.

If you ask any sales professional they will tell you, “give me a bunch of believable testimonials and I will sell a truck load of product”

The testimonials heard at every AA meeting are delivered by people from very different backgrounds, who have travelled a variety of pathways and despite this diversity found within the framework of Alcoholics Anonymous what they needed to get and stay sober. Told in a simple yet compelling and powerful manner these recovering alcoholics provide example after example of what can be achieved and how to go about it.

These testimonials are irrefutable evidence the tools for recovery found in AA can work for any one no matter what their religious beliefs are, it is also why over the past 80 years millions of alcoholics have found sobriety “within the rooms.”


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