Renouncing Addictive Behaviour

The following excerpt is adapted from the book ‘Higher and Friendly Powers – Transforming Addiction and Suffering’ (1) by Peg O’Connor. ‘Renouncing addiction to alcohol or other substances and behaviour excludes hedging one’s bets. One cannot both become a new person and hold onto old ways of doing and being. Nor can a person genuinely […]

12 Essential Insights for Emotional Sobriety – A Book Summary.

By Steve K. I have recently read psychotherapist Dr Allen Berger’s latest book ‘12 Essential Insights for Emotional Sobriety’, which offers a comprehensive interpretation of the various characteristics that comprise the concept of emotional sobriety. According to Dr Berger, the phrase emotional sobriety was first coined by Bill Wilson, one of the cofounders of Alcoholics […]

A Psychodynamic View of Addiction

By Steve K. I recently spent some time listening to someone who suffers from an alcohol use disorder describing their internal struggle, triggered by anxiety and stress, that takes place before they start drinking again after a period of abstinence. As they were describing their experience Freud’s model of personality came to mind, which is […]

Authentic Pride Vs False-Pride

The literature of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) considers pride to be a singularly bad thing. The main texts (Big Book and 12 & 12) repeatedly describe it as a negative character trait and suggest that it represents an over inflated ego and self-absorbed personality. This picture of pride is no doubt influenced by the Christian tradition […]

An Atheist at Alcoholics Anonymous

The following essay is a powerful and articulate personal story of addiction and recovery by Frank B, an atheist who found sobriety and salvation in AA through human love and compassion. Although ‘spirituality is central to the Twelve Step programme….  [Frank] discovered that even the godless can be saved.’ (1) His story was originally published in […]

Naturalistic Spirituality – A Spirituality of the Actual, Possible and of Action

The following essay written by Hugh Taft-Morales of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia, outlines a humanist approach towards a naturalistic spirituality for those who don’t hold a traditional belief in God, or subscribe to religious orthodoxy. A genuinely ‘spiritual, not religious’ perspective that suggests a ‘spirituality of the actual’, a ‘spirituality of the possible’, […]