How Open-Minded is Your New 12 Step Audio?

Hello Belleruth,

My question is about this version of 12 steps from C.L. I would like to buy but the 12 Steps seem to be very fatalistic:

#1 powerless about XYZ, #2 only help through an external power-force, #6 & #7 change my situation only through an external power-force

That is what they say and what they try to believe, as I see on my sister and on Wikipedia. I would not like to reinforce this IMO disbeliefs/limitations into my head by a well-made hypno-file.

I do have files from your Traci Stein, who, as I understand, is not a limited mind, like I described before. That's a way I can more accept. So the question is: was C.L. able to formulate these steps in a more open way? But I suppose: if yes, that is away from the AA path and that will not be.

Thanks for your answer, have excellent times, wherever you go


Hey, P.

Thanks for the thoughtful 2-part question. I get your concerns. I know that this is a common criticism about the steps. They don’t especially match my mindset either. Or most psychotherapy thinking, for that matter.

But here’s the thing: they help a huge number of people – sometimes it’s the people who’ve given up on themselves and backed themselves into some very tight corners. Those steps help people who won’t go to a therapist, who’ve used up the patience of friends and family on their way to hitting bottom.

Now mind you, that’s by no means a profile of who goes to AA meetings – you might be amazed at who goes – every kind of person imaginable, including many of your friends and neighbors - but it also includes people who’ve hit bottom and have no place else to go for help.

And damn, those recovery meetings are always there, wherever you are, if you need a shot in the arm or encouraging word during a tough time for staying sober. Those steps are the backbone of a sturdy, long-lasting, peer support system, entirely volunteer and leaderless, that to this day, is as generous, inclusive, and effective as it is ubiquitous. And you need that support because those steps are daunting.

I sat in on several AA meetings when I was writing the imagery for Help with Alcohol and Other Drugs. (It was very gracious of the group to let me in – strictly speaking, they weren’t supposed to.) I had trouble relating to the whole “powerless” thing, but I came to understand it was designed to cut through the classic delusional thinking of prototypic addiction: I’ve got this handled; I can stop any time I want to; I don’t need help…etc etc.

As for Chuck’s imagery, he really has created work that, as you say, works with essential usefulness of the steps in a far more open way than the steps themselves. But they are the steps. There’s one for taking a fearless inventory of yourself. There’s one for looking at whom you’ve hurt. If you listen to the sound samples, you’ll see. They’re very down to earth and kind. Some of the imagery tracks are just plain great for anybody wanting to do a bit of an overhaul on themselves. Some do refer to a “higher power’ but in an open-to-interpretation way.

I’d say give it a try. I’m betting you’re going to like working with some of those tracks. If you hate it, let me know, and we’ll switch it out for one of Traci’s wonderful audios – we know you like those!

All best wishes to you, and thanks for writing,