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How AA works and why it's important for clinicians to understand

Authors
Journal
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
0740-5472
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
11
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0740-5472(94)90021-3
Keywords
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Self-Governance
  • Affects
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Repair
Disciplines
  • Psychology

Abstract

Abstract Alcoholism is associated with tremendous suffering, psychological denial, and physical and emotional debilitation. Much of the suffering that plagues alcoholics is rooted in core problems with self-regulation involving self-governance, feeling life (affects), and self-care. Alcoholics Anonymous is effective because it is a sophisticated group psychology that effectively accesses, corrects, or repairs these core psychological vulnerabilities. The traditions of storytelling, honesty, openness, and willingness to examine (“take inventory”) character defects allow people to express themselves who otherwise do not feel or speak and help those who otherwise are deceitful (to self and others) and would deny vulnerability and limitation to openly admit to it.

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