The 12 Steps

Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center uses a spiritual interpretation of the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as a method for recovery. The 12-step program is a program of action. Twelve-step program methods have been adopted to address a wide range of substance abuse and dependency problems.

Our Twelve Steps

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many members of 12-step recovery programs have found that these steps are not merely just a way to stop drinking or using, but they become a guide toward a new way of life.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the first twelve-step fellowship, was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. The principles of AA have been used to form many other fellowships for those recovering from various pathologies, each of which emphasizes recovery from the specific malady which brought them to the program.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the largest of all twelve-step programs, followed by Narcotics Anonymous. The majority of twelve-step members are recovering from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Many twelve-step programs address illnesses other than addiction. For example, the third largest twelve-step program, Al-Anon, assists family members of alcoholics and addicts. Auxiliary twelve step groups such as Al-Anon and Narc-Anon, for friends and family members of alcoholics and addicts, respectively, are part of a response to treating addiction as a disease that is enabled by family systems.

In a twelve-step program human structure is represented in three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual. For addicts and alcoholics the physical dimension is described as an allergy-like bodily reaction resulting in the compulsion to continue using substances after the initial use. The statement in the First Step that the individual is “powerless” over the substance-abuse related behavior refers to the lack of control over this compulsion, despite any negative consequences that may be endured as a result.

Holistic Drug and Alcohol Rehab TreatmentThe mental obsession is described as the cognitive processes that cause the individual to repeat the compulsive behavior even after some period of abstinence, either knowing that the result will be an inability to stop or operating under the delusion that the result will be different. The description in the First Step of the life of the alcoholic or addict as “unmanageable” refers to the lack of choice that imparts the mind of the alcoholic or addict concerning whether to drink or use again.

The illness of the spiritual dimension, or “spiritual malady,” is considered to be self-centeredness. This model is not intended to be a scientific explanation, it is only a perspective that twelve-step organizations have found useful. The process of working the steps is intended to replace self-centeredness with a growing moral consciousness and willingness for self-sacrifice and unselfish positive actions. In twelve-step groups, this is known as a spiritual awakening or religious experience. In twelve-step fellowships, “spiritual awakening” is believed to develop, more often than not, slowly over a period of time.

The staff of Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center has a combined 70+ years in recovery and participation in 12-step groups. With the experience of our counselors and staff, each client is guided, with compassion and understanding, through steps one, two and three during the first 30 days of their stay. The daily schedule allows quiet time for individuals to focus on step work; also time with a counselor to share their work and receive feedback, as well as the opportunity to process the work in a group setting.

The First Step calls for an honest self-admission by individuals. It is in this spirit that members often identify themselves along with an admission of their problem, e.g. “Hi, I’m Sharon and I am an alcoholic.” Through working Steps One, Two and Three an individual is able to first recognize and admit their problem, leaving room for hope of restored sanity by way of a power greater then themselves – ultimately placing faith in that power to help keep them clean and sober, one day at a time. With the foundation of the first three steps in place one can proceed to the self examination portion of the program, (Steps Four through Nine) enabling them to recognize assets and defects of character; make changes where needed and continue on their path to a new way of living. Steps Ten, Eleven and Twelve are also action oriented steps keeping in the forefront of the individuals mind honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, humility, and selflessness through service to others. The twelve steps as a program of recovery have been proving themselves in the lives of many recovering alcoholics and addicts around the world for many years. Once again the 12 steps are a proven outline for the individual who wants to live free from active addiction and experience the fullness and joy of life, one day at a time. Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center offers alcoholics or addicts the opportunity to embark on their journey to recovery through the 12 steps in a peaceful, natural setting where the evidence of a loving Higher Power is seen firsthand.