For most of us, the holiday season is a joyous time of celebrating with family and friends, but it is also a time where stress and emotions can run high. The holidays can present unique challenges for those in recovery that put coping and relapse prevention skills to the test. Alcohol is woven into the fabric of American culture and plays a prominent role at many holiday celebrations. It can be helpful for those in recovery to reframe perceived challenges as opportunities to strengthen skills like self-efficacy, resilience, and stress management. It can also be beneficial to rely on a 12-step therapy program.
The 12-step program is a proven and dependable approach to recovery that has helped millions of people worldwide for nearly a century. What began as a way to combat alcoholism has been used as the basis for countless other support group programs. At Harmony Hills, we believe in the effectiveness of the 12-steps and utilize them in our comprehensive approach to treatment. To learn more about the many benefits of 12-step therapy, contact our team today at 855.494.0357.
The Basics of the 12-Step Addiction Program
The 12-step therapy program promotes the belief that recovery is possible through spiritual growth and the support of peers with the same goal: recovery. Individuals admit that they have a problem, then let go of control of it, turning it over to a higher power. Maintaining abstinence is required, as is admitting your flaws and past wrongdoings and making amends for those wrongdoings.
Research on the 12-step model has shown:
- Individuals who abstain entirely from substance use have better long-term rates of sobriety.
- People who participate in 12-step programs decrease substance use compared to those who do not participate.
- Treating people with similar problems in a group setting is highly effective.
12-step programs are essentially community-based group therapy sessions. Members of a group provide support and social companionship, help each other in need, share resources, and work cooperatively to attain goals. The key components of accountability and service encourage individuals to be their best selves and be responsible for how their choices impact others and contribute to the community.
Relying on 12-Step Therapy Can Get You Through the Holidays
The 12-step recovery model and mental health therapy complement each other. The goal of 12-step therapy is to become an improved, healthier version of yourself, which is also the ultimate goal of mental health therapy. Substance use disorders are commonly a symptom of an underlying mental health disorder. Addressing substance use disorders through 12-step therapy helps uncover the roots of mental health issues, resulting in greater healing.
Another component of 12-step programs is the spiritual principles of recovery laid out as guides to spiritual growth and personal betterment. The 12 spiritual principles of recovery are acceptance, faith, hope, courage, honesty, patience, humility, willingness, brotherly love, integrity, self-discipline, and service. In addition to working the 12-steps, being sure to attend meetings (extra, if necessary), and relying on your sober network for additional support, here are ways the spiritual principles of recovery can get you through challenges this holiday season:
- Acceptance – Many things throughout the holiday season are not going to go as planned.
- Service – Putting the focus on others in need helps you have gratitude for what you have.
- Self-discipline – Have the discipline to do what is best for you and your recovery despite challenges.
- Humility – Practice humility by acknowledging when you are wrong.
- Honesty – Be honest with yourself and others about your needs and what you can and cannot do.
- Patience – Being with family can be challenging—practice patience with them and yourself.
Being with friends and family during the holidays can be triggering and cause you to fall back into old patterns of thinking that can put your recovery at risk. If your family is not supportive of your recovery, it is best to avoid gathering with them.
Learn More About 12-Step Therapy at Harmony Hills
Completing treatment for addiction or mental health issues marks the beginning of your recovery journey. The holidays can be stressful and triggering, especially early in recovery. Relying on a 12-step program for support can help. To learn more about the benefits of 12-step therapy, contact Harmony Hills at 855.494.0357.