Trauma and the 12 Steps: An Inclusive Guide to Enhancing Recovery

North Atlantic. Rev. ed ed. Jul. 2020. 252p. ISBN 9781623174682. pap. $17.95. PSYCH
The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have saved many people, and psychologist Marich argues that integrating the treatment of trauma with addiction can save many more. According to the author, the 12 Steps must not only encompass trauma-informed care but also be flexible enough to channel a humanist spirit of acceptance and unconditional positive regard. Marich draws on the basic tenets of the original 12 Steps to identify the basics of trauma, how trauma and addiction comingle, how the Steps help and potentially inadvertently harm, the importance of coping skills, and empirically supported trauma interventions. Jewels of the final chapters include an explanation of how the 12 Steps support racial, sexual, and spiritual minority groups. The writing is direct, relatable, warm, and educated. Toolkit strategies for clinicians are included, as is a hefty by-topic resource list. Emphasized above all, through clinical research, is how an alliance between helper and helpee is the strongest link to healing.
VERDICT A must-read for addiction sponsors, mental health professionals, and anyone who has experienced or is struggling with trauma and addiction.
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