The 12-step program as it was initially developed in the mid-1930s has become an integral component of the overall recovery process worldwide, and has saved thousands of lives over the course of the past several decades. The 12-step program was initially developed as a means of helping alcoholics. But, it has since been adopted by numerous other groups of individuals. Mainly, those afflicted with a variety of similar psychological disorders and dependencies. Because it has been repeatedly proven that eating disorders affect the same part of the brain as substance dependency issues, many 12-step programs geared towards helping those battling disordered eating patterns have since been developed – and have proven extremely successful in putting such disorders into lifelong remission. Learn more about eating disorder recovery through the 12-step method.
What is a 12-Step Program?
The 12-step process is summaraizable by the following points:
- An initial admission of powerlessness – admitting to oneself and to others that control over compulsions and addictive behaviors has been entirely relinquished at some point down the line.
- The recognition that a higher power – a power greater than oneself (and of one’s own understanding) – has the ability to give strength and assist in long-term recovery.
- Taking a thorough look at personal history and potential personal errors and mistakes with the guidance of a sponsor (a more experienced group member who has been through the entire process him or herself).
- Making amends for any past harm done to others.
- Learning to live a new way of life, utilizing a new code of personal behavior geared towards the following of ‘spiritual principles’ such as honesty, brotherly love, and faith.
- Finally helping others who struggle with similar dependencies and compulsions to live a better way of life, teaching predominantly by example.
There are many benefits to the 12-step method of addiction recovery, including (but certainly not limited to):
- Creating a supportive and like-minded circle of friends
- The learning of highly beneficial coping skills
- The fostering of a sense of purpose in life – a reason to live
- Access to a wide array of additional resources
- A safe place to talk through difficult emotions and real-life situations
Eating Disorder Recovery
There are several 12-step support groups that currently exist for those suffering from eating disorders. Eating Disorders Anonymous is a fellowship of people striving together to overcome all varieties of disordered eating patterns. These patterns range from compulsive overeating to anorexia nervosa. There are many other, more specialized groups – although EDA is by far the most common.
These additional groups include:
- Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
- Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous (ABA)
Want more information on 12-step programs and additional support programs for those suffering from eating disorders? If so, please contact us at Willow Place for Women today. We have ample experience in eating disorder recovery through numerous methods, including 12-step programs.