If millions of people struggling with addiction have benefitted from the Twelve Steps, why not everybody else?
The Proactive 12 Steps describe a healing path for people who want to make lasting changes in their life. They are inspired by the traditional Twelve Steps, but they have a down-to-earth approach. They are informed by what we know about stress and trauma, and how to disentangle ourselves from the intricacies of our coping mechanisms.
The big idea
The original Twelve Steps of A.A. were built around a powerful idea: When faced with a seemingly intractable problem, you have to give up trying to force change through willpower. The way to solve the intractable problem is to change the structure of your life.
In the original Steps, a considerable role is ascribed to God or to some Higher Power that eventually removes your shortcomings. It is a relief from the burdensome belief that you should be able to control all aspects of your life. But it also implies that healing works in mysterious ways, unknowable to mere mortals.
So it is important to note that the Twelve Steps do not just rely on God or prayer. Most of the steps involve making conscious changes in the way you live and relate to people. Hence the idea to make this healing process more explicit.
A down-to-earth program
I originally wrote the Proactive Twelve Steps for people who, like me, were not part of the Twelve Step culture. Over time, many people in Twelve Step programs have found this approach to be a valuable resource.
My goal was to describe the steps in a down-to-earth way that would make the healing process clearer. The Proactive Twelve Steps describe how we make it possible for change to happen.
This approach makes sense to secular agnostics and atheists as well as religious people. The goal of clarity is not anti-God. You can very much believe in God and still want to know how God’s will manifests on an earthly plane. For instance, it is quite possible to believe both in God and in modern medicine.
The Proactive 12 Steps are for all people who want to adopt a mindful, proactive approach to change. You can read them on their own or in parallel with the original Steps as a way to gain a new perspective on the process.
The purpose of this website is to make the core material freely available to all. It features the steps, a discussion of each step (including printable PDFs), as well as other excerpts from the book.
There is additional material in the book, Proactive Twelve Steps: A Mindful Program For Lasting Change.
Start with Step 1…
… or with the list of alternative 12 steps.
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