How do the 12-step programs work for a non-Christian (Pagan, Agnostic, Atheist)?

How do the 12-step programs work for a non-Christian (Pagan, Agnostic, Atheist)?

I am starting a group for self-harmers and I am a Pagan myself. I want to approach the steps as they should be done, but I also want to be able to understand them and use them myself. Any help or suggestions would be hugely helpful. Thanks!

  1. Vlad III the ImpalerApr 21, 2010

    you want to harm yourself??

    Don’t…I’ll do it for you!!

  2. 5 year old at heartApr 21, 2010

    the 12 step program isn’t religiously oriented, if your talking about making it geared towards a certain religion, then get the fundamentals of the religion like paganism, have them do a ritual or something.

  3. The CarmeliteApr 21, 2010

    12 Steps can be adapted to any faith — or to no faith at all. The “higher power” could be Mt. Rushmore or anyone/thing else.

  4. Victor GApr 21, 2010

    Twelve steps doesn’t need to be religious, but appropriately you should give in to someone. Parents are okay, as are lovers; for most people it’s god but it doesn’t need to be so at all. hope this helps and hope you’re happy.

  5. D Aravah - JBCApr 21, 2010

    answer: one’s Higher Power could be a chair if that’s what works for a person. Usually, those who aren’t religious choose their home group as their Higher Power. Having to face their fellow AA members if they have a slip keep some sober until they have enough tools to grow beyond the white-knuckle phase of getting sober.

    Pagans are religious – they turn to their deities to aid in their struggles

  6. Eclectic HereticApr 21, 2010

    “The Carmelite” has it right. Get a basic book on 12-step programs, the “Big Book” of AA may be more than you need, but I’m sure any bookstore would have others (check the used bookstores, they have lots of 12-step stuff and it costs less). Anyhow, I was told once in an AA meeting that “Higher Power” could mean your light bulb if that worked for you. The definition of Higher Power is totally optional to the individual.
    And good luck to you! Self-harmers have serious self-worth issues that may (or may not) be beyond what the 12-step programs can handle.

  7. raysnyApr 21, 2010

    Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t work for most people, it is designed specifically for lapsed Christians.

    The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment:
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html

    What works?:
    http://www.behaviortherapy.com/whatworks.htm

    If you have your heart set on pagan AA, Starhawk is an outspoken pagan who promotes pagan AA. I don’t know which of her books to recommend, but you could probably poke around on the internet and find some of her work.

    Check out “Pagans In Recovery” on wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagans_In_Recovery
    there are some links at the bottom of the article that you might find useful.

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