Life Process Program Blog
Articles relating to Non-12 Steps.
Journaling Your way to Recovery: A Guide
The healing power of words is profound. That’s why writing in a journal is a powerful self-help tool. Journaling is the process of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Doing so can help you reflect on the goings...read more
Building Support Systems Outside AA
AA has been around a long time (since 1935 — the first edition of the Big Book was produced in 1939). It and its 12 steps have been the dominant approach to alcoholism and addiction in America for at...read more
Why a Holistic Approach Is Key to Overcoming Addiction
What Addiction and Recovery Are Addiction isn’t an outside force coming in to “capture” your life, like an infection. You can’t get a medication to “conquer” or to defeat it. Addiction arises due to an imbalance in your life....read more
Therapy and Non-Therapy Options for the Emotionally Distressed (It ain’t brain science!)
The New Yorker designated its July 10-16 edition as “The Therapy Issue.” It pointed out a strange anomaly for our time. We are dedicated to mental health treatments: “If our current moment has a defining impulse, it’s the drive...read more
Exploring Non 12-Step Addiction Therapy Options That are Affordable and Effective
Cognitive-behavioral therapy. The entire class of non-medical, non disease treatments is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT grew out of behavior therapy, which initially consisted of rewarding approved behaviors and punishing undesired ones. It was opposed to Freudian or...read more
Curing Mental Illness Through Life Engagement: The Jane Pauley Story
While other mass media hosts rose, fell, retired, and fizzled, one modest woman pursued a successful career for a half century while raising a family despite her “illness”. Jane Pauley has several life stories. She was a monument of...read more
“Dysphoria”: The concept that helped one man overcome addiction
An LPP client asked a question about something that he has been pondering: “Society seems to acknowledge the danger of prolonged depression and the link to addictive behavior. But what about this word dysphoria? Is it something at the...read more
Can I Be My Best Self If I’m Actively Using Drugs?
Last week, a podcast listener emailed us with such an interesting question that we wanted to share the question and our answer with you. Listen to our answer in this video, or read our exchange below. Question: I feel...read more
10 Guiding Principles for Maturity and “Natural Recovery”
The idea of addiction as inevitably a lifetime burden is a myth. In fact, most people resolve addictions over time and most do so without professional or support-group help. We know this because the American government’s own data tells...read more
Proceed with Caution: The Pandemic and Harm Reduction
We are in a time of choices and balancing acts. As the Coronavirus lingers, we face difficult choices. So medical officials advise us to proceed with caution. Meanwhile, the ubiquitous protests in the U.S. and elsewhere following the execution-style...read more
Is Coronavirus the Death of AA?
AA may be among the victims of the modern plague. At least if musician Laurie Wright is any example. For Wright, “AA meetings were my saving grace, by going to them every day.” And now? “We do the meetings...read more
Beating Addiction through Self-Help – An Alternative to AA
In a famous research piece, Barry Tuchfeld interviewed people who strove to lick a drinking problem on their own. These individuals rejected the value of AA and treatment in their lives. Here are some of the statements made by...read more
Stanton Peele & Jim Breslo (Hidden Truth Podcast): How to Fight Forced Participation in AA and NA
Stanton Peele: Author of Resisting 12-Step Coercion: How to Fight Forced Participation in AA and NA. One of the country’s foremost experts on addiction joins Jim Breslo (Hidden Truth Podcast) to explain that we focus too much on the...read more
Harm Reduction – Ask Stanton
Can I ever get off methadone? How? Is harm reduction therapy too risky for a therapist to try? What do you think of my individualized harm reduction treatment? Can I ever get off methadone? Can I get wasted once...read more
I read your book and quit drinking, then became a social drinker!
Dear Dr. Peele, I went through a somewhat nasty divorce in 1990, along with getting laid off from my job. I realized that I had a drinking problem, and I attempted to moderate my drinking. I was somewhat successful,...read more
So whats the benefit in quitting an addiction?
If motivation is the force that drives you to act, then rewards are what you gain from that activity. People quit their addictions when they begin to get more rewards for living without the addiction than they got from...read more
Self-manage your ‘addiction’ with the Life Process Program
The disease model of addiction does more harm than good because it does not give people enough credit for their resilience and capacity to change. I t underestimates people’s ability to figure out what is good for them and...read more
Why It Doesn’t Make Sense To Call Addiction A Disease
We frequently hear from people who say: “I drink too much sometimes, but I don’t think I’m an alcoholic. And I don’t want to stand up and talk about myself in front of a group. Is there any other...read more
Why Liberals Love the Disease Theory of Addiction, by a Liberal Who Hates It
Because they can’t draw unfavorable inferences about life in poor ghettos or poor rural communities (to which they have little exposure), liberals are drawn to the belief that drugs cause addiction. I couldn’t disagree more. But as a card-carrying...read more
Like Bad Drug Laws, the Disease Theory of Addiction Ruins Lives: We Must Target Both
Disease Theory of Addiction The disease theory of addiction underpins punitive and abhorrent drug policies—but in fact, its negative impact is evenworse than this. Recently, two notables on an addiction theory list to which I used to belong debated...read more
Addiction Is Always There – How To Keep From Drowning In It
We are recognizing that addiction is a regular part of life, and it scares the hell out of us. When I published Love and Addiction with Archie Brodsky in 1975, we received catcalls from my fellow faculty members at...read more
Why We’re Losing the Battle with Addiction
When I first started looking seriously at addiction in the late 60s, people would ask why I was interested in it. “We already know everything about addiction,” one student told me. My answer to him was that I wanted...read more
What Is the Purpose of an Addiction Intervention Treatment?
In the United States today, our goal is to shunt the troubled/addicted individual out of the home and into treatment. By itself, that doesn’t work. What is the purpose of an intervention? In the United States, members of...read more
Addiction Expert Stanton Peele on AA Alternatives
My name is Stanton, and I am not an alcoholic. But I can help. At one point, I spent quite a bit of time on the road, giving workshops and making presentations to audiences of counsellors and treatment program...read more
Online Addiction Treatment Can Work – Effective, Affordable & Anonymous Alternative to AA
At a time when diagnoses are set to increase, I’m working to establish online addiction treatment. Some doubt the value of Internet programs, but their reach is unparalleled and evidence suggests they can work. We are about to witness...read more
Is Addiction a Disease?
Drug addiction is not caused by the effects of drugs alone. After decades of growing acceptance, the concept that addiction is a medical disease (more exactly, a chronic brain disease) is suddenly being linked to the drug war—and being...read more
Don’t Call Yourself An Addict
It was with great pleasure that I read Meghan Ralston, of the Drug Policy Alliance’s, piece in the Huffington Post, entitled, “I’m Breaking Up with the Word Addict,” in which she wrote: When we do feel the need to...read more
Addiction is not a Disease – there are alternatives to AA
The Truth About Addiction and Recovery Why It Doesn’t Make Sense To Call Addiction A “Disease” We frequently hear from people who say: “I drink too much sometimes, but I don’t think I’m an alcoholic. And I don’t want...read more
Change is Natural
Writing to SMART Recovery counselors and group leaders, Stanton reminds them that recovery is a natural process, one assisted by counselors and support groups, or reinstated when a person goes in the wrong direction. When presenting this view, Stanton...read more
If Gambling, Games, and Sex are Addictive, What is Addiction?
Gambling Addiction DSM 5’s announcement that the psychiatric diagnostic manual will, for the first time, call something addictive that doesn’t involve substance abuse — gambling — has opened the floodgates. It is intriguing to consider how gambling was placed in this...read more
My whole family is in AA
Dear Dr. Peele: My name is , and recently I had the great fortune of stumbling across your web-page. Wow! What a life-changing event that has turned out to be! I will not bore you with a comprehensive...read more
Inside Alcoholics Anonymous
On June 12, the A&E Television Network ran one of its investigative reports entitled, “Inside Alcoholics Anonymous.” Although promoed as including “leading national health authorities and the organization’s outspoken critics. . . answer questions never before asked,” it was...read more
Recovering from an All-or-Nothing Approach to Alcohol
Psychology Today, September/October 1996, pp. 35-43, 68-70 (material added not present in original article) American attitudes toward alcohol are paradoxical: we focus almost exclusively on abstinence, yet we frequently drink to excess. Every year $2 billion is spent advertising...read more
Will the Internet Encourage or Combat Addiction?
What is the future of addiction and the Internet — will more people be locked in rooms alone communicating wholly electronically, increasingly with entities that may not actually be human? A European group has created an international effort to...read more
Is Sex Really Addictive?
Stanton reviews a new medical tome on sexual addiction, by psychoanalyst Aviel Goodman. Yes, people become addicted to sex; no, it is not a medical disease best treated by the 12 steps. Contemporary Psychology, 44:154-156, 1999 Review of Sexual Addiction:...read more
The Persistent, Dangerous Myth of Heroin Overdose
Heroin overdose is almost nonexistent. Rather, heroin users who concurrently take tranquilizers, alcohol, and cocaine are those at risk for sudden death. But the promotion of the idea of heroin overdose (seen most recently in the well-off Texas suburb...read more
Treating Alcoholism and Other Addictions
Private treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse expanded greatly beginning in the late 1970s. Between 1978 and 1984, the number of beds in private alcoholism treatment centers more than quadrupled. In the ’80s, hospitalization of adolescents in private psychiatric...read more