How to Deal with Dogma in Traditional 12-Step Recovery

The One major, legitimate critique of traditional 12-step recovery that I hear a lot (and agree with) Dogma.


Which is basically some authority prescribing rules or structure, usually rigid or fixed rules, to a system.


You find that in AA, and for some people that’s a big turn off

I don’t like that, I’m a questioner, a doubter, I’m curious… and it doesn’t work well with me or a lot of people.


So how do you deal with this? You can choose not to participate, but maybe 12-step or traditional recovery is a huge part of what is going to help you change.


What people need is some clarity. The program itself is actively not dogmatic. It’s not hierarchical, there is nobody in charge. In order to be dogmatic, really, there has to be someone prescribing the rules.


People project dogma because they experience dogmatic personalities in Alcoholics Anonymous, and that makes sense. Often dogma comes from pain and brokenness. In response to my difficulty, I might create a whole crazy rule structure to how I have to be… …and if I go too far down that road, I might create a whole crazy rule structure about how you have to be.






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AUTHOR: Yeshaia Blakeney