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Addictions

Summary of Self-Empowering Support Groups

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D.

In this section, we have discussed the social support approach to addictions recovery. We identified two primary types of social support groups. These are self-empowering support groups, and support groups that rely on a "higher power." The later groups are usually termed 12-step support groups. Self-empowering support groups attribute power to people's abilities to overcome their own problems and difficulties. This includes addiction. In contrast, 12-step models suggest individuals are powerless over their addictions. Instead, a power "greater than oneself" (often referred to as God) is believed to be the power that "restores" people's "sanity." Although 12-step groups are indeed a type of social support group, their basic premise is one that relies upon a spiritual belief. Therefore, we address this type of social support group in the next section on Spiritual Approaches to Addiction Recovery.

 

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