Earlier this week, an article from The Atlantic titled “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous” was widely read and discussed. It started a vigorous debate.
Two articles on the reaction:
The High Functioning Alcoholic from Psychology Today
Spirituality vs. Science from the Huffington Post
A blog reaction:
And a TV clip:
Does AA Really Work? from MSNBC. This clip had two women discuss it. I have to say, especially for TV (and cable tv, no less), that the discussion was equal and measured. No shouting or namecalling or casual dismissing.
A few thoughts of mine:
(1) Too many treatment programs rely too much on the 12-Step Model.
(2) Those that do rely on the 12-Step Model tend to discount medication and a number of behavioral therapies that have strong outcomes (and data to back it up).
(3) I have personally and professionally seen AA be wildly successful for thousands of individuals.
(4) I agree that AA’s strongest aspect is the power of the group. The creation of a social network and a collection of some inspirational role models.
(5) In summation, AA is a wonderful program that helps lots of people. Treatment programs need to offer more than just AA though.