chapter  11
6 Pages

Alcoholics Anonymous, Shame, and Guilt

Alcoholics Anonymous is over sixty years old. Founded at a time when alcoholics were so disdained that most hospitals would not even treat them, this fellowship of peers has maintained its strength in the current era of professional involvement and has spun off likeminded groups including Narcotics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous offers, for some, a good chance to belong to something greater than them. Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that recovering persons will feel much less guilt when they have both corrected past mistakes and made a commitment to living a positive and responsible life during sobriety. An organization designed for chemically dependent persons that lasts any time at all must help those persons heal the pain of excessive shame and maladaptive guilt. Persons who become willing to help others continue to heal their shame and guilt by doing so, by combating any residual tendencies to withdraw in shame, or to manipulate others for selfish purposes.