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Video:Overview of Alcoholics Anonymous

with Ingrid Mathieu, PhD

Alcoholics Anonymous is a successful self-help program to help alcoholics lose their habit and become a happier person. Watch this About.com video to learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous and the basics of the program.See Transcript

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Transcript:Overview of Alcoholics Anonymous

Hello my name is Dr. Ingrid Mathieu. I am a clinical psychologist and today we'll be discussing an overview of Alcoholics Anonymous.

How Alcoholics Anonymous Started

Since Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), was founded in 1935, it has become the most influential self-help organization in the world. In 2007, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services reported over 2,000,000 members worldwide.

The program of Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Bill W. and Dr. Bob. – two alcoholics who found recovery by sharing their experience, strength and hope with one another and carrying the message to other suffering alcoholics.

The program is influenced by prominent figures in psychology such as William James and Carl Jung, as well as by the Oxford Group - a Christian evangelical movement of the time.

As stated in AA literature, “AA’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”

The Basics of Alcoholics Anonymous:

  • The fellowship, where self-help is expanded to include the notion of mutual help.
  • The 12-Step Group, or the “organizational body” of AA which includes service positions for AA members to ensure that the group stay afloat and  autonomous.
  • Twelve step meetings, where members gather together to share their experience, strength, and hope
  • Working a program, which is the individual's process of attending meetings, working the steps, and applying spiritual principles to everyday life.
  • And abstinence, which is not taking a drink or a drug or any other mood or mind altering drug, one day at a time.

This is Dr. Ingrid Mathieu and we've been discussing an overview of Alcoholics Anonymous for About.com. Thank you for watching.

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