The Summit Wellness Group’s non-12 step-based rehab program places an emphasis on healing our clients through a combination of therapy, holistic treatments, mindfulness, and connection with others.
We aren’t opposed to the 12 steps nor do we discourage our clients from participating in 12 step fellowships. We regularly help connect those interested in 12 step groups to local meetings and have 12 step program members on staff. However, the core healing process that occurs in our Georgia-based non-12-step rehab program is done with a clinical, scientific, and spiritual approach that is far more evidence-based and individualized than any one fellowship or support program.
Our Non 12-Step Rehab Treatment Program
The Summit Wellness Group’s non 12 step rehab approach features the following core treatment components:
- Individualized Care. We have very low staff to client ratios in order to insure we are able to give every person who walks through our door the best possible care. One of the biggest issues with making the 12 steps a mandatory part of the treatment experience is that they simply are not a one size fits all solution for everybody. We leave the pro 12 step and non 12 step debate up to others, focusing on what works best for each individual.
- Psychiatric Care. We reject the psychiatric stigma associated with safe, non-addictive psychiatric medications that is sometimes emphasized in 12 step rehab programs. Our psychiatrist will work with you to diagnose and treat any co-occurring disorders, assist in managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings with psychiatric medications.
- Group Therapy. Small group therapy breakouts that emphasize the entire group’s participation. Our groups are led by trained professionals on a variety of topics related to addiction, codependency, mindfulness and more. They include activities designed to foster mutual support, accountability, and the sharing of ideas with fellow patients.
- Evidence-Based Therapies (EBT). Therapies which have been scientifically proven to produce positive results are utilized. Our non 12 step rehab program incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET). All of our therapists are Masters level clinicians or above, with different areas of expertice.
- Holistic Therapies. Our holistic programs emphasize mindfulness and wellness. They help to combat the symptoms of co-occurring disorders and post acute withdrawal syndrome. Current holistic therapies offered at The Summit Wellness Group include yoga, art therapy, chiropractic care, massage, adventure therapy and more.
- Aftercare. We allow clients to participate in OP (Outpatient) care long term and encourage participation in our alumni program. Additionally we encourage clients to connect with others in recovery during their time in our non 12 step rehab.
Non 12-Step Rehab Aftercare Programs
Addiction is very much a disease of isolation. Sustainable sobriety requires connecting with other people who are sober. Once clients are nearing completion of our non 12 step rehab programming, we encourage them strongly to participate in one of the following groups.
SMART Recovery. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training and was known as the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network (ADASHN) until 1994. A secular program with great value placed on empowerment and self-reliance, SMART employs a system known as the Four-Point Program, focusing on what its members deem the four most important aspects of recovery: Building Motivation, Coping with Urges, Problem Solving, and Lifestyle Balance. Techniques of CBT, MET and rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) are utilized as well as those backed by any newly released scientific data. Numerous online resources are available to members in addition to face-to-face meetings in the U.S. and many other countries.
Recovery Dharma and Refuge Recovery. Buddhist-inspired programs which are non-theistic yet spiritual in nature and are aimed at addressing and eliminating personal suffering through Buddhist teachings, meditation and the practice of universal compassion.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS). Also known as Save Our Selves, SOS is a network of recovery groups which operate autonomously of one another. Sobriety and mutual support for attainment of this goal are the program’s two highest priorities. The basic text for SOS is known as the Suggested Guidelines for Sobriety, which emphasize rational, non-spiritual decision-making and encourage members to adhere to a daily Cycle of Sobriety involving acknowledgment of addiction, acceptance of addictions, and prioritization of sobriety maintenance.
LifeRing Secular Recovery. An offshoot of SOS, LifeRing’s principles are known as the 3-S Philosophy: Sobriety, Secularity, and Self empowerment. CBT plays strongly into LifeRing’s approach to sobriety, as do the theories of a number of modern psychology. Similar to SOS and SMART, both face-to-face and online meetings are offered. Beyond 3-S, members are encouraged to tailor their own recovery programs to their own particular needs and may borrow ideas and methods from other programs, including those of a 12-step nature. Many members utilize a text known as Recovery By Choice: A Workbook as the basis for customizing their own individual recovery plans.
Women For Sobriety (WFS). A secular, female-only recovery organization focusing on the “New Life” program which draws heavily from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (especially his essay, Self-Reliance) and the Unity Movement of New Thought.
Rational Recovery. A commercial program which largely forgoes meetings and group therapy in favor of the tailoring of an individual program utilizing books and other materials offered for modest fees and also available online. The cornerstones of Rational Recovery are the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) loosely outlined in its materials as well as the philosophy that the addiction problem is caused by the addict’s paradoxical and contradictory desires to abstain yet continue using.
12 Step Based vs. Non-12-Step Treatment Programs
It is common knowledge within the recovery community that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most well-attended recovery program. Although it is impossible to accurately track the number of members of AA, a 2019 report by its General Service Office confirmed an active membership of over 2.1 million worldwide, with more than 1.3 million in the U.S. alone (note that these figures do not include the vast number of AA members who have never committed to being part of an individual AA group).
Originally introduced in the late 1930s, AA’s 12-step model has since been adopted by more than 200 organizations and fellowships as the centerpiece in its members’ endeavors to break addictions to various substances and/or habits, such as sexual compulsion, overeating and gambling. As popular and effective as this model has proven to be, numerous other programs have been introduced in the last few decades which have managed to gain significant traction and offer similar success among members attempting to become clean and sober from drugs and alcohol.
Principles of 12-Step Treatment Programs
The 12-step model is a structured set of guidelines and principles to be adhered to in a rigorous course of action to recover from addiction or other forms of undesirable and destructive compulsion or behavior. With the assistance and counsel of an experienced sponsor or mentor, “12-steppers” ideally accomplish the following milestones with little to no deviation from the indicated order:
- Admission of powerless over one’s addiction or compulsion and the unmanageability of current circumstances;
- Acknowledgment of, and surrender to, a higher power that may provide strength and guidance;
- A thorough examination and listing of past transgressions resulting in the illumination of one’s defects of character;
- Planning and execution of the making of amends for these transgressions;
- Daily attempts at furthering a relationship with one’s higher power through prayer and meditation;
- Dedication to living life according to a newly revamped code of morals and ethics;
- Commitment to the assistance of others suffering from the same affliction.
In addition to working the steps and adhering to principles such as honesty, perseverance and brotherly love, members of 12-step programs generally have the greatest success in achieving and maintaining recovery when they are also actively engaged in (a) service commitments to the program and/or to portions thereof; (b) building relationships with other members for the sake of accountability and mutual support; and (c) formal or informal activities of a spiritual nature.
Characteristics of Non-12-Step Treatment Programs
Like their 12-step counterparts, non 12-Step treatment programs generally stress the importance of peer support but place less emphasis on the higher power concept prized by most 12-Step organizations.
A different set of principles is usually emphasized, which generally include motivation (utilizing the negative effects of substance abuse as incentive to change), personal responsibility (accepting that accomplishing and maintaining recovery is one’s own power and no one else’s) and balance (continued recovery as the result of optimal stability and equilibrium in life created by the right formula of individual health and wellness activities as well as the participation in peer support activities and meetings).
Whereas in 12-step programs the focus is on collective participation and spirituality, in non 12-step programs it tends to be more on self-reliance. Additionally, many non 12-step programs often modify their approach to recovery in light of new scientific findings, whereas the 12-step model has remained static since its debut more than 80 years ago. Many, but not all, non 12-step programs and philosophies view addiction and substance abuse more as voluntary behaviors than as a disease.