DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

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davep54
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DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by davep54 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:13 am

'The Sober Truth", a book (2014)by Dr Dodes

A psychologist friend of mine put the following post up on FB:‘It's not only that AA has a 5 to 10 percent success rate; if it was successful and was neutral the rest of the time, we'd say OK. But it's harmful to the 90 percent who don't do well. And it's harmful for several important reasons. One of them is that everyone believes that AA is the right treatment. AA is never wrong, according to AA. If you fail in AA, it's you that's failed.’

So I bought the book to see what Dr Dodes had to say. First of all he is/was selling a book (one of a number critiquing AA) and a online counselling course via the Web and FB so he is hardly impartial. I find this attitude towards "AA doesn't work" common amongst psychologists in private practice, probably because AA is free and it takes paying patients away from their (often costly) practice rooms.

Dr Dodes' citations supporting his stated evidence are sparse and he makes many statements not supported by cited evidence.

The above post is very selective as the book has a chapter on why AA works.

Does anyone want a copy of this book? I won't read it again.

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by avaneesh912 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:48 am

Its a complex disease. Even some of those in recovery are in AA dont have complete understanding of the concepts, let alone those from outside. My observation is there are lot of hard drinkers who were just asked to go to AA wake up one day that they have wasted many years in AA while they could have just managed life with mild therapy cause lot of damage to the fellowship.

Whenever I see critics of any subject, I only think of the scenes from the movie "history of the world" by mel brookes. While the first few cavemen rejoice their art on the wall, there comes couple of critics and pee over that.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by rjr34036 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:28 am

davep54 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:13 am
'The Sober Truth", a book (2014)by Dr Dodes

A psychologist friend of mine put the following post up on FB:‘It's not only that AA has a 5 to 10 percent success rate; if it was successful and was neutral the rest of the time, we'd say OK. But it's harmful to the 90 percent who don't do well. And it's harmful for several important reasons. One of them is that everyone believes that AA is the right treatment. AA is never wrong, according to AA. If you fail in AA, it's you that's failed.’
I think the world of misunderstanding and ignorance may apply here. 10 percent of millions is still quite a few people. I think the mistake when we point out those that fail based on what A.A. and its members doing believe that the human has more power than we actually do. I believe what it says when they talk about the alcoholic beyond human aid. So if I’m beyond human aid, and there’s nothing a man can do to save me, and it’s implied that when I fail it’s the fellowships fault - that doesn’t equate. I think strategies can be improved when working with others, but I’ve seen all types of people taken various ways through the work, who recovered if they followed the simple rules. Maybe they didn’t come out with as much knowledge, or were a little mixed up on tradition, or even about this disease. But it seems to me, and though my experience is limited (I’m only 2.5 years sober), that regardless of how things are done one can still recover if they make a decision and take action. If I put all my faith in man and the fellowship (lowercase f), I’d be a sad sad member of AA.
ReAnneR

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by Layne » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:01 am

All I know is that AA is the only thing that opened the door of recovery for me. Because of that, that is what I share. I don't believe that AA is the only way, but I know what it has done for me. To naysayers, I just relate my experience and let them do what they want with the information.

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by Daelynn » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:45 am

I've never had a therapist, or read any recovery material from another program that directly contradicted anything in AA. And I think the reason is that Bill and Bob based their ideas on actual observations of how alcoholics act and talk and think, and the predictable patterns that occur over the course of their drinking. For example, ideas like 'abstinence is ultimately easier than moderation' or how slips can reawaken craving, is right out of AA, and yet is also what modern neuroscience says about addiction as all. Yes, there is the HP part of the AA, but no recovery material ever told me not to believe God , and usually suggest some spiritual practice or volunteering to stop focusing so much on ourselves. When I read other recovery stuff, I'm impressed that The Big Book, written in 1935, holds up so well.

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by Spirit Flower » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:32 pm

Alot of people go to AA who do not want it. These people should not be counted in statistics because they never intended to get sober. They were mostly there to get out of jail or get their spouse to stay around.

AA forward in the Big Book says, of those who really try, only 50% make it the first time, 25% after some time, the last 25% show improvement. These are old statistics.

If someone doesn't want AA, thats fine with us.
...a score card reading zero...

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by davep54 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:30 am

Spirit Flower wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:32 pm
Alot of people go to AA who do not want it. These people should not be counted in statistics because they never intended to get sober. They were mostly there to get out of jail or get their spouse to stay around.

AA forward in the Big Book says, of those who really try, only 50% make it the first time, 25% after some time, the last 25% show improvement. These are old statistics.

If someone doesn't want AA, thats fine with us.
Spirit Flower I came to AA to get my spouse to stay around and stayed that way for quite a while. She never came back but I've been sober since my first meeting, over 31 years now. P.S. I've been with my current wife, who I met in AA, for over 29 years.

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by Brock » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:11 am

She never came back but I've been sober since my first meeting, over 31 years now.
That’s fine, but the point Spirit made is still valid, many use AA for the ‘wrong’ reason, and are counted among the unsuccessful percentage when they leave. I think a good part of the reason might be this emphasis some people make on AA being a ‘support group,’ yes, it helps support us when we are new, and finding our way through the steps, but it is not a place to come and go boo hoo hoo, I had such an awful day.
I find this attitude towards "AA doesn't work" common amongst psychologists in private practice, probably because AA is free and it takes paying patients away from their (often costly) practice rooms.
Yes, and it seems almost fashionable to have a shrink, can’t afford one, go down to the AA ‘support group,’ it’s free. There we have some people talking about their daily struggles, instead of telling the nervous newcomer how to get well.

Fortunately, we also have many fine recovered alcoholics, everyone should look for meetings where these folks are, they speak about the steps, and you will find the success rate at those meetings very high indeed.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by davep54 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:50 pm

"That’s fine, but the point Spirit made is still valid, many use AA for the ‘wrong’ reason, and are counted among the unsuccessful percentage when they leave. I think a good part of the reason might be this emphasis some people make on AA being a ‘support group,’ yes, it helps support us when we are new, and finding our way through the steps, but it is not a place to come and go boo hoo hoo, I had such an awful day".

I don't think there's a wrong way to come into AA, I'm not God so I don't know the outcome. The BB describes the non alcoholic (p.39) who can stop or moderate - I think some first timers fit this category and don't come back, good luck to them I say. And let's not forget that Bill said there are many ways to get and stay sober, not just AA. Having worked as an alcohol counsellor for over 25 years I can honestly say that many people get sober without AA.

I also think it IS a place to go boo hoo hoo, although the BB suggests we discuss in a general way what it's like now myself and many others appreciate the opportunity to just vent from the floor occasionally. That release is powerful stuff and is often an alternative to drinking, especially before the person gets a sponsor to share specific stuff with. Personally I'm not keen on drunkalogs though

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by rjr34036 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:54 pm

Brock wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:11 am
I think a good part of the reason might be this emphasis some people make on AA being a ‘support group,’ yes, it helps support us when we are new, and finding our way through the steps, but it is not a place to come and go boo hoo hoo, I had such an awful day.
Funny you say that. Before I got to AA, that exactly what I thought it was all about! Ha! The movies make us look like we’re sad, sorry and struggling!
ReAnneR

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by MyNameIsBetsy » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:03 pm

he is/was selling a book (one of a number critiquing AA) and a online counseling course via the Web and FB so he is hardly impartial.
Dave, You've posted a thought provoking start to this discussion thread. The authors of The Sober Truth are selling a program, which may - or may not - work really well for some folks. There are other available programs. Some are commercial and some are faith based. Some are specifically for folks who cannot or will not trust in an HP.

It would be rather arrogant of us to claim we have sole possession of the way to sobriety. We don't. What we have is a program that has worked for millions of alcoholics world-wide, for over eight decades. Many, many, many are leading sober lives today because of this life saving program. It may not be for everyone, but it is working for me.

AA showed this alcoholic how to put down the drink and leave it down, one day at a time. I did what AA suggested. Got a sponsor. Worked the steps. Reconciled with my God. Took inventory. Made amends. Did the deal. Got the results.

And I am grateful.

Betsy

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by avaneesh912 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:18 am

I remember a guy named Scott who had visited us, his first AA meeting at the correction facility, he had floundered from one correction facility to another past 14 years, interestingly he never saw signs for a AA meetings in those facilities. I am not sure its true but its possible. But then we handed him the only copy of the big book we had then, a third edition one. He started reading "5 times loser wins" story and the next 2-3 meetings he would just cry and then he stabilized to get his inventory done in next couple of weeks and about 3 months later, we were told he was released from the facility. I always think of that person, we saw the transformation just in few months and how excited he got, hope he found a decent living outside the prison system and stays connected. Never heard from him again.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by D'oh » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:10 am

The Local Groups, all received a Letter about 1 year ago. It was from the local LGBQT Community, and stated "A member of the LGBQT, did not feel Comfortable or Welcomed at their first Meeting and so on. Stating AA (Locally was Prejudice)

Unbelievable! I have never met someone Comfortable. All Males and Females included.

No one walks through the Doors of AA by accident. Weather they are trying to save a Family, Job, or their selves, that's the Message at first. Bring the Body, the Mind will follow.

How can Statistics Measure that?

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by tomsteve » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:13 pm

davep54 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:13 am
'The Sober Truth", a book (2014)by Dr Dodes

A psychologist friend of mine put the following post up on FB:‘It's not only that AA has a 5 to 10 percent success rate; if it was successful and was neutral the rest of the time, we'd say OK. But it's harmful to the 90 percent who don't do well.
there in lies the problem-blaming AA for the actions of the alcoholic.
i hope this dude and his program,cure, blahblahblah puts responsibility for recovery where it belongs- on the alcoholic. it they find aa and its not for them, then they can find something that does work. afteral, aa says it isnt for everyone and the program was originally for a specific type of alcoholic, which apparently i was one of them.

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Re: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT CRITICISM OF AA!

Post by beginningagain7 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:27 am

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS
Some day we hope that Alcoholics Anonymous will help the public to a better realization of the gravity of the alcoholic problem, but we shall be of little use if our attitude is one of bitterness or hostility. Drinkers will not stand for it.
After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a symbol. Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We have to!
p. 103

Over the years there has been people criticizing A.A.. But A.A. has survived those criticisms mainly because we will not let bitterness or hostility let us move away from our main goal, which it help those who want sobriety. And we do not look at reaching a lot of people that want recovery. We do it my the one person at a time. And when we help that one person then we are successful and then move on to the next. And then you find out just by helping that one person we end up helping many more.

I do not mind reading criticism about A.A., mainly because it brings a smile to my face. I feel that they are jealous of the fact that A.A. was the first recovery group that has been acceptable in it's recovery methods. Mainly because the 12 Steps are only a suggestion, not a have to do. I have not known an alcoholic that likes to be told that he or she has to do them. We let them make the choice. We do not tell them that they have to believe in God, but to chose a Higher Power that they can relate to. Which opens the door for those who are agnostics or atheists.

Many less desperate alcoholics tried A.A., but did not succeed because they could not make the admission of hopelessness.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.23

And that is the true reason that people cannot get recovery. For they are not willing to make the admission of hopelessness. So they look at other methods of dealing with alcohol and their attempt to stop or to be an ordinary drinker. It only is when the realize that they are hopeless in their attempts to stop drinking, and the idea that they could become an ordinary drinker is not possible.

That's my two cents worth.

Have a good day,
Beginningagain4
John T.

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