The Higher Power Problem

The 12-step (AA, NA) philosophy includes a tricky concept for some, the idea of a “Higher Power”.

If people have developed a problem such that they cannot control their own use of alcohol or drugs, so that they are in effect disempowered by their addiction, what effect might it have to suggest to them that they should believe in the ability of a “Higher Power” to help them overcome their problems?

Is it not more useful to suggest, and encourage them to believe in their own power again? From this they can work at ways to develop that inner power, so that they have the ability to take back control of their own actions and lives.

Many alcoholics are already deeply ashamed of their actions, their self-esteem is in shreds. Rebuilding that confidence in the Self is vital. Not to the point of arrogance or self-centredness obviously, because those extremes are themselves often at the root of many addiction problems. Achieving a balanced personality is the goal.


  1. martin 17 December, 2013 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Real good…!!? Take God out of the equation is not what one person or the people of this world needs. Bring back the God as we Know Him – the One, the Only, … I thought ‘Bright Eye Counselling’ might be something worth while. Secular…………….

  2. gypsygrl 26 June, 2009 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    This article describes exactly why I haven’t sought out help because I am afraid of entering into this trap. It seems and has always has seemed silly to tell someone to control their drinking but then tell them they have no control over it. Makes you kinda wonder what relapse statistics for those 12 step programs are.

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