WILLIAM L. WHITE Pro AA Professional writes about Safety in AA and The 13th Step.

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I never thought I would see the day where my film was talked about by a pro AA guy, William White.  But here it is.


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30 thoughts on “WILLIAM L. WHITE Pro AA Professional writes about Safety in AA and The 13th Step.

  1. I looked at his site and didn’t think it was particularly Pro AA.
    This guy appears to be very much interested in the history and evolution of addiction treatment.
    I go to AA and am not necessarily a proponent.
    The steps do not apply to me, I have had to adapt my own version of the program to make it effective for me.
    Tradition One; The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking and the ability to ignore comments from other members about how I’m doing it wrong and not correct them.
    Step One; Admit that when I drink my consciousness is damaged and my judgement is impaired. This can cause drinking problems.
    Step Two; Seek education, Philosophy, Consciousness, well being. Read inspirational books and clinical manuals such as DSM.
    Step Three; Examine my nature (instinct etc), then through real education, therapy, etc. Examine the possibilities regarding the nature of my problems, especially family of origin issues where I failed to be self reliant and definite about my conduct.
    Step Four; Develop new habits through conscious practice.
    Step Five; Integrate into the community.
    Step Six; Do real community service outside of recovery.
    Step Seven; Be Better! Keep it up! Maintain a positive attitude! Don’t allow branding “alcoholic, addict, etc”

    • William White is pivotal in the research alongside Moos and John F Kelly amongst others on 12 step facilitation and other approaches to SUD and is widely published in many academic journals around addiction etc. That is why it is important that the people who are researching the field are looking at this as something relevant and is timely. Trust me aftercare is so important both from a client point of view, service, evidence base and legally.

      Nice one on your personalised approach there anon very creative and very person centred..good stuff 🙂

    • ANON_ you still have not answered my question_ 🙂 ….why don’t you go to SMART Recovery meetings instead and or use Hams Harm Reduction ?

        • Hi M! 🙂
          I thought I answered, I’ll try to do it more completely here.
          “why don’t you go to SMART Recovery meetings instead and or use Hams Harm Reduction”
          My reasons are based on my personal beliefs.
          -Habit; I did have over a decade of abstinence in AA. That is a habit. It is easier for me to build on an existing habit of ABSTINENCE rather than to formulate and enact a new one.
          -Social Looseness; It is easy for me to make fast fun friends in AA.
          -Variety of coping situations; Its like weight lifting for social interaction. I encounter and cope with many extreme personalities and get stronger socially.
          -Basis in New Thought Movement; I deeply believe that my thoughts become things. AA’s roots in new thought bring up many points worth further study for me in listening to others share.
          -HAMS; Hams is primarily a moderation program, it helped me to moderate while that was my goal.
          SMART; I am familiar with the group and have no real knowledge of what they do.
          Start a new Group?
          ” I guess you could create another program”
          My step 6&7…
          Step Six; Do real community service outside of recovery.
          Step Seven; Be Better! Keep it up! Maintain a positive attitude! Don’t allow branding “alcoholic, addict, etc”
          My definite plan is not a program. It is just for me. It is fluid and could change before I hit “Post Comment”
          The only definite requirement I have for myself is that I take steps to maintain a positive attitude.

      • Thinker,

        Another contradiction; “keep thinking for yourself, just be careful with new thoughts. I think you should start that new group (Non-alcoholics Magnanimous.) together.

        Magnanimous huh! I have confidence in myself most of the time but I would not call myself Magnanimous. Seems a bit superior. So now your non alcoholics in this new group? Too curious how you would label yourselves in this new group.

  2. Thinking is not the enemy, not thinking is; especially not thinking while I go outside of myself looking for answers.
    Failure and negativity are low goals, I can easily succeed in reaching them every time.
    This is why its easy to have a negative attitude; it protects me from your criticism. If I set out to fail I don’t risk conformity to the herd instinct and remain part of the group. This is all powerful in human interaction, approval.

  3. Ive been reading Anon’s comments and my heading spinning. I tried to understand why he is sharing on this blog. Frankly I view his comments as preaching. Sounds like AA is the best place for him to interact and make friends.

    I will never read his comments again.

  4. Sue- I am not sure what to make of it. The writing we see here is very different from the blogger who called themselves anon- a few years back.

    So with that I will say to ANON- why are you still here?

    You like AA and its people. You don’t like SMART because you have a “habit” of going to AA— what does that mean….

    Maybe you aught to go to your AA and start your own blog — maybe call it-

    GOING BACK to AA….just a reminder this is still a Leaving AA blog.

    • Anon sounds like a very confused person; talks in circles and full of contradictions. Sounds like a stepper to me and someone who should be ignored.

    • It is important not to lose sight of what the original thread subject rather than entering into mental masturbation etc etc we could be here all day otherwise. Anon what do you think about Whites opinion on safeguarding and aftercare when, for want of a word, “referring” to 12 step groups post rehab discharge?

      • I think it would be unfair to the rehab patient to be given an incomplete set of tools upon discharge. Offering only AA is not only weak and lazy, its potentially dangerous. Anyone can see all the options this site offers on the home page side bar. A good rehab would educate their patient on all the potential methods to reduce harm, moderate, and abstain. They would explore religious, scientific, spiritual and purely human beliefs. They would seek individual passion through literature and education as well as spiritual pursuits. The student would become the teacher. They would have participants from many disciplines and philosophies; some would be PhD’s, some would be wearing Tie Dye and stink of patchouli oil. Ethics would be the constitution, not profits.
        The approach would be organized, definite and educationally outlined. I cant make you better, yet I can educate you so that you can make you better.

        • Awesome post and truly good insight into not only am holistic approach but also the individual as expert in there choices. Theres a good radio blog on here about the goodman approach that also recognises these values maybe have a listen if you haven’t already. Perhaps it could an in/outreach that could smooth the transition back into society again..thanks for taking time and presenting this considered opinion ☺

        • John,

          Obviously we are some form of influence on Anon; whether it be positive or negative in his mind. Otherwise he wouldnt be here. If someone influences me negatively, i choose to stay away, if at all possible. If I feel I have something positive to contribute that others are interested in, I contribute. Do you think people on this site are interested in his opinion?

          • Massive I agree, that’s what I am saying – Anon is not influenced by you, me or anyone – as it should be. He stands for what he believes in and I like that.

  5. Fact is I hated AA for a long time and I was brainwashed; not any more.
    You hate AA, That’s OK with me, I have a high opinion of you because you fight for your belief. I do not hate AA and I do not hate leaving AA. I dislike what some people do.
    Yes, I am interested in peoples opinions on this site, I can not participate in anything with a truly open mind if I am closed to any opinion. If I allow basal instinct or negative emotion to dominate my consciousness then I am closed to learning. I do not want to dwell at the base of the consciousness scale near survival.
    I lead by example when I attend AA. I do not force my opinion on others or interfere. I do make my opinion known though. If asked to share on the topic of steps I simply say that I refuse to do them. If asked to share on the nature of my wrongs I simply say that in order to know their nature I have to know my nature and that could take a lifetime. If someone takes advantage of a new person in any way I let them know I’m watching and that it isn’t nice. When asked how much time I have, I have none and never will. Why do I go to AA and to Leaving AA you ask?
    “In exchange for opinions and ideas other than my own.”
    I believe nature loves expansion and creativity and recycling; all of those characteristics are happening here, and there…
    When I drink I end up less conscious, I like being here at leaving AA, it is expanded consciousness in the field of recovery and responsibility. Those things in my opinion are good.

    • Thank you Anon, you have explained yourself really well and you are refreshingly free of prejudice. Too often people develop prejudice and this renders them blind to what is good. They dig their heels in and the truth distorts, they manipulate reality to suit their agenda. This can happen pro and con.

  6. I am glad that true believers in the steps are seeing the unaddressed dangers in the Anonymous groups.

    On anon being here, I think he should be here since the site says “leaving AA”, not already left AA. I get great relief from this site, and Stinking Thinking helped me come out of a very dark place of fearing seeking help for depression because of AA.

    I am married to an active AA member and intend to remain so, he is very supportive of my getting the real mental healthcare I need, as well as not going to meetings. Meetings reinforce my guilt and I feel really bad when I attend. I will not declare that I will never go to a meeting again though.

    I want all the potential dangers of AA to come out. I have see. It all and used to be so brainwashed that I accepted behavior in AA that I would have never condoned anywhere else. I no longer am. My mental health was tenuous because of lack of real help and the constant fear and negativity pounded into everyone in meetings. It’s a LIE that you can trust most AA people to hear your troubles with anything but blame, lectures, put-downs, and that sickening smile. No compassion. Compassion is what attracted me to my husband, but then he won’t go the sponsor route, nor the step pounding route.

    There are good people in AA too, hell there are good people in prison who have done stupid shit rather than hurt people.

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