The twelfth step of the 12-Step philosophy states, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to those struggling with dependence on drinking and self-medicating and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” We at Clearview Girls Academy believe this step represents many facets of our recovery mission.
We, having an unwavering faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ, believe that imparting a spiritual practice (a potential “awakening”) is a critical part of our students’ long-term recovery. Also, our primary purpose is to help our students recover by all means we have available – “in all of our affairs.” In everything we endeavor to do, we “carry the message” of recovery and help people take action toward that recovery.
12-Step programs have been helping people recover from their bad choices for more than 87 years. It is for this reason that we here at Clearview Girls Academy not only support 12-Step recovery but offer it as an option to all of our students who may benefit from it.
A Brief History of 12-Step Recovery
While the 12-Step recovery model prides itself on being a spiritual program rather than a religious one, many people do not know that the program actually has its roots in Christianity. Prior to creating AA in 1935, its founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Holbrook Smith borrowed some of the principles for The Twelve Steps from a Christian fellowship known as the Oxford Group.
We include this history because we find it interesting how it aligns with our own practices. As previously mentioned, our founder and all of our staff are devout followers of Christ. However, we don’t try to indoctrinate our students with Christian scripture. Rather, we utilize the powerful messages within that scripture to try to impart spiritual lives to our students. For us, it doesn’t matter what “Higher Power” our students choose to believe in, as long as they understand that there is something out there greater than themselves that loves and cares about them and watches over them.
Bill W. and Dr. Bob (as they are commonly known) also founded the 12-Step philosophy on the principle that, to paraphrase, “nothing may ensure an individual’s sobriety as work with another individual in recovery.” We also employ this principle to help our students recover. We help our students open up and communicate with their fellow students because recovery is not just about helping yourself. Rather, it is also about helping those in need around them. By working with others, our girls not only help others but receive the support and help that can help them heal and recover.
The Benefits of 12-Step Recovery
We feel that the benefits one can receive from 12-Step recovery are practically limitless. After all, the program is meant to carry someone throughout their lives, not simply through an initial treatment process. However, we will focus primarily on two benefits of 12-Step programs: the benefit of “admittance,” and the benefit of “action.”
The first step of 12-Step recovery is “We admitted we were powerless- that our lives had become unmanageable.” This admittance is so crucial to continued recovery. When prospective students come to stay with us at our Montana ranch, we make it a goal to show them the wreckage of their past actions. We don’t do this to shame them. We would never do that. Rather we do this so they can admit that they have a problem, and once they do this then they can take the action necessary to fix it.
The fourth step of 12-Step recovery is “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” This is where the “action steps” begin. Our students have to not only comprehend what their behaviors have caused, but they need to begin to reconcile those behaviors so they can move on. This way, they can grow to become the productive, happy, and healthy young women they deserve to be.
12-Step Recovery and Young People
Many people also hold the misconception that 12-Step programs are just for a certain sect of older “hardened” individuals. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is that 12-Step programs have not only become wholly inclusive, but they even have groups and meetings that focus specifically on certain populations. These populations include women as well as younger people.
Another factor of 12-Step recovery that has become so beneficial, especially for young people, is that 12-Step meetings are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere one wishes to “Zoom.” Yes, the technological boom has brought about some positive elements (not just social media drama and distractions!).
The 12-Step recovery model also adopted a “responsibility statement” over 50 years ago. This statement proclaims, “I am responsible – when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of [recovery] always to be there, and for that: I am responsible.” We feel the same way, which is why we also feel it is our responsibility to offer 12-Step recovery as an option for our students.
The first 12-Step program was formed nearly 88 years ago in 1935. Since then, 12-Step programs have branched out to nearly every category and are believed to have helped millions of people recover. More importantly, these programs have helped countless people stay recovered. Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we believe that 12-Step programs can be highly beneficial for certain students. When it comes to our students struggling with drinking or self-medicating, our primary purpose aligns with the tenets of The Twelve Steps. We aim to be the hand of recovery for anyone who needs it. If your daughter is struggling, a 12-Step program may be able to help. Call Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484 for more information.