The twelve step program is recognized today by professionals to be the most effective approach and method to understand and treat addictions.
While originally working with alcoholics, the same principals can be applied when working with the whole range of modern addictions, including: drugs, gambling, overeating and sexual, including those connected to the internet.
While the only goal of the Twelve Step Recovery is total abstinence (not using at all for the rest of your life), the program stresses that “just being clean” is not enough. The program is based on the understanding that in order to “stay clean”, one must learn how to cope with life’s challenges and problems, and also how to have fun and experience life’s pleasures in a better, healthier way.
The program is based on the foundation that recovery is possible but requires a “spiritual awakening” and “new life style” that is not based so much on seeking ?immediate gratification? without limits.
The program helps people who apply and internalize these principles to “stay clean and serene” by learning how to accept that one is an addict and “let go” of the need to be in control all the time. It teaches one to accept life as it is, more trusting in the Higher Power.
During the last 30 years working as a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Hypnotherapist, I have developed, B’H, a unique and effective professional Torah based approach to therapy, addictions, and many other clinical issues, including the treatment of psychosomatic syndromes, that I am calling the “Nachat Ruach Treatment Model”. This approach supplements the traditional twelve step approach by adding another six additional concepts, including:
“Beloved is man who was created in the Divine Image.” (Pirkei Avot 3:14)
“Taste and See that Hashem is Good.” (Psalms 34:9)
It is accepted that the root of addiction is often poor self-esteem. Nachat Ruach teaches and helps the client internalize through professional psychotherapy and Torah based meditation and hypnosis, a new healthier way to see himself as an adult. To be able to do this, it is often necessary to help him/her “heal their inner wounded child” that is connected to traumas and difficulties from the past. The essence of his healthy identity is to start from the foundation that he is a Jewish person created in the Divine Image. This means practically that he has intrinsic value and worth beyond achievements and positive uniqueness. It means having the awareness that one has the tools to function well in this world, and cope in a healthy way. Utilizing meditation and hypnosis, Nachat Ruach Approach helps clients internalize this truth in the deepest part of his unconscious mind. Humanistic psychology stresses that every person acts in a way that is consistent with the way they see themselves.
Nachat Ruach also stresses that the challenge of this era, “the Era of the Internet”, is to learn how to have pleasure in a positive way… on the side of holiness (kedushah) and health.
For example, the Ramchal teaches that man was created only to have the possibility to experience pleasure through relating to Hashem. “אדם לא נברא אלא להתענג בה’.”. (Messilat Yesharim, Chapter One)
David Hamelech already emphasized this when he exclaimed : “Taste (experience) and see that Hashem is Good, Happy is the person who takes refuge in Him”.
In summary, the Twelve Steps teach how to stay clean. Nachat Ruach gives a stronger reason or motivation why to stay clean, as a Jewish person who has a Higher Purpose.