PCC 501 Alcoholics Anonymous: A Spiritual Program of Recovery

Faculty: Dr. Ann-Marie Neale (Profile)


The primary purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the principles and methods of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) so that they can give accurate information to those they serve. Mental health therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, chaplains, rabbis, priests and ministers from all religious denominations will at some point in their professional lives encounter individuals who suffer from alcoholism or other addictions. Many of these people have found sobriety through active participation in 12 –Step Recovery Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Others may be considering whether to attend AA meetings and will ask their pastor, spiritual advisor or therapist what they know about these programs.

There is often misunderstanding about AA and how it works; therefore, this course is intended to introduce students to the underlying principles of the program as well as offer some reasons for its enormous success throughout the world. This e-course is in no way an attempt to advocate for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a self-help group; rather, it is a description of the program, its historical beginnings, how it works, and some of the reasons for its huge success and continued existence. AA has two important components- Group Meetings known as “The Fellowship” where members connect with others who have a desire to stop drinking and/or to stay sober; and “The Spiritual Program” which is based on following AA’s 12 –Steps of Recovery. These steps are a group of principles, spiritual in nature, which have helped many victims of alcoholism maintain sobriety and stay away from their addiction, and also guide them in service to others that they may find a happy and fulfilled life once again. Since AA began in June of 1935, it has had unsurpassed success in helping people maintain sobriety. In addition, other similar 12 Step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous and Al-Anon (for family and friends) have their roots in Alcoholics Anonymous.

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