Applying Immersion’s 12 Steps
1) The first step is admitting powerlessness – It is crucial that our clients understand the disease model of addiction, and know that no amount of willpower alone will lead to lasting sobriety. This step also explores unmanageability, and how sobriety allows clients to regain control over things that previously seemed impossible to successfully manage.
2) The second step, “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity,” is the first introduction to spirituality – We teach our clients that they cannot recover on their own – that they must consistently ask for help, and genuinely recognize that on their own, they are incapable of staying sober.
3) The third step suggests giving up personal will and turning it over to something more powerful than self – In active addiction (and in early recovery), self-reliance gets you nowhere. If clients believe that they can stay sober simply because they want to, they need to change that thinking pattern before inpatient treatment is complete. We teach our clients effective communication skills so that asking for help and talking through emotions becomes almost second nature.
4) Step four is all about self-reflection – Clients are asked to be honest with themselves during the entire recovery process. Many of our clients come to us angry with the world around them. They blame others for their hardships; they have a difficult time taking responsibility. We work to teach our clients that they are responsible for their own progress in recovery – that it is up to them to continue taking positive action.
5) The fifth step also focuses on effective communication and on honesty – During our 12 step Immersion program, this is when newly sober men and women sit down with their sponsor and go over their fourth step – a fearless and searching moral inventory. The principle that we take from this step is action. If a client messes up, they are expected to admit their wrongdoing and take immediate action. That might look like making amends or simply learning from their mistakes and progressing in their recovery.
6) The sixth step is centered around willingness – Clients must become and remain willing to recover if they want to get the most out of the intensive addiction recovery process. The seventh step also concerns willingness.
7) The seventh step also concerns willingness, and letting go of things that have served as personal hindrances in the past – Becoming willing to change negative thought and behavioral patterns, in short. We teach our clients that it is up to them to make new, healthy choices when they are presented with the opportunity to return to their old ways or progress in their recovery.