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What’s the 12-Step Model for Recovery?

Published on 09. 10. 2015

Understand how 12-step program is used in recovery. Find some successful treatments and programs like dolphin assisted therapy, equine therapy and other methodologies used by HIR to ensure success.

Why would anyone want to join a 12-step recovery program? Many people rallied against the 12 steps thinking that its principles suggest believing in God or Higher power as a cure for their addiction and they think that it discourages personal responsibility. While there are many differing opinions as to its proper applications, Hawaii Island Recovery has a unique approach in using the 12 Steps to speed up the recovery process.


Here’s how HIR uses the 12 Steps to help clients beat addiction

There are 12 tasks involved in the 12 steps. The first five steps help you achieve honesty, hope, faith, courage and integrity. So, the first task is to stop fooling yourself and other people. HIR believes that a person is powerless over alcohol or drugs the moment he or she becomes addicted to them. Addiction changes the person, not by choice but by the very nature of addiction.
The very first thing that the staff does is to strip down denial-which is very common to drug addicts and alcoholics. They will make you realize that your drug use is out of control and that you need help. Acceptance is key.
At HIR you have to go through comprehensive assessment to measure the level of your addiction, medical and psychological needs and other issues that need to be addressed while you stay on the paradise island. Individual, group and family therapies can help you understand yourself better and the people around you. You get to hear their side of the story, get the inspiration and support you need, cultivate hope that you’ll get better someday. These social interactions and behavioral and psychological therapies can also help you have the courage and integrity to accept your faults and make an unyielding decision to resolve them.
HIR’s detoxification method and various techniques like EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and experiential and holistic therapies help support your physical and psychological healing.

An overview of the 12 Steps

Admit, surrender, convert and identify

The 12 steps are all about admitting your defeat, surrendering yourself to God or to someone or anything you refer to as a higher power, conversion experience (how you changed) and identification(seeing who you are, and what you have been through and helping others overcome their addiction).

Inventory of wrongs done,acceptance and making amends

To work the steps, you have to admit that you are powerless over your addiction and that you cannot manage your life anymore because of it. Because your addiction becomes uncontrollable you surrender yourself to God or to a higher power. Next, you make an inventory of your beliefs, values and the things you have been doing in your life and discover yourself in the process.
You have to accept that you did all the wrong things you listed on your inventory, even the things that make you guilty and turn them over to God or to a higher power. Afterwards, you make a list of the people you have hurt, grieved and wronged. Then you try to make amends to people you have hurt in the past, including the people you decided never to ask forgiveness from.

God consciousness, daily surrender and giving back to others

The last few steps talk about God consciousness and daily prayer and surrender to God or to a higher power. It is the period in your life when you already know your purpose in life and you believe that your life has a new meaning and direction. You write down your improvements as well as your setbacks on a daily basis. You work on these setbacks and try to improve yourself every single day by working the steps, getting support from sponsors and fellow recovering addicts and therapists.
Finally, you reach out to other people in recovery as a way of giving back. You join NA meetings and other support groups to inspire and motivate recovering addicts to stick to their recovery goals by sharing your experiences with them and offering comfort and advice when needed.

How do you reconcile 12 steps with wild dolphins and horses?

Source: HIR

Two of the experiential therapies at HIR are dolphin-assisted therapy and equine-assisted therapy.
Dolphin therapy helps you discover things about yourself that you wouldn’t normally know. These wild mammals come to you as you swim with them and the interaction itself can usher healing or a whole host of other sinsights and changes.

Abby’s amazing dolphin experience

When asked about her first dolphin-assisted therapy session, Abby, a former client of HIR said, “It was dramatic. Though I loved the ocean, but at that time…I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t slow down and that’s something I didn’t know how to do in years. The second I got my breathing down, I was calm and I saw the dolphins…and it was a beautiful memory.”
According to Dr. John Hibscher, the Clinical Director & Psychologist said that "the goal of HIR is not just to cure the addiction but the co-occurring disorders as well. “… to adress the causes of addiction and its contributing and consequential causes. Without it, relapse is sure to happen”

Watch their video here:


With HIR’s treatment methods, support from the staff and the serene and healing paradise island which serves as your temporary home while you heal-it is possible to achieve the remaining tasks of 12 steps. These include the willingness to change, humility to let go and move forward, the discipline to maintain sobriety, forgive, accept and discover your purpose and to serve others.

Contact us today and discover the HIR treatment methods that can help you and your love ones live a sober life!

www.hawaiianrecovery.com | (866) 390-5070

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Categories: Big Island , programs , successful treatments , 12-step
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