12-Step Addiction Treatment: Does AA Work?
Essay from the year 2010 in the subject Medicine - Therapy, grade: with merit, University of Stirling, language: English, abstract: A comprehensive literature review was undertaken that was compared to the author's own AA-experience in various cultures. The search was neither restricted to a specific time period nor were language restrictions employed. Studies published in peer-reviewed, academic journals as well as books and websites were selected on the basis of "usefulness" in regards to the research question. After establishing what AA is, the essay examined whether AA works. It found that AA differs substantially in regards to other treatment approaches by it's "acting into thinking"-philosophy. The efficacy of AA could not be proven by employing a cause-and-effect methodology. Moreover, the complexity of human behaviour as well as the fact that AA is not practised uniformly raises many seemingly unanswerable methodological problems and it remains questionable whether AA treatment and outcomes can be measured by a cause-and-effect method. Testimonies of personal experience as well as for centuries practised human wisdom seem however to suggest that AA does work – for the ones who work the programme, that is.
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