Monday, April 08, 2013

A.A.? No Way! by Charles Delaney

A.A.? No Way!, Charles Delaney.  Self-published, Smashwords, 2012.  ebook, 59 pps.

Some people find help in traditional [12 step] groups and traditional [based upon the 12 steps] treatment programs and rehabs.  Others don't.  Charles Delaney had been to A.A. and he found the program to be significantly lacking.  The A.A. members themselves appeared to be clones of each other.  Worse, they were not ready to hear Delaney's criticism of the program itself nor what he found in looking for alternatives.

The problem as Charles Delaney sees it is that A.A. has a 95% failure rate.  He states that Rational Recovery has a higher success rate of its members achieving abstinence than A.A. does.  He also states that folks who attempt to quit their addictions by themselves have a better chance of doing so than folks in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and other Anonymous derivatives.  Delaney does quote from some studies but does not provide any footnotes for his stats.  On page 11, he says "The basic idea of those programs are the best of ideas...put to the worst of applications."  He maintains that Alcoholics Anonymous is in fact a Christian and a religious program.  He criticizes the idea that alcoholics are powerless when it comes to alcohol.  He advocates for the assuming of personal responsibility in addressing one's addiction.

A.A.? No Way! offers criticism of the twelve steps from a pagan perspective.  There is an outline of "A 9-Step Recovery for Asatru/Odinists" [which begins on page 40 in my ebook] that I personally thought were excellent.  After that, the book begins to fall apart.  Delaney endorses an old book  written by plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz and published in 1960 called Psycho-Cybernetics[Psycho-Cybernetics espoused positive thinking, if you can dream it you can do it, and mind-body connection woo-woo].  He then detours into a very rudimentary understanding of brain function and creativity.  A.A.? No Way! finishes up with the idea that there is so much more out there in a life of abstinence than can be found in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.

sapphoq reviews says:  Some of A.A.? No Way! rang true to me and some didn't.  To his credit, Charles Delaney was quick to point out that those who have found their help in A.A. ought to remain in A.A.  Although A.A.? No Way! lacks in footnotes and a bit of execution, it is especially valuable for those heathens who want to try some steps written specifically for them.  Quite frankly, except for the woo-woo noted within the book he recommended, I liked this little ebook.  Charles Delaney has the barebones for a longer book within the first 43 pages of A.A.? No Way! It is my sincere hope that he will undertake a longer book project related to alternatives to 12 step recovery, complete with footnotes but lacking the feel-good woo-woo and pop psychology that often passes for professional treatment these days.  Recommended for heathens who have failed in A.A. because of its' somewhat quasi-christian approach to recovery.

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