The 16 Steps for Discovery and Empowerment is a model for helping patients overcome addiction by approaching the problem and the need for healing not merely the physical addiction but the patients mind, body and spirit.
The 16 step method came about as an alternative to the more established 12 step program which is an addiction recovery method from Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps were originally published in a book in 1939 titled: Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism.
The 12 step program involves the addict having to admit they cannot control their addiction or compulsion. They should recognize a higher power that can give them strength. They should also examine past errors with the help of someone and then make amends for these errors. They should learn to live a new life with a new code of behavior, and embrace and help others who suffer the same addictions or compulsions.
The 16 Steps for Discovery and Empowerment was established by author and psychologist Charlotte Sophia Kasl to help aid people who suffer from addiction or behavioral problems. The 16 Steps differ from The 12 Steps by confirming the addict does have power over their addiction and can control it, which is the opposite of the AA stance. Above all the 16 steps in group settings allow for exploration between the group members, and debate so they can find their own solutions.
The model is very flexible in the way that it works by continually asking for information and supplying it, but it never stays stagnant and is able to change to embrace something that is working or remove an action that is no longer working.
The method is based on love and not fear for the person who partakes in the model and asks the same of the people who the patient has close to them. The method depends a lot on them having the faith of conviction to bring about change through force of will.
The belief that by making the person with the addiction more aware of the issue then they can confront the issue without pushing it to one side and being scared of it or trying to ignore the problem in the hope that it will go away on its own.
The model is about breaking the cycle of shame felt through addiction, the problems that initially force someone to become addicted or feel comfort in their addiction. It’s about addressing the underlying problems and fixing them through the 16 steps.
This is in complete contrast to other methods such as the Sinclair Method or The Pennsylvania Model of Recovery which look upon the addiction as a physical medical problem treatable with drugs and counseling combined.
There is criticism of these methods aimed at both the 16 step method and the 12 step method for the level of success for those who use the methods can realistically attain. The need for a belief in a higher power for the individual to actually attain success makes this method more difficult for non-religious people to embrace.