Chemical Dependency: Counseling Observation

A three-session meeting held online facilitated by Michael Mike, a counselor and a recovering alcoholic as he introduces himself to the 10 audience alcoholics who attend the three sessions meeting to discuss the 12-steps method of the recovery program. Michael Mike introduces the 164 page book containing the twelve recovery steps written by the A A’s program making reference to people in this book who have recovered from alcoholic addiction. Michael Mike does not mention his education profile, but he introduces himself as a recovering alcoholic and strongly defends the authenticity of the truth surrounding Alcoholic Anonymous. During the session, alcoholics were welcomed to ask questions as the session continues. The meeting was held at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3MIGrvUNgY. The session is divided into three parts approximately three hours deliberation. He outlines and discusses the three concepts surrounding alcoholism. They include what is the problem, what is the solution, and how does one get to the solution. During this general session, four attendees shared their experience with alcohol addiction. According to one of the alcoholics, he has been addicted to alcohol since three years ago. He heard about this program in his area and he has decided to attend the program to enable him leave his addiction. He thinks he has come to attend the session of the twelve steps so he could be monitored by his sponsor to stop the addiction.

            One of the counselor’s responses to the addicts in this session addresses what is the problem of the alcoholics. An alcoholic must know that he or she has a problem to be addressed before making an attempt to go through the counseling process. He or she must admit that he or she has a problem. Despite of the problem, there is someone whose power is greater than the present problem, and must decide to surrender the problem to the care of God. The synopsis of the counselor’s response to this interrogation is the first three steps process under the recovery program of the A.A. The counselor, Michael Mike delineates on these three step processes during the session on Alcoholics Anonymous.

            The second counselor’s response to the situation during the session was to address the issue of the solution to the present addiction problem the audience faced during years of addiction. The addict must make a search of moral inventory of self, admit to God and human beings that his or her action regarding alcoholic addiction is wrong, give his or her wrongs to God for removal, and humbly surrender his or her action including self to God. In addressing what the solution should be, the addict must have gone through steps four, five, six, and seven and will eventually be prepared how he or she gets to the solution of the addiction problem. These steps address what the solution should be. If you cannot address the problem, you can never address the solution to the problem according to Michael Mike.

            The third counselor’s response to the addict situation is how the addict gets to the solution of the addict’s problem. The addict must make a list of all persons harmed, make a direct amends to such people harmed, continue to take personal inventory of the wrong committed, seek prayer and meditation to improve contact with God and these will lead to spiritual awakening of the addicted individual. The counselor’s response to the solution addresses step eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve which provides the gateway to gradual freedom of recovery.

            The counselor’s address on the propagation of the message on alcoholism is that addiction is a family disease which demands that the individual drinks alcohol in order to stir up the allergy. He calls addiction a predisposed disease instead of sin problem.

            During the counseling session the counselor was articulate and he elaborates in propagating the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to the audience. In his message to the alcoholics, he periodically calls himself an alcoholic as to convince the audience that this program works. He stands in the midst of the audience as the replica of what the program does. He is the testimony to those whom he counsels. Based on my assessment as I watched him, he is working hard to keep this industry credible to the world. This credibility is full of useful lies which keep the industry running. If those who get help from the organization speak against its lies, they will be considered as enemies to the organization. This is the money making industry; therefore, the recovery alcoholics will form coalition to keep this organization. He forms part of the program; therefore, he gets monthly income to sustain him financially. This is the reason he remains supportive of the philosophy of the organization.

            He uses the disease model of propagation to canvas that A A’s teaching on addiction does not have a sinful orientation; rather, it is a genetically predisposed disease which confronts family members that are exposed to the chemical in alcohol. For this reason, there is no total freedom from alcoholic addiction because one who is an alcoholic will always remain an alcoholic. Is this a freedom? It is not a freedom. If science disproves the disease model of alcoholic addiction, why will the proponents of this organization continue to lie? The counselor’s useful lie is the act of keeping this organization credible. Lies will always continue to be lies regardless how they are presented to the audience.

            The primary step that should be taken to minister deliverance to someone controlled by sinful habit is giving them Jesus who is the deliverer. If the individual is given Jesus as the solution to his or her problem; then, the counselor has laid a ground work for freedom. Have the person believe and accept Christ as Lord and Savior using Scripture. After accepting Christ as Lord, the alcoholic should be asked to confess his or her sin before God. Anyone who conceals his sins will not prosper (Proverb 28:13). Confess your sin to one another so that you might be healed (James 5:16). If we claim to be without sin, we lie and do not the truth (I John 1:8, 9). Tell the addict that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn him (John 3:17). God is able to cleanse, sanctify, and justify him (I Corinthians 6:9-11). The Holy Spirit will help him to have self-control as he obeys his voice (Gal.5:22-23).

            During the counseling session, I will explain to him what scripture says about alcoholic beverages. Strong drink is raging (Proverb 20:1). Woe to him that offers thy neighbor drink (Hab. 2:20). I will present Jesus to him or her as the deliverer. If the son shall set you free; you are free indeed (John 8:32).

Biblical counseling is the right step taken to bring healing to an alcoholic as compared to human philosophical model of recovery program produced by ideologies of men. If Jesus sets one free, the person is free indeed and on the other hand if A.A puts one under its recovery program, one still continues to be an addict because it believes that alcoholism is a disease. If it is a disease, it must be treated medically instead of biblically. In the twelve step approaches to recovery, God is mentioned; however, the God who is mentioned seems pluralistic in nature. The God of the Bible should be referenced as the healer of alcoholics; unfortunately, the A.A program does not make specific reference to God because the program treat victims of alcoholism based on the religion they are from. The program is not a Christian organization neither does it maintain loyalty to any other religion because it accepts people according to their faiths.

            In conclusion, the counselor addresses three concepts regarding how one recovers from alcoholic addiction. One must recognize that he or she is addicted, must define the problem, and find a solution to the problem. Meanwhile, the student also presents a biblical counseling method in contrast to the counselor’s approach. In this counseling model as presented by the student, Jesus is the core of this counseling which gives total freedom to the addicts.