Should one study the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the evolution of the many self-help programs to follow, their roots in Judeo–Christian and Eastern philosophies become apparent. Tailored specifically as a prescription for alcoholics in 1939 by “The Original 100,” AA has remained a centerpiece among self-help organizations to this day. “Constructive Living” (CL) is a term coined by David Reynolds, Ph.D., who serves today as a professor of psychiatry at Stanford Medical School. An anthropologist by trade, Reynolds lived and studied Eastern philosophies as they relate to the practice of psychiatry and psychology in Japan for more than two decades. The synthesis of two types of treatment, Naikan and Morita Therapies, CL is considered the Western version of these approaches. Specialized training has been offered to professionals and non-professionals alike since 1984 in the service of teaching and practicing this lifeway. This lecture will explain this philosophy and how it serves as a way to integrate the principles within a 12-Step recovery program. The ability to “read between the lines” with respect to the principles and disciplines suggested by CL may serve to augment, strengthen, and sustain those practiced in the “suggested program of recovery” offered by AA.
From this workshop, participants will learn that:
- Feelings are uncontrollable directly by self-will.
- Feelings must be recognized and accepted as they are.
- Every feeling, no matter how unpleasant, has a purpose.
- Feelings change over time unless re-stimulated.
- Feelings and thoughts can be indirectly influenced by behavior.
- We are responsible for what we do no matter how we feel.