The Life Process Program - A Critical Experiential Review
Updated: Feb 1
30 Days in the Life Process Program From a Slightly Biased Perspective.
As someone who doesn't have a strong background in science, I find stats and data interesting but not the end-all and be-all. The fact that 30% of people who try AA remain in the program raises questions about the other 70%. What happened to them? Did AA cause their minds to explode and they're now floating in space? Did they decide to have a drink or use drugs once in a while without any consequences? Did they apply the lessons learned in AA to their lives and move on? Did they get a divorce or leave their job? Did they try another recovery program that worked better for them? Or did they have a spiritual awakening and find their true purpose in life? The truth is, we simply don't know.
Stanton Peele, the creator of the Life Process Program, challenges the widely accepted disease model of addiction and argues that it is a flawed and harmful aspect of 12-step and other recovery programs. He supports his stance with research, but the question remains: does this change how addiction affects individuals, their families, and communities, and how we approach recovery?
Peele's main goal with the Life Process Program is to provide an alternative to traditional recovery models that he views as outdated and harmful. Although I agree with Peele's critique of the disease model, I worry that he may be dismissing valuable elements of recovery programs. I discovered the LPP program after reading a tweet that caught my attention.
In my opinion, the most important aspect of recovery is not necessarily the model, but rather the goal of becoming the best version of yourself. It's about self-discovery, self-love, and loving others. The key values in my recovery are integrity, honesty, compassion, and respect.
I have developed a personal recovery model after two years of reflection. It's based on the Values section of Stanton Peele's Life Process Program, where you list your values and narrow it down to your top five and then four. My top four values, which I call the RICH model, are Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Honesty. I highly recommend this exercise for everyone, not just those in recovery.
The LPP program consists of eight modules, but I only completed the first two as they only unlock the next one if you pay for the next month's subscription. This seems to be a marketing strategy to encourage you to continue paying the $89 monthly fee. Despite this, I think the fee is reasonable. If the online community had been more welcoming, I might have continued with the program for a few more months.
• Self Reflection
• Greater Goals
It is intriguing to note that spirituality seems to be discouraged in the Life Process Program, yet mindfulness, a spiritual practice, is promoted on their website. Mindfulness originates from sati, a core aspect of Buddhist teachings. The only other spiritual element I encountered during my experience with the program through group meetings, one-on-one sessions, the Facebook group, or the website was when my coach asked me to define my understanding of faith. My coach seemed surprised by my definition and was not in a position to engage in a spiritual discussion.
Podcasts featuring Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads seem to serve as the educational component of the program. However, I found that the focus was more on refuting other's views rather than finding a solution. The podcast titles, such as "Is There Evidence That AA is Not Effective?" show this approach. Interestingly, my spiritual and philosophical musings received more engagement in the Facebook group than Zach's podcasts.
My experience of 30 days in the Life Process Program in the Facebook Group
I spent about a month in the Life Process Program Facebook group and my experience was rather fascinating, bordering on absurd. I was an engaged member of the group, sharing my personal struggles with addiction, contributing to discussions, and posting uplifting content like positive quotes.
The program targets people who have left AA, particularly those who have negative feelings towards AA or a specific person within the AA community. It also attracts those who reject the disease model of addiction and prefer a harm reduction approach to recovery. These individuals see benefits to their substance use and some are able to control it without it becoming a problem.
In the Life Process Program, the concepts of "recovered" or "recovery" are not used as the program operates under the belief that there is no addiction to substances, thus nothing to recover from. Instead, the program holds the view that many individuals can naturally overcome their drug or alcohol issues without relying on AA or other similar programs. The program promotes the idea that once individuals change their lifestyles and habits, they can overcome their substance abuse problems, which they believe stem not from the substances themselves, but from the environment and behaviors surrounding substance use.
In the Life Process Program (LPP), the focus seems to be heavily criticizing AA and other 12-step programs, with little to no positive or constructive content. In my experience, the program mainly consists of a Facebook group where I attempted to share my personal experiences, positive content, and disagreements in a respectful manner. However, I was met with hostility and was frequently attacked, disregarded, and disrespected by some members for my views on AA and Buddhism.
I was accused of being wrong, called a narcissist, and verbally attacked when I tried to express my concerns about the rhetoric shared in the group. There seemed to be a lack of open-mindedness and a rigid black and white thinking, with no room for different perspectives. The language used by some members to defend their views was often vague and lacked specific evidence, often resorting to broad generalizations. In my opinion, there was a lot of ego involved in the group, with a strong sense of "we are right and you are wrong." Despite my efforts to remain neutral, I eventually broke down emotionally under the constant taunting and hostility.
In conclusion, the Life Process Program group failed to provide a diverse and inclusive environment for recovery. This program is primarily suited for those who have negative sentiments towards AA and need a platform to voice their objections. However, for those who seek a more progressive and spiritual approach to recovery, it may not be the ideal choice. The limited scope of the program, lack of diversity, and rigid views about recovery can limit the opportunities for personal growth and healing.