30 Days in the Life Process Program From a Slightly Biased Perspective.
To begin I want to say that I didn’t go into this empirical study with any intention of concluding what I have. I am not a science buff, stats and data are cool and all but at the end of the day that’s all they are. 30% of people who try AA stay in the program, ok what happened to the other 70%? Did AA make their head explode and they are now floating around the cosmos. Did they just decide that they could choose to have a couple beers now and then or shoot up heroine once a month no problems, did they take what they learned in AA apply it to their lives and move on, did they get that divorce, did they leave their abuser, did the try another recovery program that worked better for them, did they have a spiritual experience and found their true calling in life, who knows right!
Stanton Peele, the creator of the Life Process Program, main appeal is that the disease model of addiction is wrong and is a harmful aspect of 12 step and other recovery programs. He’s probably scientifically right about that, IDK he’s done the research and is dead set on it. However, does it really matter? Does it change how addiction effects a human being, their family, and their communities? Does it change how we model recovery?
From my understanding that is Stanton Peele’s largest concern and what his recovery program is founded on. From my understanding he believes that are current recovery models are ancient and harmful in a lot of ways. Hear, hear; seriously I am with him on this one however my biggest concern is that he’s throwing the baby out with the bath water. I found the LPP program after a tweet on twitter that ruffled my feathers.
I think that however you decide to recover is a model of recovery, it is just doing your very best to be the best you that you can be. It is about learning who you are and how you fit in the world. It is about loving yourself and loving others. It is about integrity, honesty, compassion, and respect.
It took me two years to develop but this how I model my recovery. One of the questions in the Values portion of Peele’s program asks you to list your values, then the next question is narrow it down to 5 and then to 4. My top 4 values where Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Honesty. There is my RICH recovery model. I highly suggest this exercise for all human beings not just those in recovery.
The LPP program consists of 8 modules, I only finished the first two modules as they will not unlock the next module until you pay for the next month. So they monitor how quickly you are allowed to progress through the program. I will assume that this is a marketing strategy to get you to continue the $89 month subscription. Honestly $89 seems to be a very fair subscription price, perhaps had the FB group been a little kinder I may have stuck it out a couple more months.
• Self Reflection
• Greater Goals
I find it interesting that spirituality seems to be a big no no however there is a page on their website dedicated to mindfulness, mindfulness is a form a spirituality. Mindfulness is derives from sati, a significant element of Buddhist tradition. The only other spiritual element that I found in the group meeting, the one on one, the Facebook group, or the website was when my coach asked me what me definition of faith was. When I explained my definition, he had a downright dumbfounded look on his face. He was in no state of consciousness to have any form of spiritual discussion.
Podcast episodes with Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads seem to be the educational aspect of the program. I found it interesting that they were mainly of the form of disproving others rather than focusing on a solution. Title of said podcasts include, Is There Evidence That AA is Not Effective? My spiritual and philosophical quotes and comments seem to get more traction than Zach podcasts on the FB group.
My experience of 30 days in the Life Process Program in the Facebook Group
I joined the Life Process Program facebook group for a little over 30 days and my experience was quite interesting even bordering on ridiculous. I was an active participant in the group posting my personal experiences with addiction, commenting on moderator posts and other group member posts, and posting what I considered life enhancing content (positive quotes and the like).
Who this program promotes to - AA defectors, specifically those who have harbored resentments against the AA program or a specific individual that is part of the fellowship. Also promotes to individuals who don’t except the disease model of addiction and those wishing to take a harm reduction approach to their recovery. These individuals see value in their drinking or drug use for specific reasons or instances. Some individuals seem to be able to abstain from problematic use.
Recovered or recovery are not terms used in the program, in the Life Process Program there is nothing to recover from as there is no addictive substances. Many of these people still don’t drink or use however they share a mutual distain for AA. They believe that most people who have an problem with drugs or alcohol will recover naturally no assistance from AA or any other program or treatment.
They believe that once an addict not always an addict. They believe that once they change their life patterns and behaviors they no longer have a drinking or drug use problem. The problem is then not the addictive substance but the environment and behaviors that surround the substance use.
I don’t see much service work in LPP, mostly just dialogue about how bad AA is. Not really any positive life enhancing content.
The main part of the program consists of a Facebook group, I posted some life enhancing content, some personal experiences, and some disagreements. The few individuals that I interacted with on the FB platform are all in agreement that if you do well in the AA program it is because you prescribed to the dogma. They did not care to learn about my background or why AA works for me. Conflict is not taken to kindly,
I was alienated, attacked, bullied, disregarded, and disrespected. This all happened in the FB group and in an online meeting. I tried my best to stay neutral however I did have a couple emotional breaks when the taunting reached its peak.
I was told I was wrong, regarding my views on Buddhism, I was called a narcissist after I exposed blatant gaslighting. When I expressed my concern for the rhetoric that was shared about AA I was brutally verbally attacked. There seemed to be no grey area at all, mostly black and white thinking. The language used in defense of their views towards AA and other 12 step models was “most people” never specific numbers because they don’t exist. From my view their was lots of ego in this group, lots of we are right, and you are wrong.
I did not encounter any diversity in this group, there were only white people who actively participated. They basically told me I was not welcome, I left happily.
If you are a progressive thinker and spiritual seeker this may not be the best fit for your recovery. If you can’t stand AA for whatever reason and need a group to share in your distain, join LPP they will be there to stroke those resentments home. And they may help you look at your drinking or drug problem, but with softer edges than AA.