Service to others.
Bill White posted earlier this week about the evidence base for the benefits of alcoholics helping other alcoholics.
Now, National Geographic has posted an article about research into AA that covers some of the same territory:
Lee Ann Kaskutas, a scientist with the Alcohol Research Group, has faced skepticism from colleagues for studying A.A., in part because of the numerous spiritual references that go with the 12-step program. It puts A.A. on “the fringe” in the minds of many scientists, Kaskutas said.
Kaskutas, a self-proclaimed atheist, said that the 12 steps bear fruit regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs. “If you don’t believe in God, the way it weasels in is in the help and behaviors that the 12-step group inculcates.”
Helping others, Kaskutas said, “is the internal combustion engine of A.A. I think that is the connection to spirituality.”
People feel better about themselves after helping someone else, Kaskutas said. “So it’s reinforcing—when you help somebody, I think your brain chemistry changes.”
- Does Science Show What 12 Steps Know? (news.nationalgeographic.com)
- Positive Press for AA? (afterpartychatter.com)
- Women, Alcoholism and AA (afterpartychat.com)