8. To Thine Own Self be True: Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery and Care of the Self

Spirituality and Wellbeing - Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Religious Experience and Health - Bettina E. Schmidt

Lymarie Rodriguez [+-]
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Lymarie Rodriguez-Morales is a research psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology based at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Her research addresses the emotional experiences that underpin recovery and wellbeing, the role of spirituality in mental health, and nature-based health interventions.

Description

In this paper, a discussion is built upon findings from a qualitative study that investigated how young men worked through the process of recovery from substance use disorder whilst participating in 12-step fellowships in the UK (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous). Alcoholic Anonymous’ spiritual discourse on recovery gives prominence to the development of a set of spiritual practices that trains participants in their capacities of self-care and self-regulation (i.e. writing, praying). Drawing on Foucault (2005), spiritual exercises were in antiquity a form of pedagogy, designed to teach people of a philosophical life that had both a moral and existential value. Spiritual practices were ways in which to enact self-transformation - an exercise of self upon the self by which one attempts to develop and transform, in order to attain a certain mode of being. The participants’ narratives presented authenticity and care of the self as a salient aspect of their recovery. Care and authenticity had become, in Antonovsky's (1987) words, ‘a generalized way of seeing the world’.

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Citation

Rodriguez, Lymarie. 8. To Thine Own Self be True: Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery and Care of the Self. Spirituality and Wellbeing - Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Religious Experience and Health. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Feb 2020. ISBN 9781781797655. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=35875. Date accessed: 27 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35875. Feb 2020

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