“It’s the pain of living that creates a hunger for healing that only God can satisfy”
When I began my counseling career working with drug addicts I was given some information by a seasoned counselor on how the twelve steps were the best tool to use when working with addicts. Secretly I began to contemplate how these steps made sense in application to my own life. Though I did not have a history of drug addiction or alcoholism, I was moved by the prospective sense they made out of my own spiritual beliefs. Though I had certain religious convictions and spiritual practices, the steps helped me reconcile my experience of living with my spiritual ideals. There was some sense that eventually I would somehow come to experience the twelve steps as my own spiritual practice. Through a recovery ministry leader in my church and the discovery of a book by J. Keith Miller called A Hunger for Healing I actually did begin applying the twelve steps to the practice of my faith. Though I had felt connected to God before and sensed his presence in very personal ways before, the steps seem to provide a much needed structure to my faith. It was through “steps work” that I came to see principles of effective living that almost seemed to be archetypal truths about the way life was supposed to be lived. Though I have yet to find a surefire way to convey the message found in the steps to clients who struggle along their own journeys, I am certain that because of my own practice of the twelve steps I am able to address other peoples problems with them much more effectively than I would have been otherwise. Through steps work much of the need for a counselor to be addressing their own issues through personal psychotherapy prior to attempts at helping others is being accomplished.