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For many counseling students, attending a 12-step support group can be an anxiety-provoking experience. There is likely some fear of the unknown, bias, and uncertainty surrounding meeting attendance. And guess what? Your clients will feel this way too! A great way to connect with apprehensive clients about attending a 12-step meeting is to have a true understanding of the meeting experience and share your experience with some of the same concerns they might be having. Additionally, if you have a client in recovery who is already active in the 12-step community, you will have a better understanding of their experience.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review the handout in the Learning Resources for this Discussion. It provides a list of 12-step support groups you can reach out to, as well as tips for how to approach attending a meeting.

Reflect on your personal experience of attending the group and compare it to your expectations of what you thought the experience would be like.

Post a brief overview of the experience of attending a 12-step support group. In your overview include a description of the type of 12-step support group you attended and why you selected the group that you did.

Based on your experience at the meeting and the Learning Resources, what is the role of 12-step support groups in relapse prevention and continuum of care. Include how these groups differ from treatment groups.

Describe something from the meeting that aligned with your expectations.

Describe something from the meeting that surprised you or did not look like you thought it would.



Please do not share any personal or identifying information regarding the 12-step support group or its members.)

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2020).

Foundations of addictions


(4th ed.)


Boston, MA: Pearson.

Chapter 12, “12-Step Facilitation of Treatment”

Chapter 13, “Maintenance and Relapse Prevention”


: Guidance for Attending a 12-Step Support Groups for Treatment of Addiction (PDF)

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