12 Step Workbook
The basic principles of many
of the popular twelve step programs are combined in this book into one
easy text, covering problems with:
About the Author
This book will benefit
anyone suffering from these destructive behaviors by using a series of
questions to work the twelve steps of recovery programs. M. V. “Pat”
Peterson is a licensed chemical dependency counselor. He found that,
despite all of the recovery programs around, the self-help books and
accessible therapists, the ordinary person has trouble finding guides
to work privately and successfully. He has established a foundation to
assist people through this process and this book will help support that
Pat started a workbook of a
few open-ended questions relating to the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics
Anonymous so that prisoners who were often afraid to open themselves up
publicly (as is almost everyone else) could work privately without an
expensive therapist or a sponsor hard to reach from confinement. Thus
was this workbook born.
Peterson believed that to
receive the benefits of these steps, one must work them and not just
As the men began doing the
steps and receiving positive results from their actions, word got out
about the program. People began asking to become a part of the group;
before long, another group formed. As time passed and the groups became
an integral part of the substance abuse program, another phenomenon
occurred. Most Texas prisons are not air-conditioned; as the summer
temperature rose in East Texas, so did the interest in the program.
Because the classroom assigned to Pat’s new recovery groups was
air-conditioned, men began wanting in the group to get a little cool.
Many men joined the group for this reason, but the rule was: they had
to do the steps if they wished to remain in the group. They soon began
getting the results of doing the steps. As the men began to get more
comfortable with exposing themselves to their peers, they started
feeling better about themselves, and with that, hope was born within
them. Surprisingly, when the weather cooled off, they stayed in the
This process on the Ellis
Unit lasted eight and a half years with as many as sixty men being in
these groups at any given time. Usually one step would be given per
meeting, by one inmate. The only requirement of the other members was
to honor the bravery of the member doing the step by giving him their
attention. Many times a member would work the first three steps and
then quit the group (citing other things they needed to be doing). In a
few months, they would return, asking to be admitted back into a
Step-do group. Pat would admit them, asking where they would want to
begin. In most cases, they’d say step one. Many of the men tried this
path of working the first three steps, stopping only to return and do
them again. These men were laughingly called the “Texas Three
Steppers.” With the encouragement of their peers, many of these men
moved on to the fourth step, then completed the others.
Throughout the years, Pat
personally practiced the principles of the steps and realized that he
was evolving, too. In his quest to help others, he became the recipient
of experiences he had only dreamed of. He was able to confront all
those parts of himself he had earlier refused to accept. As he began to
love and accept all the character defects of the men, he started the
process of loving and accepting all those same aspects of himself.
Hundreds of men passed through Pat’s group. Where the seed of recovery
was planted, it could not be removed, needing only attention to be
activated. No one who completed even one of those steps will see
themselves in the same manner.
In every day life, whether
it is on a prison unit or in the free world, a part of them knows if
they ever decide to change, a tool is available in the way of the
twelve step program. Just as the book Alcoholics Anonymous and the A.A.
twelve steps were the result of the effort of the first one hundred
members, this workbook is the result of the effort of incarcerated men.
What Others Have To Say...
"By the time I met Pat
Peterson, I had been in and out of recovery a number of times and at
each juncture I was exposed to a 12-step process that was implemented
with slight variations. I thought I’d seen it all. When I started
working the steps using Pat’s method, it was more intense. The raw
emotions and insightful honesty brought about a personal transformation
that has blessed me with the ability to stay clean and sober for eleven
plus years now. Once I quit using, Pat’s process allowed me to address
my other glaring character defects in a timely manner, and I spend more
time trying to give something back to others instead of seeing what I
can get out of them. goal."