Recovery Programs

12 Step Workbook





ISBN 1-885373-58-9




About the Author

What Others Say...



The basic principles of many of the popular twelve step programs are combined in this book into one easy text, covering problems with:


  • Alcohol

  • Drugs

  • Gambling

  • Anger

  • Food

  • Relapse

  • People, Places and Things.

About the Author

This book will benefit anyone suffering from these destructive behaviors by using a series of open-ended 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 effort

The Process

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 study them.

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 group.

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."

Tall Tom

Ellis Unit, Huntsville, Texas


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