Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 299–309

An analysis of 12-step programs for substance abusers from a developmental perspective

  • Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner
  • Betsy Robin Spiegel

DOI: 10.1007/BF02190557

Cite this article as:
Ashenberg Straussner, S.L. & Spiegel, B.R. Clin Soc Work J (1996) 24: 299. doi:10.1007/BF02190557


Twelve-step programs are increasingly recognized as important resources and treatment adjuncts for recovering alcohol and other drug abusers. It is therefore important that social workers and other clinicians understand the therapeutic value of these programs to the recovery process. This paper explores 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous in light of Margaret Mahler's conceptualization of the separation-individuation process that leads to object constancy and healthy object relations.

Key Words

12-step programs Alcoholics Anonymous separation-individuation substance abusers 

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner
    • 1
  • Betsy Robin Spiegel
    • 2
  1. 1.Post Master's Program in the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Abusing ClientsNew York University Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social WorkNew York
  2. 2.New York

Personalised recommendations