12 STEP FACILITATION
Numerous studies have shown that, even for teenagers, participation in AA/NA can bolster recovery efforts and protect against relapse. NA/NA outlines a structure inside of which the process of recovery can take place, and offers a ready-made community of authentic support. Importantly, the Fellowship (as it’s known) is always available: It costs nothing, and exists worldwide.
Our goal is to introduce our students to this very powerful resource, and facilitate their engagement with it to the extent that they feel comfortable. They may choose to dive in—really “working the steps,” selecting a home group, finding a sponsor—or they may not. At the very least, they will leave Montford Hall familiar with the language, philosophy, and tools of a program that they may need at some point down the road, and can access wherever they find themselves.
Students select meetings to attend from a wide range of options in the Asheville area. Each meeting has its own unique flavor—for example, there’s a meeting for young people only, and a meeting that begins with meditation by the river—but all offer a community of individuals who have been through similar struggles, speak the same language, and sustain each other in moving toward a common goal of sustained recovery.
Our students really love going to meetings. The support that is given and received there—during the formal meeting proceedings, and more casually before and after—is genuinely helpful and enriching.
THE 12 STEPS
In their original form, the 12 Steps can be pretty off-putting to teens. But when students interpret them in their own 21st century way—and this is something we help them to do—they see how applicable they are: not only to recovery, but to life in general.
We explore the steps in group and individual sessions; “step work” assignments from therapists encourage a deeper understanding. We also weave the lessons of the 12 Steps into daily life at Montford Hall, and tease them out in other contexts—like service work activities, school projects, and more.
At Montford Hall, working with a sponsor is optional but encouraged. For students who have really committed to the 12 Steps, the sponsor-sponsee relationship is essential. For students who are exploring the 12 Steps on a more academic level, this experience could be considered a recovery life skill.
AA/NA exists worldwide, so members can instantly join a familiar group of people who support sobriety, no matter where they find themselves.