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Digital Recording

Integrate 12-Step Programs into Therapy: Harness the Power of 12-Step Programs to Enhance Substance Use Treatment

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Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC
6 Hours 20 Minutes
Mar 23, 2021
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Digital Recording
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If you have clients in 12-step programs, but haven’t integrated these programs into your treatment, you’re missing a chance to find greater therapeutic success and deepen recovery for your clients.

But misconceptions about rigid rules and religious dogma in 12-step programs leave some therapists biased against their effectiveness, feeling uncomfortable discussing their client’s experiences in the program, and struggling to incorporate them into their own treatment plans.

How can you ensure you’re fully prepared to work with all of your client’s experiences, influences and supports to improve treatment outcomes?

Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC is a counsellor, addiction expert, recovering alcoholic and author who has been featured in The New York Times and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, and The CBS Early Show.

In this one-day training, she’ll teach you how to effectively integrate 12-step programs into your clinical work so you can more fully engage your clients, build a solid therapeutic alliance, and confidently manage 12-step related issues that may arise during the course of treatment. Watch her and discover:

  • Misconceptions about 12-step programs that could interfere with therapy
  • The narratives, norms and dynamics of 12-step programs you need to better understand your client’s experiences
  • How to grow your comfort in exploring 12-step issues with clients
  • Strategies to integrate 12-step programs with clinical models for greater therapeutic impact

Don’t let your treatment become compartmentalized and leave a pivotal part of your clients’ lives left unaddressed in therapy.

Purchase today!



This online program is worth 6.5 hours CPD.



Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC's Profile

Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC Related seminars and products

Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC is the author of the book Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic and has been featured frequently in the media, including the New York Times. She has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “The Today Show”, “The CBS Early Show”, NPR, and is a blogger for

A Licensed Mental Health Counselor and co-owner of Benton Behavioral Health Consulting, LLC, Sarah is a clinical consultant for Aware Recover Care and the former director of clinical services at Aware Recovery Care, a home-based addiction treatment in North Haven, CT. She is also a clinical consultant for The Strathmore House transitional sober living for men in Boston, MA. She worked previously as an outpatient therapist specializing in addiction treatment at Insight Counseling in Ridgefield, CT, Turnbridge young adult male addiction treatment in New Haven, CT and at McLean Hospital at McLean Brook transitional living program for dual diagnosis in Belmont, MA.

Sarah approaches addiction from the position of a counselor with lived experience, having been in long term recovery from alcoholism since February 2004.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Sarah Benton is the co-owner of Benton Behavioral Health Consulting, LLC and has an employment relationship with Aware Recovery Care. She is a published author and receives royalties. Sarah Benton receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Sarah Benton has no relevant non-financial relationships.


  1. Analyze myths and misconceptions about 12-step programs that could potentially interfere with therapy.
  2. Investigate recovery language and concepts from 12-step programs to better understand experiences clients may want to share in sessions.
  3. Evaluate how clinicians can improve their ability to initiate dialogue and recommendations for clients in 12-step programs to build rapport and connection.
  4. Support dual diagnosis clients on medication-assisted treatment in navigating 12-step programs and maintaining a healthy relationship with their chosen support systems.
  5. Investigate how clinicians can mitigate countertransference issues that might arise and obstruct effective treatment with substance use clients who are also involved in 12-step programs.
  6. Analyze effective ways to integrate 12-step models into client treatment plans as an adjunct to therapy.


12-Step Program Narratives, Language and Therapy-Interfering Misconceptions

  • Personal story of 12-step recovery process
  • Narratives as evidence-based care
  • Exploring unique language and expressions to improve rapport
  • Dispelling 12-Step misconception that can negatively impact therapy

Spirituality and Recovery in 12-Step Programs

  • Exploring the connection between addiction and the human “void”
  • Evidence-based perspective of spirituality and healing
  • Modifications for atheist and agnostic clients

12-Step Challenges and Relevant Themes to Process in Therapy

  • Defining and examining each “Step”
  • Powerlessness vs. making a choice
  • Identifying mood symptoms that may correlate with 12-Steps
  • Improving dialogue and communication with 12-step clients
  • How to handle countertransference - when clients get 12-step advice we question

How the 12-Step Recovery Lifestyle Impacts Treatment

  • The importance of connection and community
  • Advantages and disadvantages of anonymity
  • Debunking myths and stereotypes
  • Supportive and damaging 12-step interpersonal dynamics

Strategies to Integrate the 12-Step and Clinical Models

  • 12-step support for treating co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Strategies for initiating dialogue and recommendations for clients
  • Combining medication-assisted treatment and 12-step approaches
  • Navigating interpersonal and social issues
  • Relapse prevention and management approaches
  • Research and treatment risks and limitations

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Addictions Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Case Workers
  • Nurses
  • Chaplains


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to or call 01235847393.

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