Sunday, November 4, 2012

Twelve Steps of Self-Care for Caregivers

I have found the twelve steps of AA and Alanon very helpful in all parts of my life. Whether or not a person is struggling to address an addiction or an addicted family member the philosophy of the Twelve Step approach is both practical and inspirational.

Now I have found a book that applies the practice of the twelve steps to family caregivers and to their own self-care.

The book is, “Self-Care for Caregivers—A Twelve Step Approach”, by Pat Samples and Diane and Marvin Larsen. Pat is the editor of The Phoenix—a personal growth newsletter and Marvin and Diane are experienced family caregivers. Hazelden published the book, and it is order number 1236 at www.

Given our current demographic boom and the increasing need for and demand on family caregivers, and the growing understanding of how the 12 step philosophy works this book lands at the intersection of both and it is a wonderful contribution to the language and practices for caregivers. The other growing population that will naturally benefit from  this approach is the membership of AA, Alanon, OA, NA, Nar Anon etc. who have learned to integrate emotional growth and spiritual growth with practical change in their lives. They are also part of the growing demographic bump of caregivers.

This is a book that would work well in a caregiver support group as it breaks down caregiver needs and the ways to think about care of self and others using the language of the twelve steps.

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