Women for Sobriety

This mutual aid organization has been providing services to women alcoholics since July, 1976. Women for Sobriety is a secular non-profit organization dedicated to helping women overcome alcoholism and other addictions. It is the first national self-help program for women alcoholics.

Women for Sobriety promotes a “New Life” Program designed to help achieve sobriety and sustain ongoing recovery. The Program is based on Thirteen Acceptance Statements that, when accepted and used, provides each woman with a new way of life through a new way of thinking. Women in recovery are asked to think about each of the statements upon arising every morning. One statement is to be selected and used consciously all day. At the end of the day, just before sleeping, the use and effects of the statement on thoughts and actions are reveiwed. The goal of the affirmations is behaviour modification. By practicing affirmations and positive thinking, it is thought WFS members slowly change their habits and their thoughts become reality. (Wikipedia)

The organization was launched by Jean Kirkpatrick, an alcoholic who found that AA just wasn’t working for her. WFS members focus on responsibility rather than powerlessness, on self-esteem rather than humility and on thinking rather than surrender. Rather than talking about “hitting bottom,” as is done in AA, Women for Sobriety focuses on a “turning point” as essential to recovery. There are eight general categories of turning points: physical signs of alcoholism, emotional problems, general life problems, loss of control over drinking, being confronted about their drinking, problems related to driving, exposure to others’ drinking problems and problems related to work.

While the program stresses spirituality as a fundamental part of life, the solution to alcoholism is within the mind of the female alcoholic. Kirkpatrick “began to see that by changing her thoughts she could change herself… Her sobriety was achieved by realizing that she was a capable woman and that all her problems were the creation of her own mind.” (From the website, Women for Sobriety.)

Today there are over 300 groups in the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Finland. Increasingly, treatment facilities are using the WFS Program.