A mindful program for lasting change

The Proactive 12 Steps describe a healing path for people who want to make lasting changes in their life. They are inspired by the traditional Twelve Steps, but they have a down-to-earth approach. They are informed by what we know about stress and trauma, and how to disentangle ourselves from the intricacies of our coping mechanisms.

The big idea

The original Twelve Steps of A.A. were built around a powerful idea: When faced with a seemingly intractable problem, you have to give up trying to force change through willpower. The way to solve the intractable problem is to change the structure of your life.

In the original Steps, a considerable role is ascribed to God or to some Higher Power that eventually removes your shortcomings. It is a relief from the burdensome belief that you should be able to control all aspects of your life. But it also implies that healing works in mysterious ways, unknowable to mere mortals.

A down-to-earth program

The Proactive Twelve Steps are written in a down-to-earth way that makes the healing process more explicit. They describe in clear terms how we make it possible for change to happen.

This approach makes sense to secular agnostics and atheists as well as religious people. The goal of clarity is not anti-God. If you believe in God, think of it as wanting to know how God’s will manifests on earth. For instance, it is quite possible to believe both in God and in modern medicine.

The Proactive 12 Steps are for all people who want to adopt a mindful, proactive approach to change. You can read them on their own or in parallel with the original Steps as a way to gain a new perspective on the process.

12 steps without god

The purpose of this website is to make the Proactive 12 Steps freely available to all. It features the steps, a discussion of each step (including printable PDFs), as well as other excerpts from the book.

There is additional material in the book, The Proactive Twelve Steps: A Mindful Program For Lasting Change.

Start with Step 1

… or with the list of alternative 12 steps.

Note for therapists.