More Varieties of Recovery Experience


In 2006, Ernie Kurtz and I co-authored an essay entitled Varieties of Recovery Experience that was published in the International Journal of Self-Help and Self-Care. It was an early attempt to map the growing pathways and styles of long-term addiction recovery. The proposition that there are multiple pathways of recovery has since become a central mantra of the U.S. and now international new recovery advocacy movement and a subject of growing scientific interest. I have created two new sections at William White Papers to further map these pathways of recovery and their respective histories. The first contains essays I have written on secular, spiritual and religious frameworks of recovery and the second contains key documents and interviews related to the history of a broad spectrum of mutual aid organizations. This blog highlights recent additions that may be of interest to readers.

Alcoholics Anonymous: This section now contains an interview with Ernie Kurtz on the history of AA (also on video) and an interview with Glenn Chesnut on the history of AA History Lovers. Also recently added to the website are interviews with two prominent research scientists, Dr. Lee Ann Kaskutas and Dr. John Kelly, who have conducted landmark studies on AA.

Grief After Substance Passing (GRASP): An interview with Denise and Gary Cullen about the history of GRASP was recently posted. Of related interest is an interview with Jim Contopulos about his film, More than an Addict. Interviews with Gary Mendel, Founder of Brian's Wish and Shatterproof, and Stacie Methewson, founder of the Stacie Mathewson Foundation and Transforming Youth Recovery, will be posted in the near future.

Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others: The site now contains a chronology of JACS, interviews with Lisa Auerbach and David Bucholz, and papers by Rabbi Abraham Twerski (Are the Twelve Steps Kosher?) and Audrey Waxman. (Historical Perspectives on Jews, Women and Addiction).

Moderation Management: This newly added section to the site includes recent interviews with Ana Kosok, Jim Mergens, Dr. Fred Rotgers, and Kurt Schnakenberg. Other interviews with key figures in the birth and evolution if MM will be posted in the coming months.

Narcotics Anonymous: For several years, I have been assisted by two colleagues, Chris Budnick and Boyd Pickard, on a series of studies on the history of Narcotics Anonymous. Just posted this month is a second edition of our Chronology of Narcotics Anonymous, Volume One (1892-1776) containing more than 170 new annotations. Also recently added is a 60th anniversary tribute to NA.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety:A video of SOS founder Jim Christopher has just been posted. Click here to view the video.

Sixteen Step Groups for Empowerment and Discovery:An interview with Dr. Charlotte Kasl, founder of the sixteen step framework of recovery has just been posted.

SMART Recovery: The most recent additions to this section include an interview with Tom Litwicki and an interview with Richard Phillips on the history of SMART Recovery in the UK.

Women for Sobriety: Just added this month is a paper by Rebecca Fenner and Mary Gifford entitled, Women for Sobriety: Thirty-five Years of Challenges, Changes and Continuity.

For those interested in a chronology of addiction recovery mutual aid groups in the United States, click here.

The full story of the growing varieties of addiction recovery experience has yet to be told. My hope is that this archive of interviews and documents will serve as an aid to those exploring their recovery choices and will help future historians tell this story.