A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps
The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:
About This Program
Target Population: Women and teenage girls with addictive disorders
For children/adolescents ages: 14 – 17
The A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps program materials meet the needs of women and teenage girls who struggle to relate to the traditional language of Twelve Step programs, as well as those who find this woman-centered perspective an important addition to traditional recovery materials. The A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps book is a compilation of a diverse group of women’s voices explaining what the Steps mean to them and how they have incorporated these principles in their lives. The women interviewed for this book are members of Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Al-Anon and Debtors Anonymous. The women also discuss the four issues that reflect the areas of change in their lives from addiction to recovery. These issues are also key triggers to relapse: self, relationship, sexuality, and spirituality.
The workbook helps to increase a woman’s or a teenage girl’s understanding of the Steps through simple exercises and journaling activities. There is a facilitator guide which describes a thirteen-session process with lesson plans.
The goals of A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps are:
- Decrease in substance abuse
- Increase in self-efficacy
- Stabilize recovery
The essential components of A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps include:
- Four components:
- Facilitator's guide
- The first two components, A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps workbook and A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps book are designed to be used together. The workbook helps to increase understanding of the lessons in the book with simple exercises and journaling activities. It further empowers each woman/girl to take ownership of her recovery by documenting her growth and recovery process in a personally meaningful way.
- A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps facilitator's guide consists of thirteen sessions. The first session is an introductory session followed by 12 sessions – one for each of The Twelve Steps. The 12 sessions have simple interactive, experiential exercises to help teach the group participants the concepts embedded in each step. There should be 6-12 women/girls with one facilitator per group. Each session has information on how to adapt these groups for teenage girls.
- Opening Session: Beginning (2 activities)
- Session One: Step One (2 activities)
- Session Two: Step Two (3 activities)
- Session Three: Step Three (5 activities)
- Session Four: Step Four (2 activities)
- Session Five: Step Five (3 activities)
- Session Six: Step Six (4 activities)
- Session Seven: Step Seven (3 activities)
- Session Eight: Step Eight (3 activities)
- Session Nine: Step Nine (3 activities)
- Session Ten: Step Ten (4 activities)
- Session Eleven: Step Eleven (3 activities)
- Session Twelve: Step Twelve (2 activities)
- The A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps facilitator's guide describes when and how to use the book, workbook, and DVD, as well as instructions on how to adapt the content for teenage girls. The guide also offers essential background information and integrates the most current research and best practices regarding women and recovery to support a program that is designed to help women recover from substance-use disorders and other addictive behaviors.
- A Woman's Way through The Twelve Steps DVD is for clients, family members, and facilitators who want to learn how women and teenage girls can utilize The Twelve Steps in a safe, nurturing environment that allows them to heal from addiction. It provides an example of group of women participating in A Woman's Way through The Twelve Steps, as well as professionals discussing the intervention.
- All four components of A Woman's Way through The Twelve Steps are trauma-informed and designed for use with women/girls in residential and outpatient treatment programs, as well as mental health and criminal justice settings. The components can stand alone, but to achieve the best outcomes, it is recommended that all four components be used together as a comprehensive, integrated treatment program for women.
A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:
- Substance abuse and other addictive disorders
A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps directly provides services to adults (regardless of whether they are parents or caregivers) and addresses the following:
- Primarily substance abuse; however, appropriate for other addictive disorders
One to two 90-minute sessions per week
13 sessions – two to three months
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Community Agency
- Outpatient Clinic
- Prison or pre-release center
- Residential Care Facility
- Reentry Agency/Facility
A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps includes a homework component:
Women/girls have a workbook to process their group experience and practice skills.
A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps has materials available in a language other than English:
For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
- Facilitator’s guide
- Flip chart
- Room with chairs in a circle
- A group facilitator
- Art supplies for collage work
Minimum Provider Qualifications
High school graduate. Experience with Twelve Step groups is very useful.
Education and Training Resources
There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.
Training is obtained:
Training can be provided onsite. There are also trainings available at various sites in California and other parts of the U.S. For more information see, www.stephaniecovington.com and www.centerforgenderandjustice.org.
Number of days/hours:
Generally 1 day
There currently are additional qualified resources for training:
Please contact the Training Contact above for a list of certified trainers.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.
Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps.
Covington, S. (2012). Curricula to support trauma-informed practice with women. In N. Poole, & L. Greaves (Eds.). Becoming trauma informed. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Covington, S. S. (2013). Understanding and applying gender differences in recovery. In A. L. O’Neil & J. Lucas (Eds.), DAWN Drugs and Alcohol Women Network: Promoting a gender responsive approach to addiction, pp. 339-362. Turin, Italy: United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).
Covington, S. & Surrey, J. (2000). The relational model of women's psychological development: Implications for substance abuse. Work in Progress, 91. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center.
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2014
Last CEBC Contact Date: February 2018
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2016
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: July 2012