We live in an age of addiction–be it alcohol, hard drugs, sex, our blackberries or whatever.  There seems to be a 12 step approach to overcoming any addiction imaginable.  In general, it has been a powerful tool for healing for millions, and continues to be so.

The problem that some "addicts" have with it deals with its basic metaphysical (philosophical) underpinnings: 1} -one is powerless over one's addiction, 2} one is incapable of personally overcoming the conditions which lead to the addiction, 3} one must turn oneself over to a "higher power" outside of oneself in order to succeed, 4} one must continuously  deal with the "disease" of addiction which is inherently incurable, 5} one is dependent upon a community including sponsors who are available whenever one is tempted, has a craving to return to the despised path.

There are a group of alternative approaches known as "non 12 step" which view the condition/problem from a completely different metaphysical perspective.  In general, they deny any spiritual element to addiction or recovery.  They endeavor to empower the individual to acquire skills in order to avoid re-addiction.  They do not consider anyone to be "diseased" for life.  They do not advocate the use of sponsors or lifetime meetings.  They utilize cognitive /behavioral techniques to empower the individual.

There may be an alternative approach which in some ways synthesizes the previous two which appear so divergent.  The Kabbalistic path to recovery is deeply spiritual yet empowers the individual as well.  It rejects the notion that we are inherently weak or sinful.  It emphasizes the power of individual choice and individual responsibility.  The addict is not viewed as "diseased" when not using drugs.

Kabbalah recognizes the inherent fragmentation and adversity of life but offers hope for healing and renewal.  The notion of tikkun  acknowledges that healing is not only possible but necessary for the healing of the individual soul and the world.  It acknowledges that the "higher power" is not an external, transcendent force alone, but resides within each of us as a spark of divinity.

In Kabbalistic healing, we are capable of finding inner, personal strength from a spiritual source.  It does not denigrate or deny the power of fellowship and groups.  They are necessary for many in recovery.  It does, however, ask the individual to accept responsibility for their own acts and to strive for personal healing.

It is an alternative approach which may appeal to individuals who have problems choosing between the previous opposing options.  One should be open to whatever approach works.

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