What is the purpose of the reading materials?

As an integral part of the Twelve Principles’ curriculum, Dr. Carnes has developed a reading program that is designed to promote and educate you throughout the course. The books and articles are meant as reading for pleasure, for inspiration, for knowledge and encouragement. But in order for you to receive the full benefits of the Twelve Principles Recovery Program, some of the readings will be mandatory throughout this course.

Each quarter will be focused on one principle. Each Principle will have its own list of required readings, recommended readings and additional (or suggested) readings for the specific focus of each quarter. Each day you will receive something to supplement what you find in the principles book. In addition, there is a directed reading program which interacts with your daily package. The readings will all relate to the Principle being studied. We recommend that you select from the list presented. Some of which you may have already read but you may wish to reread. Some books on the master list are worthy of reading again at different times in your life and some books and articles are so rich they can be used as part of your meditation process. Others are worth reading simply for their knowledge. We recommend certain recovery classics which are important to know about. Read a chapter or a few pages or even paragraphs depending how the work strikes you.

Every quarter we recommend a book on the brain because addiction and codependency are problems of the brain. These are not technical books but really informative about how to transform our brains. Our brain replaces all their cells every two years and your reading can impact how it improves. Our brain also gets better with age and it is important to understand that. Early in the Gentle Path Through the Twelve Principles book Dr. Carnes describes why the Twelve Steps work so well from the point of view of science. Every health problem requires that we become good consumers of health information. Recovering people need to understand what happens when our brains go awry and how we improve that.

In addition, sometimes the readings will involve articles or selected reading out of an author’s work because it so effectively captures the Principle for that quarter. Also there are books that relate to specific issues such as sexuality, money, or work. The point of the program is to make recovery and the Principles a focus. When we bring that focus to our groups we all become better. When we implement them in our lives we lead the way to help our culture respond to addiction and its ripple effect through our families and lives. Bottom line – we structure it so every day you are learning.