THE 12 STEPS OF PARENTAL ALIENATION ANONYMOUS (PA-A.org)
1. We admitted we were powerless over PEOPLE (Our alienator, our children and any other relationships)—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God (interchangeable with the Universe, your higher power or anything else that gives you comfort) as we understood Them.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God (interchangeable with the Universe, your higher power or anything else that gives you comfort), to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God (interchangeable with the Universe, your higher power or anything else that gives you comfort) remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Them to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God (interchangeable with the Universe, your higher power or anything else that gives you comfort) as we understood Them, praying only for knowledge of Their will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other folks suffering from this disease, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
PA-A’s 12 Steps and 12 Traditions are reprinted and adapted from the first 164 pages of the “Big Book,” Alcoholics Anonymous, with permission from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt this material does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved this or any other PA-A material. AA is a program for recovery from alcoholism only. Use of AA material in the program of PA-A, which is patterned after that of AA but which addresses other issues, does not constitute endorsement by, or affiliation with, AA.
2 “God” in PA-A literature can mean the Deity, a deity, a spiritual entity of one’s own understanding (a Higher Power), or a non-spiritual conception (a higher purpose). Reliance on any one of these conceptions confers a perspective that transcends our immediate physical, social, and emotional circumstances and allows us to “keep calm and carry on” with what really matters.
3 The term “spiritual awakening” can refer to an event – a vital spiritual experience – or to a gradual change. Those of us who are atheists also experience a transformation, enabling us to place service before selfishness.
Many of us first reacted to this list like those who first encounter AA’s Twelve Steps: “What an order! I can’t go through with it!” And, in the same way that AA members comfort newcomers, we in PA-A are happy to reassure, “Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.” The point is that we are willing to grow along the lines we have set down. We aim for balance, understanding that “our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God/Higher power (etc) and the people about us.” We claim progress, never perfection.
Our description of Parental Alienation, coupled with our personal adventures before and after finding recovery, make clear three pertinent ideas:
• That we had serious problems—relationships—that we could not solve despite our best efforts.
• That no accessible human power had relieved our relationship problems.
• That reliance on God, a Higher Power, or a higher purpose could—and would—restore us to sanity and set us free.