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Experiences in the program are often shared by outgoing members with incoming members.

This rotation of experience is often considered to have a great spiritual reward.

The programs tend to be organized around autonomous local groups, where people in recovery meet regularly to support each other and work through the steps.

Most twelve step meetings are free, non-commercial and open to anyone suffering from the particular affliction - for example, AA meetings are usually open to anyone "with a desire to stop drinking." As summarized by the American Psychological Association, the process involves the following: Twelve-step methods have been adapted to address a wide range of alcoholism, substance-abuse and dependency problems.

Michel Foucault, a French philosopher, noted such practices produce intrinsic modifications in the person—exonerating, redeeming and purifying them; relieves them of their burden of wrong, liberating them and promising salvation.

The personal nature of the behavioral issues that lead to seeking help in twelve-step fellowships results in a strong relationship between sponsee and sponsor.

In accordance with the First Step, twelve-step groups emphasize self-admission by members of the problem they are recovering from.

They were developed in AA in order to help resolve conflicts in the areas of publicity, politics, religion and finances.

In the twelve-step program human structure is symbolically represented in three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual.

As the relationship is based on spiritual principles, it is unique and not generally characterized as "friendship".

Fundamentally, the sponsor has the single purpose of helping the sponsee recover from the behavioral problem that brought the sufferer into twelve-step work, which reflexively helps the sponsor recover.

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