UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Recovery from alcoholism without religion Hobkirk, Steven


Atheists have been paid little attention in the social sciences, particularly in the field of addiction recovery. An Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) support group, which puts emphasis on belief in God as a means to achieving sobriety, is often the first form of help that people struggling with alcoholism access. The purpose of this study is to provide a rich description of the experiences of atheists who attended AA as a part of their recovery from alcoholism. A semi-structured interview was conducted with four male participants who attended AA and do not believe in God. Thematic Content Analysis (TCA) was used to describe their experience by identifying themes in their stories. The following four themes were identified: religiosity a barrier, exploring personal responsibility, community and connection, and openness and growth. Suggestions for further research and implications for counselling professionals are discussed.

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