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Professional Counselors' Perceptions of the Role of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in Substance Abuse Treatment: A Qualitative Narrative




Rogers, Maria

Type of Degree



Counseling Psychology


Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an accepted, widely used practice in substance abuse treatment as a stand-alone method and as an adjunct to more traditional therapeutic models. The absence of overwhelming support for the AA model as a successful or curative approach in the treatment of substance abuse coupled with the far ranging use of this approach by professional counselors and treatment centers appears counterintuitive. The present study examines professional counselors’ perceptions of the perceived benefits of AA, how and under what circumstances they would identify participation in AA as the best treatment option, and their assessment of the circumstances under which AA should be used. Results may contribute to the development of protocols for determining which clients might be referred by professionals to AA, which might be treated solely with more counseling-based models, and which might benefit most from some combination of the two approaches. Findings may also have implications for alcohol and drug treatment programs.