Identity in the Empathic Community: Alcoholics Anonymous as a Model Community for Storytelling and Change

This article reviews the dynamics of healing in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) through interviews with two women who are long-term members of the AA program. Donnel Stern's relational psychoanalytic theory is used to describe how change might occur through the process of claiming one's story an...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Pastoral psychology
Main Author: Waters, Sonia
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Springer Science Business Media B. V. [2015]
In: Pastoral psychology
Year: 2015, Volume: 64, Issue: 5, Pages: 769-782
IxTheo Classification:NBC Doctrine of God
RG Pastoral care
ZD Psychology
Further subjects:B Social Change
B Group Identity
B Narrative
B Storytelling
B Alcoholics
B Donnel Stern
B Relational psychoanalysis
B Alcoholics Anonymous
B Empathy
B Dissociation
B same-sex relationships
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:This article reviews the dynamics of healing in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) through interviews with two women who are long-term members of the AA program. Donnel Stern's relational psychoanalytic theory is used to describe how change might occur through the process of claiming one's story and interpreting it through the structure of an empathic storytelling community. As the two women were recently married and locate their personal healing in the AA program, I consider how their alternative community influenced their coming to relationship. I conclude by imagining what the AA program might teach the Christian community, claiming that Christian congregations need to consciously and purposefully form relational and storytelling norms that foster an empathic listening environment.
ISSN:1573-6679
Contains:Enthalten in: Pastoral psychology
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s11089-015-0649-1