Psychiatrists and Alcoholics Anonymous

A.A. cooperates with the psychiactric profession on the basis of cooperation, but not affiliation. Many an alcoholic is now sent to A.A. by his own psychiatrist.

Therapists Catalyse Recovery

I told my therapist I’d decided to quit therapy

I told my him I’d decided to quit therapy because, after eight years, it wasn’t working… He began asking me questions – he asked about quantities, frequency, what I drank. Before he was even halfway through, I broke down and began sobbing.  I cried, “Do you think I have a problem with drinking?” He replied, I think that is quite obvious.” I then asked, “Do you think I’m an alcoholic?” And he answered, “You are going to have to find out for yourself.” He pulled a list of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings out of his desk drawer; he had already highlighted the young people’s meetings.

Extract from of a story of recovery from the book Alcoholics Anonymous, reproduced here with the permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

A psychiatrist in A.A. describes his recovery

What is this power that A.A. possesses? This curative power? I don’t know what it is.

  • I suppose the doctor might say, “This is psychosomatic medicine.”
  • I suppose the psychiatrist might say, “This is benevolent interpersonal relations.”
  • I suppose others would say, “This is group psychotherapy.”

Extract from Physician, Heal Thyself, reproduced here with the permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

How A.A. Members Co-operate with Psychiatrists

The longer we A.A. members stay sober, the more likely it is that we will say, “Anything that works towards the recovery for the alcoholic is good, and this includes hospitals, rehabilitation centres, state or provincial alcoholism centres, religion and psychiatry – as well as A.A.”

Extract from How A.A. Members Co-operate with professionals, reproduced here with the permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

Bill Wilson, cofounder of AA, addressed the American Psychiactric Association, Montreal, Quebec, May 1949.

Have you asked your patient yet?

Have you asked your patient, “Would you like to stop drinking?

If the answer is “Yes” then your patient qualifies as a member of A.A.

There are no dues or fees for membership of A.A. The only requirement for membership of A.A. is a desire to stop drinking.

Would you like to help?

Please contact us if you have suggestions about how this page can be used to create a resource for

  • people within this community group who would like to help people with drinking problems
  • alcoholics within this community group who are still suffering
  • A.A. members in service groups that are working with this community group