The Alternative 12 Steps: A Secular Guide to Recovery

Alternative 12 StepsA pioneering work.

In 1991, two women were successfully working the 12-Step program… and they were atheists. They knew the program worked, and translated the Steps into secular terms. This ground-breaking book – as valuable today as it was when it was first written – is their sharing of this secular translation.

In The Alternative 12 Steps: A Secular Guide to Recovery, Martha Cleveland and Arlys G. show how the 12-Step program can be interpreted and worked by those who simply do not believe in an interventionist deity. At the same time the authors conscientiously maintain the intention and integrity of the program – its values, scope and depth. A chapter is devoted to each Step. The language is clear, engaging and personal.

The Foreword to this Second Edition of the book begins with a striking quote from Chapter Three which captures the essence of both the book and the 12 Steps: “We can learn the universal, generic pattern of life’s dance from the 12 Steps. But in our individual dance of life, we choose our own music and dance our own dance.” The Foreword is written by Roger C., who included this version of the Steps in The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps.

This is a unique, inspiring and helpful book for anyone – regardless of belief or lack of belief – who would like to work the 12 Step program.

The Alternative 12 Steps: A Secular Guide to Recovery, by Martha Cleveland and Arlys G., Second Edition, AA Agnostica, 2014, 143 pages.


A paperback or Kindle version of The Alternative 12 Steps is available at Amazon. It is also available via Amazon in Canada and the United Kingdom and Europe.

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An iBook version for the Mac or iPad is available here at iTunes.