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Merging PNP with 12 Step Recovery

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Ramon Rodriguez, PNP Specialist

trainIs there a correlation between what PsychoNeuroPlasticity (PNP) interventions and the 12 steps of recovery do for the individual when applied? Definitely.

I have taken the 12 steps myself and applied them to my own life. There has been a profound change in my way of thinking and living. I have also applied PNP techniques and have experienced an enhancement in my thinking, and in turn, in my life. Moreover, working with our clientele in the PNP Department has also shown proof of this correlation. As we say, the proof is always in the pudding.

These two applications work to alter the perceptions of the individual to the point that the individual has a better outlook of himself or herself. With this alteration of the distraught personality, the capability of facing life’s experiences successfully becomes possible.

How does this personality change come about? It is well known now that the brain has the ability to change throughout its entire life. Through the brain’s plasticity, PNP applies this truth through certain techniques to alter and build new neuro-pathways. Using the “Big Book” as a reference guide to the Twelve Steps, it is very clear that if the precise instructions of taking the 12 steps and are applied, the same results occur.

Dr. Silkworth in the chapter, “The Doctor’s Opinion”, refers to this change as a “psychic change.” He firmly states that this psychic change has to occur in order for the alcoholic/addict to have a life changing experience. The good Doctor also admits, out of his own experience in working with countless alcoholics and addicts, that “… physicians have made little impression upon the problem as a whole.” In another statement, he says, “We (physicians) are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge. He also adds, “Many types do not respond to the ordinary psychological approach.”

Dr. Silkworth goes on to endorse the altruistic and spiritual approach of the Twelve Steps, due to witnessing the many that were being restored to their right minds. This is where PsychoNeuroPlasticity has its correlation.

Many of our clients here at Origins may sincerely have the honest desire to stop the insanity of drinking and drugging, but have not been able to do so because of the mental obsession. These particular clients come to PNP for some cognitive relief. With an open-mind and cooperation, they get that relief. Having applied certain techniques, specific to each individual, many a client has left PNP with a sense of comfort and ease. Many are released from the state of being restless, irritable, and discontent. These states have been clinically described as: anxiety, stress, tension, and depression, etc. Many have also reported that they have been relieved of their mental obsession, for others it has been lessened to a tolerable state.

Please note that we at PNP do not consider its techniques to be the cure-all, though some clients have improved considerably. We emphasize to the clients to continue the process of the Twelve Steps, to get the fullness of the psychic change. We also emphasize to them to continue being opened to the expertise of their primary counselors, as well as the discharge personnel. With the integration of all departments working for the wellbeing of each of our clients, and with the client’s cooperation, we will have altered the individual’s mind, emotions, body, and their spiritual wellbeing, to a recovered state.

The individual will then have all the tools available to continue their growth and face life successfully.

At PNP, we apply the techniques to all of these major components of the individual. We include spiritualty as a major component of this process. We use an array for interventions, including:

  • Meditation exercises
  • Diaphragmatic breathing through Biofeedback
  • Sensory Deprivation Chamber, helping them to discover within themselves
  • A positive attributes exercise we call “20 Qualities”
  • Bio Acoustical Utilization Devices (BAUDs) that help clients create new positive neuro-pathways


All of these, as well as other techniques, helps the client to have a psychic change, as well as a spiritual awakening. As the 12th Step suggests, our clients learn “…to practice these principles in all of our affairs.” At PNP we also emphasize that they continue to practice these techniques until it becomes a way of life. With continued practice of the 12 Steps, along with PNP techniques, which are already suggested within the Twelve Steps, the individual will reach a higher level of consciousness never thought possible.

The application of PNP techniques and the practice of the 12 Steps are parallel to one another, never to be substituted one for the other, but to be utilized in such a manner that both eventually merge as one.