Women For Sobriety

National Program for Women Alcoholics

Woman on Telephone
WFS Is Designed Specifically for Women. © Getty Images

Women For Sobriety, founded in 1976 by Jean Kirkpatrick, is an organization and self-help program for women alcoholics, the first national self-help program exclusively for the estimated 7.5 million women alcoholics in the United States alone.

After seeking sobriety for herself, Kirkpatrick discovered there were no program available that dealt specifically with issues faced by female alcoholics, so she began Women For Sobriety to address their needs as she saw them.

According to the Women For Sobriety website, the program was developed after it was discovered that male alcoholics experienced higher rates of recovery than females did wihtin existing treatment and recovery programs.

The consensus at the time was that women alcoholics were "harder to treat" than men and were "less cooperative" than male alcoholics. But the website states, Women For Sobriety concluded that women needed a different approach to recovery than their male counterparts.

"Women's recovery needs are quite different from those of the male alcoholic. Men and women's attitudes have always been different. So, too, their problems. Not to recognize this is to deny recovery to the thousands. It is unconscionable," writes Kirpatrick in articles on the WFS web site. "There is a vast difference between men and women in recovery and their differences must be taken into consideration and dealt with for women to effect a lasting sobriety and recovery from alcoholism."

New Life Program

Based upon a Thirteen Statement Program of positivity that encourages emotional and spiritual growth, the "New Life" Program tries to help women overcome their alcoholism and learn a wholly new lifestyle.

The Women For Sobriety website suggest that women take 15 minutes each morning to review the "Thirteen Affirmations" of the New Life Acceptance Program.

The site suggest that members "take one Statement and use it consciously all day. At the end of the day review the use of it and what effects it had that day for you and your actions."

Not Affiliated With Other Programs

Women for Sobriety is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous. Members of Women for Sobriety sometimes belong to AA, but the website states, each organization has its individual purpose and should be kept separated. As a Program, it can stand alone or be used along with other programs.

The program is abstinence-based and has the philosophy: forget the past, plan for tomorrow and live for today. Membership requires a desire to stop drinking and a "sincere desire for a new life."

Self-Help Groups

Women For Sobriety has self-help groups throughout the world which usually meet in the homes of members and facilitated by a group moderator. The web site a section describing how WFS meetings work and a process for members to become a group moderator.

The web site also has a bookstore section where members and anyone interested in the program and order books and tapes.

Women For Sobriety's New Life program has been adapted to fit the needs of women struggling with additions to other substances and behaviors. Also, the website says, that Men For Sobriety groups have been formed in the U.S. and Canada.

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