A Woman's Way through the Twelve Steps Workbook (Paperback)
Women's recovery can differ from men's, and each person's recovery is in many ways unique. That's why Stephanie Covington has designed the A Women's Way Through the Twelve Steps Workbook to help women and gender-expansive people each find their own path—and find it in terms especially suited to the way women experience not just addiction and recovery but also relationships, self, sexuality, and everyday life.
Deepening and extending the lessons of a book that has helped countless women and gender-expansive people, this workbook makes A Women's Way Through the Twelve Steps that much more measured, meaningful, and clear. Unlike many ''rewritten'' Twelve Step interpretations for women, this workbook begins with the original Step language, preserving its spirit and focusing attention on its healing message. In sections devoted to each of the Twelve Steps, Covington blends narrative, self-assessment questions focused on women’s definitions of terms such as ''powerlessness'' and ''letting go,'' guided imagery exercises, and physical grounding activities.
Designed to be used in conjunction with A Women's Way Through the Twelve Steps, this workbook helps deepen and extend the lessons taught there and further empowers each woman to take ownership of her recovery process as well as her growth as a person. It is also designed to be used in conjunction with A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps Facilitator Guide in facilitated groups in residential or outpatient treatment programs for substance use disorder or other addictive disorders.
About the Author
Stephanie S. Covington, PhD, LCSW, is an internationally recognized clinician, organizational consultant, lecturer, author, and pioneer in the fields of addiction and trauma. For more than thirty-five years, she has created gender-responsive and trauma-informed programs and curricula for use in public, private, and criminal-legal settings, across the US and globally.
Dr. Covington’s experience with addiction began with her own life: she became a social drinker who woke up numerous times over the years to no recollection of the night before. On one of those mornings, she woke up afraid, confused, and finally able to acknowledge to herself that she needed help. Thus began day one of a transformative recovery journey, 45 years and counting, that fixed her on a goal of helping other women reclaim their lives as she had.
Her extensive experience includes consulting for and developing programs for numerous US and international agencies and designing women’s services at the Betty Ford Center. She has published extensively, including ten gender-responsive, trauma-informed treatment curricula and the first manualized treatment program for substance use disorder treatment. Educated at Columbia University and the Union Institute, Dr. Covington is based in La Jolla, California, where she is co-director of the Institute for Relational Development and the Center for Gender & Justice.
"In 1994, when I was about five years into my recovery, my sponsor gave me Stephanie Covington’s A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps. I can only imagine how many millions of women have finally been able to connect to their recovery through this classic—and now transgender and nonbinary individuals will be able to see themselves in recovery literature, too. Ever the visionary, Dr. Covington has yet again made women’s recovery more accessible and inclusive. The workbook and facilitator guide are the tools needed to ensure that many millions more women benefit from this brilliant and accessible work."
— Dawn Nickel
"As CEO of an agency that includes six gender-specific women’s treatment programs, I have had the benefit of hearing from numerous counselors and clinicians who have used A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps workbook and facilitator guide. All have shared my view that they are a wonderful resource that provides a reflective and empowering approach to recovery, uniquely designed for women. The workbook’s exercises offer priceless support for those who seek healing and change, while the facilitator guide offers professionals in the field valuable direction. I have also seen the empowering effect these materials can have on recovery and personal growth."
— Jeanne McAlister
"A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps was a groundbreaking work that reflected Dr. Stephanie Covington’s tireless advocacy to ensure that the needs of women in recovery were fully met. In the 30th anniversary edition, Dr. Covington has done a great deal of work to update the language and truly make the shift from gender-specific care to gender-responsive care. This workbook serves as a lovely companion to the updated book and will help all women on a Twelve Step path of recovery engage in the Steps more fully and meaningfully."
— Dr. Jamie Marich
"Written in 1939, the original Twelve Steps of AA have helped millions of people around the world. But as they were developed by men for men and reflected the knowledge of addiction at that time, the voices of women and gender-expansive people were not included or even conceived of.
Stephanie Covington changed that with her seminal publication of A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps, published in 1994. For the first time, the voices of women in recovery were illuminated.
In the updated version of that work, Dr. Covington includes new information on the impact of trauma as well as the voices of many more women and gender-expansive people sharing their challenges, triumphs, experience, strength, and hope.
With a trauma-informed and gender-expansive lens, Dr. Covington allows so many more people to be “seen” and “heard” while sharing the powerful healing experience of inclusivity.
The facilitator guide and the participant workbook complete the package. Women can personalize their recovery journey and have something to refer to for years to come. The facilitator guide allows professionals and nonprofessionals alike to run groups with confidence.
As a trainer, consultant, and colleague of Dr. Covington’s and a retired director of treatment centers for co-occurring disorders, I have witnessed over and over the transformational power of her work.
Thank you, Dr. Covington, for listening and including our voices."
— Carol Ackley, LADC, CEO, retired
"Dr. Stephanie Covington has developed a companion workbook to her book A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps. A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps Workbook is so useful and beneficial to women on their recovery journey. Dr. Covington has an inviting way for women to begin to think differently about the Twelve Steps and how they can help in women’s desire for recovery. The focus is on spirituality, not religion. Dr. Covington thoughtfully formatted the workbook to include self-soothing exercises for awareness, and she ends each Step with gratitude for learning and growth. Asking women to journal their responses has a profound effect on each person and allows for additional processing for long-term healing. A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps Workbook is essential for women working through the Twelve Steps!"
— Sandy Clark, MS, LPCC, LADC, NCACII, SAP Therapist, Educator
"Stephanie Covington, in her revised and expanded edition of A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps, has applied more than forty-five years of personal recovery experience as well as her expertise in addiction recovery and women’s issues to her classic opus. With the Twelve Steps of AA as its backbone and rewritten to reflect issues faced by women and gender-diverse people, this book gives readers a recipe for healing and flourishing in the face of addictive disorders. In this new iteration of her 1994 classic, she not only applies the Twelve Step model to initial healing but also promotes the eventual development of an authentic self, the healing of sexual wounds, the expansion of a relationship skill base and repertoire, and a deep dive into a uniquely personal understanding of spirituality. This newly revised edition is remarkably comprehensive and, when combined with the companion workbook, is an invaluable tool for women anywhere along the recovery continuum."
— Lorie Dwinell, LCSW
"Women and gender-diverse people in recovery can use this workbook that Dr. Covington has developed to explore their inner world on an as-ready basis, deepening their experience of the Twelve Steps and working through trauma residue, if present. The workbook is not a substitute for professional help if it is needed, but with the help of an astute sponsor, recovering women can use it to develop an understanding of what makes them tick and what experiences contributed to their addictive behaviors. The workbook provides an important experience for women in recovery who are ready to dig deeper into their history, allowing them to identify potential triggers for relapse and unresolved grief for losses prior to and resulting from their addiction. It is a comprehensive template for exploring the many causes and aspects of addiction, providing recovering women and their sponsors an outline that can be returned to many times."
— Lorie Dwinell, LCSW
"Progressing through the lessons, participants reflect on personal journeys and, through myriad activities, identify context around harmful and helpful decisions and choices. Numerous activities and exercises can be done regardless of place, economics, and personal challenges. They allow participants to “try on” certain perspectives to see if they fit, to recognize how these perspectives may have contributed to harmful activity, and to identify strengths and develop stepping stones for moving forward."
— Maureen Buell, retired