The Act of Surrender Part 1

The Act of Surrender in the Therapeutic Process. Page 13. 1

The terms “spiritual experience” and “spiritual awakening” are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms. 2

In this paper, Tiebout is going to look at surrender from a psychiatric point of view.  He wants to understand what we in AA see as a spiritual transformation in psychological terms. He especially wants to understand what causes an individual to resist the act of surrender. He identifies “defiant individualism” and “grandiosity” as two personality traits in alcoholics that block the act of surrender. He says they flow from the “persisting infantile ego.” We are going to get a first look at what he later calls the “ego factors” that block the surrender he recognizes is essential to recovery. We call it the beginning of a spiritual experience that allows an alcoholic to proceed with the steps. Tiebout sees it as essential before therapy can commence.

TIEBOUT H. The act of surrender in the therapeutic process with special reference to alcoholism. Q J Stud Alcohol. 1949;10(1):48-58. [PubMed]
Spiritual Experience. In: Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition. A.A. World Services Inc.; 2012:567.

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