Workshop VI

"Unpacking Bill’s Letter on Emotional Sobriety"


Bill Wilson's fourth legacy to recovery and the 12 Step fellowships is emotional sobriety. In his quest to understand and heal his depression he sought both spiritual guidance and psychological help to understand why working the 12 Steps was not helping him overcome his depression. The answers he discovered were shared with another member of the fellowship and eventually published as a Grapevine article in 1958. This article is filled with penetrating insights into the issues that cause us anxiety and depression.


Dr. B. will unpack this letter and discuss how Bill's insights relate to the work of several masters of psychotherapy that included Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, Murray Bowen, and Walter Kempler to mention a few. The purpose of this discussion is to provide an understanding of what we need to do to keep our emotional center of gravity firmly balanced over our own two feet.

          Alan B.


Allen B., Ph.D. is recognized as an expert in the science of recovery and a popular recovery author for Hazelden. He has over 44 years of recovery from alcoholism and other drug addiction. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and is known to many as No Nonsense Al. He is the 2015 recipient of the Susan Laufer Award for promoting the importance of self help groups.

Bill Wilson's 1958 Grapevine article on "Emotional Sobriety"

Click on the image below to download an exact reproduction of the original article.