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Women For Sobriety: Helping Women Overcome Alcoholism And Addiction

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

Medically reviewed by

Jennifer Cousineau, MSCP, LPCI, NCC

April 5, 2019

Alcoholism and addiction are major issues in the United States and elsewhere, which is not news. Yet finding a proper diagnosis, and getting the right treatment for those recovering, is an ongoing effort. Women for Sobriety (WFS) recognized that women, in particular, had special needs for treatment which were not being met; WFS pledged itself to helping women in their recovery journeys.

What Is Women For Sobriety?

WFS was established in an effort to provide a comprehensive program for treatment tailored to women’s unique recovery needs. It focuses on two main types of help: abstinence and self-help. It is unique in that it is an organization comprised of women to help women. WFS is not affiliated with or connected to any other recovery organizations. It also recognizes that each woman needs self-discovery.

In utilizing a variety of recovery tools, WFS aims to guide women to develop their own coping skills, including:

virtual care

Get treatment when
and how you need it.

On the subject of addicted individuals, WFS believes that, “addiction began to overcome stress, loneliness, frustration or emotional deprivation in daily life- dependence often resulted.” To help women overcome various forms of addiction, the organization attempts to instill the value of a strong sense of self. Finally, members who pledge themselves to the “New Life” program designed by WFS must have a serious desire for an abstinent, new way of life.

Who Works For Women For Sobriety?

WFS was developed by women, is still run by women, and is dedicated to understanding women’s unique recovery needs. In fact, WFS was first developed in 1976, and has since been helping women in their search for recovery. The “New Life” program it developed was started by a woman who charted her own path to recovery, and is now used widely by other women.

A Program For Women Only?

As an example, in treatment of those recovering from alcoholism, it soon became clear that men had higher rates of recovery than women. This is partly because, until WFS was founded, treatment plans did not differentiate methods between men and women. But women have special psychological needs in recovery which differ from those of men. Physiological recovery remains the same, but emotional factors women share requires a different treatment plan.

“New Life” Plan Through Women For Sobriety

Through self-help groups, “New Life” employs a 13-step positivity statement program which helps women to recover by encouraging emotional and spiritual growth. NWS states that the program has been extremely effective, and that women who have followed it have seen definite results.

Accessing the 13 steps is easy; those who wish to implement it should set aside 15 minutes each morning to recite and review the 13 steps, thinking deeply about the meaning of each. At the end of the day, do the same, but reflect on how you made use of each statement, or how you could work on using each better in future. While this may seem like a sizable task, WFS suggests starting by choosing one statement each day to apply to your actions and your life. At the end of the day, focus on that single statement and how it affected your actions.

The 13 steps, paraphrased here, are as follows:

  1. I had a life-threatening problem, but now I am in charge of my life and accept responsibility.
  2. Negative thoughts can destroy only me; I will strive to remove negativity from my new, sober life.
  3. Happiness is created by me, not something I wait for. I have to make happiness a habit.
  4. Problems can only bother me if I let them bother me; I understand my problems and do not give them power.
  5. I am what I will myself to be; I am a competent, caring, and compassionate woman.
  6. Life is what I make it; having a great life is a conscious effort on my part.
  7. Love has the power to change my life.
  8. Emotional and spiritual growth are key to change; I must prioritize my life and work daily to recognize those priorities.
  9. I am not defined by my past; I am a new person.
  10. The love I give will come back to me, and I will learn to understand I am loved.
  11. I will make enthusiasm a daily goal, and work to cherish every day of my new life.
  12. I am a woman who has much to offer in life; I will work to always know this.
  13. My life and my actions are my own; I have control of my mind, thoughts, and actions.

Other Aspects Of Women For Sobriety

In addition to the “New Life” program, WFS offers a series of tools to aid women in their self-help treatments. An online chat forum is available on the website, which allows members to share their experiences and opinions in a safe environment, chaperoned by WFS volunteers. Membership must be approved by a WFS volunteer, and all group sharing is confidential. WFS also holds an annual weekend-long conference which allows women to come together and experience positive influence from volunteers, as well as connect with other women in recovery. Finally, WFS offers a number of self-help aids, such as books, cds, and even an inclusive treatment starter packet.

Overcoming Alcoholism And Addiction: Getting Treatment

Women struggle with unique emotional needs when it comes to addiction and alcoholism. While there are many treatments available, Women For Sobriety is designed specifically to help women in recovery. If you are reading this, and feel that your previous treatment plans have not worked, or if you have a loved one who is affected by addiction, perhaps now is the time to seek help. Contact us today at to get more information, and we will direct you to resources and help you find the treatment best suited for your needs.

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