THE CONCEPTS – Is S.L.A.A. based on the Concepts of A.A.?

The comments below were given by various members of the Conference Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Committee and do not represent a group conscience of the entire committee. The opinions expressed here are solely that of the person giving them. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Question:  It says in the appendix of the lovely Al-anon book Paths to Recovery: “The steps help me love myself, the traditions help me love others, and the concepts help me love the world I’m in.” Is SLAA also based on the 12 Concepts of AA? If yes, why? if no, why not?


[Note: The 12 Concepts of S.L.A.A. became Conference-Approved Literature at the 2014 ABM.]

I would draw the inquirer to the statement found at the opening of the Preamble, on page 125 of the Basic Text which states that “Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition-oriented fellowship based on the model pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous.” Having heard the statements found in the preamble, which I have heard hundreds of times at meetings, let me know that at my very first meeting that we in S.L.A.A. would follow the very same principles as do those of our friends in AA.

As far as I remember, SLAA is based on the 12 Steps and 12 traditions of AA. So the simple is answer is no, SLAA is not based on the 12 concepts of AA. It would be an interesting topic for future ABM’s to make a set of concepts etc however. The reason why not may very well be that no one had asked the question or made the motion and if so, the asker is to be thanked.

My thoughts are that the spirit of SLAA and most of its members support the idea of including the Concepts to help us love the world we are in.  The Concepts are part of AA.  AA has a pamphlet about them.  SLAA is based on the model of AA.  I believe that eventually SLAA will have conference approved literature about the Concepts.

We have not adopted nor adapted the 12 concepts for our use yet.  However, exploring this possibility has been a part of the agenda of the Board Governance and Nominating Committee this year and the whole board has just approved putting together a task force to hammer out what that would look like — what would we want to adopt? What would we want to modify/change/adapt? How would this affect our current bylaws, etc.
SLAA has not adopted the 12 concepts listed in Al-Anon’s paths to recovery.  That would be an interesting discussion to have at an annual business meeting. To me the concepts are a guideline for how to be responsible and accountable, and how to stay on my side of the street.  The concepts give a further layer of recovery for people who are on a spiritual journey.  Perhaps as SLAA grows and becomes more mature, we will adopt the concepts also and try to apply them in our relationships.  For now they are rarely discussed in SLAA meetings or service work that I have done.

I assume SLAA will eventually put the Concepts of AA for service our own as well.  I would reword the lovely representation of the reasons for these 3 “12” principle lists.  I would say that in SLAA the Steps show us how to treat ourselves and others close to us lovingly; the traditions keep our relationships among ourselves in the Fellowship loving, and that the Concepts keep our relationship with the world loving as well.


What do you think?
The CSTCC is a group of volunteers, some of whom were ABM delegates, and others who volunteered out of interest. We do not represent a group conscience of S.L.A.A., but are committed to bringing thoughtful discussion and study of 12 Step Fellowship literature and experience to the questions that are brought to us. We offer this summary as the results of our discussions. We present the major points of concern in the hopes that wider discussion in the Fellowship will help us evolve our customs and practice of the S.L.A.A. program of recovery to better represent the loving guidance of a Higher Power. Always, we affirm the autonomy of each group and the need for each individual to follow her/his own conscience. No decision of this group, or any other, is ever forced upon another, even when we believe a practice is clearly in conflict with the Steps, Traditions, or Concepts.