Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is often included as an adjunct to psychotherapy for individuals suffering from addiction. As a culture unto itself, AA has its own customs, philosophy, and language, including what is commonly referred to as AA slogans. This study investigated the frequency with which psychologists use these slogans as well as how familiar and comfortable they are with them. Additionally this study investigated whether these variables were related to psychologists' work setting or percentage of addicted caseload. Using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, results indicate that more than 80% of respondents utilize AA slogans at least some of the time. Familiarity varied greatly depending on the slogan. Over 80% of those surveyed are at least somewhat comfortable using AA slogans in psychotherapy. Work experience in an addiction treatment setting was a mediating variable for familiarity as well as use of specific AA slogans, though not for overall use of AA slogans or levels of comfort. A higher rate of use and familiarity was related to a higher caseload of addicted patients and comfort was not related to caseload. Frequency of slogan use, familiarity and comfort were significantly positively related to frequency of referral to AA. Themes regarding reasons for discomfort using AA slogans as well as their clinical utility were also explored.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Alcoholics Anonymous; Alcoholism -- Treatment; Alcoholism counseling

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

de Mayo, Robert R.