Last week we began discussing a couple of the common “Recipes for creating alcohol abuse” that we see:
#1: Take Conscientiousness and Add Passivity
This week we move along to:
#2: Take Precocious Maturity and Add Loneliness
For over 30 years I have worked with Dr. Jane Loevinger’s model and measure of adult development, the Washington University Sentence Completion Test.
During that time I have rated over 5,000 protocols for various projects ranging from graduate students doctoral dissertations at various universities, the U.S. Navy Research Center, the Coast Guard, the Iowa Medical School, and dozens of mental health centers and treatment programs in Minnesota, Alaska and California.
I also used it in my own Masters and Doctoral programs, conducted primarily at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, to show that it could be used to predict who would benefit from AA, to whom it would make little or no difference, and who it would harm.
Frankly, it isn’t all that hard. AA “works” for people whose emotional development was arrested at around the age of 10-12, “Conformists” in Dr. Loevinger’s model. These are the people whose behaviors are controlled by their external peer group. Think middle school and the need to conform and belong, the simplistic thinking, and collection of gold stars and you’ve got the basic traits.
Unhappily, AA also works for the even lower level predators who prey on these vulnerable “sheep” – the 13th Steppers who, men and women alike, exploit emotionally, sexually, and/or financially vulnerable “newbies.”
There are also a very few very conscientious Steppers who do try their best to protect the flock from the wolves but they are woefully few for the job and AA itself opposes any efforts to change the situation or even address the issue.
But none of this really applies to you, as I will explain in the next article.
So how did you get to be a too “old” for your age? And how do we know that about you already?
The second question is the easy one – people who fit the AA model don’t end up on our web site, don’t subscribe to or read the newsletter, and they don’t call. Our website is written, as is the newsletter, to appeal to people whose maturity level is congruent with, or exceeds, their age.
As to how you matured, rather than being a case of arrested development, that hinges on four factors:
- You have to be smart – otherwise you don’t have the necessary resources to full mature;
- You have to be sensitive – otherwise you have no motivation;
- You have to have things happen, not necessarily traumatic, though they can be, that you have to deal with and resolve by yourself;
- You have to be more “fear based” and “anger based.”
The specific mixture on this recipe will vary with you individually and will determine your specific developmental level.
But of you are too much “too old” compared to your chronologic peers, that is a recipe for drinking out of loneliness because you don’t fit and you don’t know why. Nor do you know how to compensate for it since you don’t have any way of even knowing what “it” is.
That’s where we came in – we can help you figure that out.
Of course, you have to let us help, and that’s your choice if you want to make it.
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