External Recognition for the Higher Power Project

The Higher Power Project, a TRS-based research project in addiction, recovery and spirituality has received a grant from the Sir Halley Stewart Trust of £25.8K over two years, to ensure the project can continue to explore the experiences and stories of addicts and alcoholics in recovery.

People who use twelve-step programmes as a route to building long-term clean and sober lives often attribute their recovery to ‘a power greater than themselves’. Dr Wendy Dossett the Principal Investigator says, ‘As a researcher in contemporary spirituality I’m interested in how people describe this ‘power’ and their relationship with it.

This form of spirituality goes largely unnoticed in surveys of the contemporary religious and spiritual landscape, but the UK membership of Alcoholics Anonymous alone is 40,000, and there are many other twelve step fellowships, and people working twelve step programmes as individuals.

The stories of recovery documented by the project so far are important not only for religious studies, but for academics and professionals in the field of addictions treatment. Those in twelve step recovery claim that there is a spiritual dimension to their experiences of addiction and recovery.

The Higher Power Project hopes to shed some light on what this might mean, both to the individuals involved and for the treatment and other caring professions generally. We are delighted that the Sir Halley Stewart Trust wishes to support this endeavour with their generous grant.

Follow the project on Twitter @higherpowerproj.