For Professionals

For Professionals and Healthcare Providers

Evidence for the efficacy of various mutual-aid recovery programs continues to grow. Most recently, a longitudinal study conducted by the Alcohol Research Group found the Women for Sobriety New Life Program to be equally as effective as SMART Recovery and LifeRing as compared to AA in many rehabilitation measures (Zemore, et al, 2018). Despite fewer meetings being available nationwide for non-12-step groups, participants in WFS, SMART, and LifeRing report equivalent activity involvement as well as higher levels of satisfaction and cohesion than 12-step participants (Zemore, et al, 2017).

WFS is, of course, the only one of these mutual-aid programs designed specifically for women’s needs. The gender-specific format may be particularly helpful for women with backgrounds of domestic violence, sexual trauma, anxiety, and other similar considerations. All expressions of female identify are welcome at WFS meetings, including women within the LGBTQ+ umbrella. WFS does not discourage the use of medications that may enhance recovery efforts, making it a suitable adjunct for MAT programs. And WFS meetings satisfy recovery support attendance requirements for many courts and other monitoring programs (please check with your individual jurisdiction).

Given the frequent lack of desire of clients to attend or return to certain types of meetings, the unique needs of women, and the mounting evidence for the efficacy of the various mutual aid options, many treatment centers and other behavioral health agencies have requested to use the New Life Program with their clients. Women for Sobriety is proud to have a long history of collaboration with treatment programs and professionals to ensure that this viable option is available to all women in recovery. We offer a free downloadable Introduction to WFS packet that providers can distribute free of charge to all women or use in psychoeducational sessions about mutual aid options.

While most WFS meetings are peer-facilitated, professional counselors may run meetings as part of their treatment programming. Meetings are held daily, weekly, or on another regular schedule that suits the program’s needs. WFS groups that are part of a treatment program are frequently moderated by female addictions counselors or therapists within the center. If the group is open to the public, a non-professional woman from the community will often take over running the group when she becomes qualified under the normal certification process. (To apply for Certified Facilitator status as a private practitioner, simply fill out our Volunteer Application.)

Before offering WFS groups in the clinical setting, it is important that the counselor familiarizes herself with the New Life Program and philosophy to ensure fidelity to the WFS meeting structure and unique approach to recovery. It is highly recommended that the Professional Starter Kit (see below) be studied. The kit includes group guidelines that will explain the format of WFS meetings, topics for discussion, and a Professional Coupon Code for 10% off future New Life Program literature purchases.

It is recommended that agencies provide a copy of the WFS Program Booklet, a New Member Packet, and a Statement Wallet Card to each new participant. For the convenience of our providers, New Member Packets and Statement Wallet Cards in equal quantity will be provided with each WFS Program Booklet purchased using a Professional Coupon Code. As with any mutual aid program, after a woman completes treatment, she should be encouraged to attend WFS meetings in her area and return to the facility to attend WFS meetings if possible.

Additional Resources for Providers:

WFS Email Distribution Lists:

  • Monday Thoughts—Inspirational quotes and reflections by WFS Chair Karen Hamm and a WFS member; a perfect prepackaged topic for your weekly meeting.
  • News & Announcements—General announcements about the program and organization.
  • For Providers—Keep your inbox clean and receive only emails specially selected for treatment and medical providers.

Introduction to WFS Packet:

A 7-page packet perfect for women who are interested in learning more about the New Life Program.
Can be used as handout and foundation for psychoeducational discussion session as well.

Beginner’s Collection:

Contains three booklets and two workbooks.
Perfect substitute for a “first step” packet for clients who wish to use the New Life Program as their primary program.

Learn More – Cigna Health & Wellness Series webinars presented by Adrienne Miller, WFS President/CEO

Introduction to Women for Sobriety webinar

Closing the Gender Gap: Women and Addictions

Self-Imaging in Recovery