Peg has been sober for 34 years. She believes that philosophy helped her to get and remain sober, but she avoided Alcoholics Anonymous for the first 20 years of her sobriety because of the concept of a “higher power.” Now, Dr. O’Connor is the author of the forthcoming book, Higher and Friendly Powers: Transforming Addiction and Suffering (Wildhouse Publications, September 1, 2022).
In Higher and Friendly Powers, Peg O’Connor, PhD, addresses an audience much like herself: those in recovery who have struggled with the Christian-centric God at the heart of Alcoholics Anonymous. She brings our attention to a little-known fact: the term “higher power,” a touchstone in the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, was coined by William James, philosopher, psychologist, and intellectual giant of the early 20th century.
Drawing from her expertise in addiction studies and key themes from her book, Dr. O’Connor can discuss:
• Understanding the Concept of “Higher Power” at the Heart of the 12-Step Program
• Why There Must Be Multiple Paths out of Addiction and No One is the Best or Right
• Why Needs in Recovery Change over Time
• Are Some People More Susceptible to Addiction
• Undertaking Spiritual Recovery in AA without a Religious Denomination
• The Barriers People Face When Seeking Treatment for Addiction
• How to Talk to People About Their Alcohol or Drug Use
• Changing Your Relationships with Addictive Substances and Behaviors
• Good Without God: Recognizing the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion
Please let me know if you would like to connect on an interview with Dr. Peg O’Connor.
Peg O’Connor, PhD, is a recovering alcoholic of 34 years and has been a Professor of Philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN for 27 years. She believes that philosophy helped her to get and remain sober. She avoided Alcoholics Anonymous for the first 20 years of her sobriety because of the concept of a “higher power.” Dr. O’Connor is the author of the new book, Higher and Friendly Powers: Transforming Addiction and Suffering (Wildhouse Publications, 2022) and Life on the Rocks: Finding Meaning in Addiction and Recovery (Central Recovery Press, 2016). She also writes a column, “Philosophy Stirred, Not Shaken,” for Psychology Today that has nearly 2,000,000 total views and select columns have appeared in the print publication.