Recovery and Spiritual Change

Recovery and Spiritual Change

(Presentation date March 24, 2015)


It has long been empirically believed that changes in one’s spirituality/religiousness accompany and support recovery from substance use disorders, and recent research confirms this belief. This presentation will look at key results of research with 364 alcoholics over three years, including changes in alcohol use (sobriety), Alcoholics Anonymous involvement, several dimensions of spirituality and religiousness (including beliefs, prayer and meditation, purpose in life, and forgiveness,) and how these relate to each other.


The goal of this presentation is to describe research findings on the association between recovery from substance use disorders and spiritual/religious change.


After completing this program participants will be able to:

  • Discuss evidence that changes in one’s spirituality/religiousness support recovery.
  • Discuss how three or more dimensions of spirituality or religiousness have been shown to relate to sobriety and recovery.


PictureLibbyRobinson-1Dr. Elizabeth A.R. Robinson, Ph.D., MSW, MPH, recently retired from the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, where she was a Research Assistant Professor, studying the role of spiritual and religious change in recovery from alcoholism. She has carried out three surveys of alcoholics examining this question. The most extensive study was a survey of 364 alcoholics who were interviewed every six months for three years. This work was funded by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. She was also an NIAAA post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Addiction Research Center and prior to that was on the social work faculty at Case Western Reserve University and the University at Buffalo. Dr. Robinson has an MSW and a Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Work from the University of Michigan.

Number of CE hours offered

1.5 CEH, approved by MCBAP and NAADAC (specific.) A passing grade of 80% on the final exam is required for CE hours to be awarded.

Course Content