Celebrate Recovery takes 12 steps through Jesus Christ to heal

Salt Lake Community College Student Ralph Myles has been involved with Celebrate Recovery (CR) ever since passing out from self over-medicating.

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CR is a 12-step program designed as a place where people can be honest about real problems. The reasons people go are wide ranging. Only one in three who attend CR worldwide are there for alcohol and drug problems. Sexual, physical and emotional abuse, anger management groups eating disorders and financial recovery are all reasons that people are involved with CR.

Brenda Bales, Ralph Myles and Karen Tahmoreszadeh | Globe SLCC

Brenda Bales, Ralph Myles and Karen Tahmoreszadeh of Celebrate Recovery.

“It doesn’t matter the problem,” Myles said. “If support is needed, then CR is the place to be. It is very reassuring knowing that I have two people I can call at any time of the day or night for any reason.” Myles is currently the men’s group co-leader.

The main difference between this program and other 12-step programs is that CR focuses on Jesus Christ. It is part of an international movement to bring Christ-centered, Bible-based recovery to the world. The program is a nondenominational Christian-based support group. Pastor John Baker began CR in 1991 at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Over 700,000 people have gone through the program worldwide.

A musician, Myles was asked to play worship music for the program. The first few meetings he attended, he quickly packed up his equipment and left after the music. One meeting, he was a little slower and heard what was said. Myles decided to stay. That was 5 years ago.

The program is designed to celebrate God’s healing power using Biblical principles. By sharing experiences, strengths, hopes and accepting God’s grace in solving problems, one becomes free from addictions, compulsive and dysfunctional behaviors.

“If you don’t keep your guard up, you can easily fall back into your old self-defeating patterns,” wrote Pastor Baker on the CR Facebook page. “This is called relapse. The alcoholic starts drinking again. The overeater regains the weight. The gambler returns to the casino. The workaholic fills up his schedule again. We all tend to repeat the patterns of our past. It is easy to slip back into old hurts, old hang-ups, and old habits.”

CR came to Utah in 2005. There are currently nine groups meeting from Logan to Orem. Each meeting begins with a Large Group Session and then has a breakout into Open Share Group. Open Share Groups are gender specific groups that meet with others that have similar hurts, hang-ups and habits.

Anonymity and confidentiality are paramount, and people of all faiths and beliefs are welcome to join in the meetings.

CR meets on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. at Life Church, 3818 West 4700 South, in Salt Lake City and at City Church, 802 East 9400 South, in Sandy on Fridays 7:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.celebraterecovery.com