ADDoration Ministries
Saturday, June 12, 2021
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

Recovery Mental Health organization & an alternative


Recovery International decades ago taught me tools that have enabled me to gain and maintain my mental health. I praise God for that, very much.

Recovery teaches a specific method, that was developed by Dr. Abraham Low, a deceased Chicago psychiatrist. And the method is an entirely different approach, from the 12 steps. Instead Recovery is the Will Training approach. Today's mental health professionals categorize Recovery as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which means the same thing as Will Training.

The Recovery method shuns any kind of religion. However much of it really is an application of Ephesians 4:26-27, "Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil." Don't quote that scripture at a Recovery meeting. Recovery speaks of the initial flare, and Paul's "Be angry" means the flare. Recovery teaches how to "not let the sun go down on your anger."

Recovery is guided by a textbook, Mental Health Through Will Training, that was written by Dr. Low. This book contains most of the Recovery method.

When they apply Recovery principles, they think of a specific method of four steps: (1) the situation, (2) the symptoms, (3) the spotting (read: how did they avoid letting the sun set on the anger), and (4) before Recovery how would it have been. Those four steps of the Recovery method are very much applicable to problems, such as anger, depression ("lowered feelings" in Recovery lingo), inferiority complex, guilt feelings, desire for self-destruction, and feeling of a failure. "Spotting" is what Recovery calls Dr. Low teachings that are designed to reverse the negative effects of tempers or fears. Those people use a special lingo.

Recovery also focuses on learn to be average. Being average correlates with Grace and that Jesus loves you regardless of your imperfections.

Dr. Low once said, "I make mistakes, too, ..and then I ask myself, 'what's the matter with me?' And my answer is, 'Well, nothing is the matter with me. I am average.' And that's what average people do."


In the book Mental Health Through Will Training, Dr. Low tells about the normal tendency of our minds to jump among a motley assortment of thoughts, i.e., what you did yesterday, this morning's argument with your spouse, today's weather, a church sermon, etc. That goes along with the ADD habit of distractibility, like a TV set that keeps switching channels. However Dr. Low goes on to say that fear often causes us to dwell on the fear thoughts and hyperfocus on them. This is among why I say that Dr. Low had a keen insight into ADD.

I have an idea that maybe Dr. Low was ADD. Various things in the Dr. Low biography book, My Dear Ones, suggest that. If so, that is one of the reasons why he was very compassionate with his patients and with the earliest Recovery pioneers. If he was ADD, that was a positive thing.

For sure, Recovery International would never express an opinion on whether Dr. Low was ADD. This is for two reasons: (1) Recovery does not diagnose and (2) that would be intellectualizing the Recovery method. To intellectualize sabotages the Recovery method.

He did immigrate to America during his lifetime (having been born in Poland and having a German Jewish family background). Somebody once told me that his name is shortened from Lowenstein. It was during the early 1920's, before Hitler, when he immigrated. His life span was 1891 to 1954.


Recovery has reasons why religion isn't their focus, and very good reasons. But that's OK, if it gains mental health. The reason Recovery is non-religious has nothing to do with that Dr. Low was Jewish. The reason is uniformity of the method. Religion is far from uniform. Simplicity of the method is also promoted with Recovery. When you get into those situations, you need to focus on something simple. In contrast, religion is complex and abstract; although many Christians simplify it as just "Jesus loves you."

In addition, many persons have been brought up to believe that God is here to punish you; therefore religion could be destructive to them. Dr. Low had a few patients who were bothered with religious obsessions of damnation.

Recovery does allow people to develop a spiritual life to help Recovery practice. Many Recovery members are also practicing Christians and active in a church.

In fact, I praise God for Recovery. My walk with Jesus today would not be possible without my insight from Recovery. I am even alive today, because Recovery once taught me how to effectively reject suicidal thoughts. At the time I was active in Recovery, that is what God then wanted for me.

I once felt God reveal this to me during my spiritual reflection -- Christian love can cause a multitude of Dr. Low's spottings to happen. However Recovery is very beneficial to people who need training in the specific principles, that are called spottings.

It has been tried before to have a method that combines Recovery with Christianity, but it doesn't work. There is something about Dr. Low's method that it is destroyed if you try to combine it with something else. Decades ago, the Louisville Recovery leader, Cleo D., vehemently felt that prayer is an important part of healing, and she was a charming dynamic woman. Dr. Low heard about the prayers at the Louisville meetings, so he sent Cleo a letter saying, "You have made a mistake," and he went on to explain why it's a mistake. In turn, Cleo said "Good-bye" to Recovery and founded Recovery of Kentucky. However, it quickly became far from Dr. Low's method. For more than a decade afterwards, the Kentucky organization flourished. But eventually somebody else started a Real McCoy Recovery group in Louisville. I don't know how Recovery of Kentucky is doing today, whether they still exist. Recently I tried a search engine to locate them on the Internet, and I didn't find them. I do know that Cleo passed on to eternity years ago. If you live in Louisville today, a Recovery group might be the real Dr. Low's method. If it is listed on the Recovery International web site, then it would be the Real McCoy.

By the way, it is unclear whether Dr. Low was an active Jew later in life. He definitely did believe that God exists; throughout his life. He married a non-Jew. His two daughters participated in a Presbyterian youth group during their teenage years. His funeral was not a Jewish funeral.


The earliest years of Recovery, beginning in 1937 were Dr. Low's developing the method. He was a professor of psychiatry at University of Illinois in Chicago; however he later left the university and just had his private medical practice. He developed the method with the patients in his practice. Later other persons joined Recovery International who were not Dr. Low's patients, which proved that the method is for anybody. In 1946 and 1947 local Recovery groups were started in Muscatine, Iowa and Detroit, Michigan, which proved that Recovery groups can be successful anywhere, not just in Chicago. In 1950, Dr. Low published the Recovery textbook,Mental Health Through Will Training, that is the foremost reading source for the Recovery method.

After 1950, Recovery evolved increasingly to a lay directed organization, while Dr. Low was still advising them. God guided Dr. Low to encourage them to evolve to a lay organization. Dr. Low passed on to eternity November 17, 1954. No, I don't think Dr. Low had any premonition. He probably figured that all of us will pass on some day.

Immediately after Dr. Low's death, the lay officers of Recovery were prepared. Yes, there was a time of mourning his passing; however Recovery continued to carry on.

Immediately after Dr. Low's death, there were some Recovery members who advocated that you got to have a professional guiding the organization; however they were outvoted. The lay leadership prevailed in keeping Recovery a lay organization. Thank God, that happened. Because lay leadership prevailed, Recovery is purely Dr. Low's method. Otherwise a new professional advisor would have made changes to the method, which would have diluted Dr, Low's method.

Even during decades of lay leadership, it has been a perennial challenge to keep Recovery purely Dr. Low's method. Local group leaders are thoroughly trained and are not authorized until it is certain that the leader would keep it pure. They suppress any human inventiveness to improve the method. Over the years, there have been offshoots that tried modifications, but they generally didn't succeed (the Louisville organization was one of them). There is something about Dr. Low's method that it is destroyed if you try to combine it with something else. I have mentioned past attempts to bring in religion. I believe it is God who has kept Recovery pure.

Even today, Recovery is purely Dr. Low; although today's Recovery officers came along after Dr. Low's lifetime. "Just keep it pure" is why that's so. Perhaps a few of Dr. Low's patients are still alive today; however they are now retired and up in the years. Phil Crane passed on to eternity at age 95, on February 27, 2004, and Phil was executive secretary of Recovery for about twenty years after Dr. Low's death.

Dr. Low's two daughters (now in their seventies) have been continuing to be advisors to Recovery. The daughters are gatekeepers for Recovery. In one of Dr. Low's lectures, he humorously remarked about having teenage daughters. The older daughter had just graduated from high school with the Class of 1954, when he passed on.


The best way to learn more about the Recovery method is to visit their web site and let them explain it. Click here for Recovery-International. That web site can tell you where and when a Recovery group meets in your local area. Then visit a local Recovery group to see whether it is for you. Also there are telephone conference call meetings, that also are listed on the web site. The web site has a forum for examples of Recovery practice.


Christians In Recovery helps 12 step persons find Jesus as their higher power. Christians In Recovery is for recovery from a wide variety of problems. Click here for Christians In Recovery


Another organization is NAIL (Neurotics Anonymous International Liaison), that uses the 12 steps of AA. NAIL headquarters is located at c/o Grover Boydston, Chairman, 11140 Bainbridge Dr., Little Rock, AR 72212. Apparently NAIL is not on the Internet, because search engines only found the snail mail address. Some of my Recovery friends have misgivings about NAIL, because there often is intellectualizing at NAIL meetings, which is in contrast to Recovery's simplicity of the method. But NAIL's comment is that Recovery is OK for persons who have will power. Many NAIL members say that they lack will power. Instead NAIL depends on the higher power, instead of will power. NAIL does make sense for persons who choose to let God (the higher power) heal their inner turmoil.

Also there is Emotions Anonymous, which is also a 12 step program. My hunch is that Emotions Anonymous is probably for about the same purpose as NAIL. As with NAIL, Emotions Anonymous does make sense for persons who choose to let God (the higher power) heal their inner turmoil. Somebody told me that Emotions Anonymous is a new name for NAIL; however, that is hear say. I have not been able to verify that.

For Emotions Anonymous web site, click here.

I have heard that there are roughly a hundred organizations that apply the 12 steps to various problems and disorders. Perhaps you might find the organization using a search engine, entering "12 Steps" along with whatever is your problem. Also try "anonymous" along with whatever is your problem. Your local library might have a directory of associations.

For more on 12 step programs, click here.


In conclusion, Recovery International uses the will training approach, while the 12 step programs use the higher power approach. Jesus loves you regardless of which approach you choose to heal your inner turmoil.

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,
Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries