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Trauma and the 12 Steps: A Better Normal with Dr. Jamie Marich

 

On Friday, August 28th, I had the privilege of talking with Dr. Jamie Marich about her recently revised and republished book Trauma and the 12 Steps: An Inclusive Guide to Enhancing Recovery.

Trauma and the 12 Steps, Revised and Expanded - coverJamie Marich - headshot

An international audience joined us for the discussion, including Judith who explained to us where "The Midlands" in England are (it's the middle of England, just like you'd think). 

Many attendees shared their concerns with 12 Step programs such as their being not feminist or too focused on prayer and the Bible. One member shared that her participation in 12 Step meetings "saved my life and keeps me sane one day at a time." 

Carey Sipp, community facilitator at ACEs Connection and a long-time recovery advocate, including in her book The TurnAround Mom, said: "There are parts of 12-step that are so regulating. And parts of 12-step that can be so dysregulating. It’s like everything  else β€” take what you like and leave the rest. I think everyone is unique and different things work for different people. Meetings can be very different and if you can find a meeting that works for you, great! I really believe it is important to have 12 step meetings to be trauma informed."

Dr. Jamie Marich just barely scratched the surface at discussing all the nuance her book addresses. I devoured her book and covered it in notes, underlines, and exclamation points. She very thoroughly dissects the 12 Steps, meetings, sponsors...every aspect of 12 Step programs and addresses each and every critique with a healing, trauma-informed lens. 

I found that the main theme of the book was about validation. "Validation first" is a constant thread. Jamie was happy I drew that conclusion. She confirmed that that was her intention throughout the book. 

We hope you'll check out this episode if you or a loved one have struggled with addiction or dysfunctional families. With Jamie's wisdom and vision, we are seeing a way for 12 Steps to move forward as trauma-informed.

Connect with Dr. Jamie Marich here:

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@Liz Shaw posted:

Anyone interested in step-based recovery that doesn't require the disempowerment of the first step or the faith of the second might want to investigate the 16 steps, which were developed by Charlotte Kasl based on the 12 steps through her work with women and disempowered people. Her book, Many Roads, One Journey, describes the development of the 16 steps and helps you work through them. I have used them with my own recovery from trauma and found them much gentler and supportive then the 12 steps.

I love Charlotte Kasl's work and love her version of the steps!

The 16-Steps

  1. We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.
    Alternative:  We admit/acknowledge we are out of control with/powerless over ________ yet have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.
  2. We come to believe that God/Goddess/Universe/Great Spirit/Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to the power.
  3. We make a decision to become our authentic selves and trust in the healing power of the truth.
  4. We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchical, patriarchal culture.
  5. We share with another person and the Universe all those things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.
  6. We affirm and enjoy our intelligence, strengths and creativity, remembering not to hide these qualities from ourselves and others.
  7. We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others.
  8. We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.
  9. We express love and gratitude to others and increasingly appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.
  10. We learn to trust our reality and daily affirm that we see what we see, we know what we know and we feel what we feel.
  11. We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.
  12. We seek out situations, jobs, and people who affirm our intelligence, perceptions and self-worth and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us.
  13. We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our lives, reduce stress, and have fun.
  14. We seek to find our inward calling, and develop the will and wisdom to follow it.
  15. We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for our growth.
  16. We grow in awareness that we are sacred beings, interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring peace and balance on the planet.

https://charlottekasl.com/16-step-program/

Can a community have cPTSD? 

Considering the motivation ladder 

https://loretolearning.files.w...h-mindset-review.png

but applied to traumatized communities and populations, a semi-structured dialogue may move businesses, households and communities onward toward greater civility and functionality.  To advance participation and self-governance after community trauma, an incremental approach should be taken for sustainable revitalization.  Rely here or to MED.Works@outlook.com

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Anyone interested in step-based recovery that doesn't require the disempowerment of the first step or the faith of the second might want to investigate the 16 steps, which were developed by Charlotte Kasl based on the 12 steps through her work with women and disempowered people. Her book, Many Roads, One Journey, describes the development of the 16 steps and helps you work through them. I have used them with my own recovery from trauma and found them much gentler and supportive then the 12 steps.

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