• Past Articles

An Open Letter to 12-Step Members on Touch and Trauma – Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RMT

I walked into a typical 12-step meeting on a Sunday morning during my tenth year of recovery. The coffee, donuts, literature and 50/50 raffle were setup in the back of the room. At the front stood the podium where the guest speaker would be sharing their experience, strength, and hope. Four long rows of folding tables and clanky metal chairs filled the room. A group of stereotypical “oldtimer” men sat at the table closest to the entrance. Most of them are kind and accept a hello and a handshake. Respecting the fact that not everyone likes to be hugged, it’s long been my protocol at meetings to extend my hand, and then if the person extends or gestures me in for a hug, I oblige. Setting this boundary keeps me safe as well. But not on this day. After I extended my hand to one of the oldtimers at the… Continue reading

Are You Worried About Step 9? – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

    Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. From step four onward, the twelve steps are primarily concerned with interpersonal relations—how you interact in and with the wider world. In a nutshell, you are asked to: Look back on your life and see where you have caused problems for yourself and others. Do what you can to repair the damage you have done. Live differently in the future. Steps eight and nine are the middle portion of this procedure—doing what you can to repair the damage you have done. After working step eight, you should have a list of people you have harmed, and you should have a plan for and be willing to make amends to them all. If so, you are ready to work step nine. Step nine should not be undertaken without first consulting your… Continue reading

Like The Song – The Steps Are a Dance – Kyczy Hawk

  I was on vacation with my family last week. We went to Texas – where it is all country music all the time. I LOVE country music – it is a secret vice of mine. Cruising in a van that could accommodate the seven of us – we were singing to the radio heading to see the Alamo. (Recovery is so great – repairs relationships and allows me to have experiences like this.) We were singing along to “Life’s A Dance” with the refrain…. “Life’s a dance you learn as you go Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow Don’t worry about what you don’t know Life’s a dance you learn as you go” (which I always heard as “you learn as you grow” which fits my understanding just fine.) Singing at the top of our lungs as we all know the words, it was a really fun moment of… Continue reading

Working Step Eight Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. From step four onward, the twelve steps are primarily concerned with interpersonal relations—how you interact in and with the wider world. In a nutshell, you are asked to: Look back on your life and see where you have caused problems for yourself and others. Do what you can to repair the damage you have done. Live differently in the future. Steps eight and nine are the middle portion of this procedure—doing what you can to repair the damage you have done. To start, you compile a list of the people you have harmed, not forgetting to include yourself on the list. Reviewing your step four inventory is generally helpful when compiling this list. Most of the names on your step four list should also appear on your step eight list, but a… Continue reading

Does Step Seven Require Belief in a Higher Power? – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. In steps four, five, and six we identified our characters defects and became willing to live without them. Step seven is the logical continuation of that effort, where we begin the process of actually ridding ourselves of these shortcomings. If you believe in a Higher Power, step seven is a relatively straightforward endeavor. You simply incorporate into your daily routine (prayer, affirmations, and whatever else it is that seems to work for you in your recovery) a request that your Higher Power remove your character defects. If there are shortcomings that are particularly irksome or problematic, it is helpful to specifically mention them. When you do this, your character defects tend to become less burdensome over time. If, however, you struggle with the concepts of God and Higher Power, step seven, like step three, might seem a bit daunting. You… Continue reading