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

Nicola talks dancing meditation, rebel 12 step groups and more with Dr. Jamie Marich … (podcast)

Trauma and the 12 step meeting is the rebel 12 step group where the tough conversations take place Dr. Jamie Marich is definitely one of my favorite people in the recovery community. Her wisdom, knowledge, passion and professionalism towards her work is undeniable. She is not only brilliant in her field on a clinical level, but also on a personal level as and has been in recovery herself for 14 years. I got to talk to her about her personal journey, where her inspiration for her book “Trauma & The 12 Steps” came from, the joy of dancing for wellness and much more. You can learn more about Jamie at her website here   Continue reading

Please Don’t Tell Me “I’m In A Safe Place” – By Jamie Marich Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RMT

We’ve all heard it—from yoga teachers, from therapists, from ministers, from other holistic practitioners: “You’re in a safe place.” Many guided meditations directly write this line into the scripts with the intention of setting a tone for safety and security. The LGBT and other socially progressive movements also like to make use of phrases like safe space or safe zone to alert people that (in theory) they won’t be judged in a particular venue. Therapists and 12-step sponsors I’ve talked to over the years insist on the value of this line. The general argument is that if people coming for services have no conceptualization of what safety means, they must be instructed as to what is a safe place, a safe person, or a safe experience. They must be reminded that the danger of the past is indeed passed. I call foul. Whenever I’ve been told, as a survivor of… Continue reading

Welcome to Trauma and the Tweleve Steps: A New Meeting (And Movement) on

Hello everyone! My name is Jamie Marich, and I am a woman in long-term recovery from alcohol, drugs, co-dependency, compulsive overeating, and work. I am also a survivor of trauma. When I set out on a path of recovery fourteen years ago, I had the privilege of being twelfth stepped by Janet, a wonderful woman with over twenty five years of recovery who really got trauma. She understood that if she tried to take me through the steps in a rigid, fundamentalist manner, I would not stay in the rooms. Not only did she help me realize that so many of my addictive responses were intertwined with traumatic reactions, she guided me through my first two years of recovery in a compassionate way. I am now a dually licensed mental health and addiction counselor specializing in trauma, and I have the awesome privilege of traveling the country to train others in… Continue reading