In this episode, Veronica interviews Dr. Jamie Marich about her new book, Trauma and the 12 Steps. We take a deep dive into working with people who have experienced trauma and how the 12-step programs can help and harm them. Listen to the episode now:
Trauma is just like a physical wound. And when psychological or emotional trauma remains unhealed, we tend to bleed onto others and put them at risk for contamination. As the saying goes, hurt people hurt people. When guides, sponsors, and counselors, haven’t dealt with our own pain, we can be very insensitive with others who are approaching us from that same place. Call it tough love all you want but what it boils down to is a lot of shaming. Have you experienced that in your recovery?
“I think that the recovery community tends to get the order backward in that we challenge people and don’t even look at validating their experience.” – Dr. Jamie Marich
For Dr. Jamie Marich, she knew she could go to her first sponsor when she struggled. She’d always validate her before challenging and gave her a non-judgmental space which was crucial to her success in recovery. She benefited from the 12 steps because they were presented to her in a very trauma-responsive and trauma-sensitive way. Recognizing that many don’t share her experience, she was motivated to write “Trauma and the 12 Steps” especially to help sponsors and counselors to learn more about presenting the 12 steps in a healthy way.
Connect with Dr. Jamie Marich:
Other resources mentioned:
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