The following stages of recovery are sometimes known as the “Steps” in Twelve Step groups. For our purposes we have only eleven; they need not occur in strictly linear fashion:

  1. We recognized we couldn’t control our trauma-related distress.
  2. Came to believe that someone or something outside ourselves could help us heal and achieve greater sanity and wellness.
  3. Relinquished a degree of control over our lives as we felt it was safe to do so.
  4. Made an honest and gentle exploration of our thoughts, feelings and experiences.
  5. Acknowledged our struggle to ourselves and when safe to do so, others.
  6. Prepared ourselves to work through our distress with safety and made a commitment, however small, to do so.
  7. Rejected the notion, if we had a perpetrator, that we had to forgive them under any and all circumstances.
  8. If we chose to do so, made a list of people we may have hurt in our distress and made amends to them unless to do so would cause further injury. This list may include ourselves.
  9. Recognized our points of progress and allowed ourselves to integrate improvements.
  10. Sought through whatever means worked to maintain and continue our journey in a positive direction.
  11. Having experienced healing and growth as a result of our efforts, we shared our story with others and continued to practice the principles.

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