The Wounded Healer

 

 

Here is a video of Ernie Kurtz, academic historian on the subject of recovery, principally 12 step recovery, being interviewed by William White. They discuss shame and how 12 step recovery helps treat the shame that often drives addictive behaviour.

Below is also a link to Ernie Kurtz’s book on “Shame and Guilt” which is freely available online at Ernie Kurtz’s behest.

Shame and Guilt

 

Kurtz is interesting in asserting that some of the 12 steps principally deal with guilt whereas others help deal with the ongoing struggle with shame.

Guilt seems to be about events and specific actions whereas shame is a process of healing, of coping with and challenging a negative self schema inherited from childhood and sometimes reinforced since then.

 

23 comments

  1. feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

    I absolutely love this. πŸ™‚

    • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

      check out his buddy and collaborator on various projects too William L White – just click the link http://www.williamwhitepapers.com/

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        Wow, that is a very extensive website. Funny to find how much information is out there while a year ago I was struggling in the dark, thinking I was the only one. πŸ™‚

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        it’s who you know! πŸ™‚ addiction is the illness of an isolation that tells us we are alone and beyond help when there is lots of help out there for us if we want it. Connection with others in the same boat is the antidote to addiction.

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        Yeah, but, well I’m going to put it out here, hope you can help me. I had a friend, he is AA fan (yes, fan), currently 1,5 years clean and I was his guinney pig for the course on recovery counseling he was doing. He actually sat here glorifying his drinking days in a wink wink notch notch kind of way. That was awfull and I felt dirty, with a need to wash it away, with beer. I’m afraid if I go to a meeting I will meet people like that. And also people like the John Bradshaw, actually, my last reply to your post of yesterday is THE reason for me to not to dare to go to AA. 😦 This dynamic I have with know it all religious older man. Maybe I go find a womens meeting. πŸ™‚

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        don’t worry about this – there are women’s meetings for sure especially if you live in a big city? I fully support this. I think early recovery should mainly be with your own gender. There are a few sick people in AA called dry drunks and they usually go to sick meetings, that is a simple reality – go first to where you feel safe and comfortable – recovery usually happens in a close relationship with a sponsor and by working the steps. Fellowship is not the end and be all by any means. There are meetings and people in AA I do not like and who I avoid – it is a human enterprise so it has idiots too – it is about being real and realistic. So go to a women only meeting – and get few telephone numbers from people there – most groups go for a coffee after the meeting etc it is low key and friendly normally. There is untreated alcoholism in AA just as outside AA – no one is forced to do the steps as they are simply recommended not enforced – so some people do not do the steps – after some time it is easy to see who has done the steps and works a spiritual program – the spirituality of AA is not religious it is about connection with others really, I know lots of atheists who have a good program of recovery. Talking about religion is frowned upon by AA members generally. Recovery is where I learn how to live and let live and not be absolutist about things. it gives your life perspective hearing others in the same boat as you and takes the distress away for me as I obsess about unimportant stuff. If you know people in AA perhaps you could go with them. The vast majority of people in AA are loving, kind and supportive and you will find this too. By helping others we help our self in recovery – this is the experience I have had – people really want to help others like them so give it a go – where you feel comfortable. x

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        Thanks Paul. πŸ™‚ And… one last question: the helping others so we can help ourselves, I find that a dangerous position. Psychologically I would not advise anybody to put effort in helping another unless they’ve got their own ‘shit’ sorted out. Just to not transfer e.g. my own shame or misunderstandings, like I believe John Bradshaw did in that vid where he spoke forcefully and exposes all kinds of power issues. To me helping others when one is not ready is a recipe for disaster. Or?

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        it says in the Big Book that we cannot transmit something that we do not have – but we can share our stories, or our experience strength and hope, we can be kind to newcomers to meetings we can be friendly and helpful etc but you are right in that the person who helps you will be a sponsor who as I mentioned before will take you though the steps as they have been taken through the steps – as the 12 th step says “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” this is also a spiritual program not psychological -it is about loving and caring consideration to others – this is why it helps us help others even in small ways – it is about the heart not the head. Equally the spiritual solution can only be communicated by someone who has had a spiritual awakening – so look for a sponsor who has done the steps and who acts like they have – i..e they are kind and considerate of others.

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        πŸ™‚ Ok, spiritual versus psychologica. I think I need to meditate on that to be able to undersand it. But ok, kind and considerate. Got it. πŸ™‚ Thanks Paul!
        xx, Feeling

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        spirituality is demonstrated in kind action not in words. x

  2. feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

    And thank you for the book tip. πŸ™‚ Always happy with books πŸ™‚

    • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

      it’s a pdf link too πŸ™‚

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        Yay!!!! πŸ™‚

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        he wrote a great book on AA called “Not God” which I would strongly recommend too as it helped this overcomplicated intellectual type understand 12 step recovery much better πŸ™‚

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        Ghegheghe… sounds like that would be something for me πŸ™‚ Overcomplicated? Check! Intellectual? Well, living off my brain, check! God issues? Check!

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        You, no? πŸ™‚ Fortunately God is a heart thing not a head thing and doesn’t even need to be defined? As my sponsor said to me let’s start by not acting in a God like manner and we will take it from there there…hence the title of this book. All that is required in to not have contempt prior to investigation…

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        Ghegheghe…. I think I’ll go see if I can find a sponsor when I’m a year in. I could use some structure. Would need to attend a meeting too though… Not there yet.

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        go to a mtg and you will find a room full of people like you but don’t’ let that put you off! lol πŸ˜‰ seriously we recover with others like ourselves – it is the best thing I have ever done so would love you to give it a go one day obviously. It is not perfect but it is perfect enough to bring happiness where there was none.

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        Ghegheghe… cracked up on your first sentence, currently writing a post on my mechanics of self destruction. πŸ™‚
        Thank you for your wise words. I am guessing I am ready to receive them. πŸ™‚

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        could be? I have been working on you long enough πŸ˜‰ humour is also a great antidote to taking ourselves too seriously,

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        Ghegheghe, ‘working on you’, huh huh, so I did sense that right…
        Well, it is well received, thank you. πŸ™‚
        xx, Feeling

      • alcoholicsguide · July 21, 2015

        lol! I carry a message of hope at all times lol x

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · July 21, 2015

        πŸ™‚

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