Emotional/psychological recovery from trauma needs to be addressed as early as possible in recovery. Traditionally there has been strong resistance to doing this but it has been my experience that not dealing with trauma is a set up for failure. This may need to be done prior to treatment to develop a sense of self that can then be brought into a treatment program.  The length of time for this stage takes 2-3 years or more to get at major areas of concern.  Individuals need to deal with any or all of the following issues to maintain a high level of recovery:

Family of origin Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse Guilt, anger, fear, and other emotions Unresolved grief Posttraumatic stress Relationships, separation, or divorce Workplace relations or career decisions Financial

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In the recovery process, after first accepting my addictions, I have learned that my patterns of behaviour, beliefs of myself, including using my anger to keep people from knowing and/or hurting me, were the accepted and practiced systems in my family or origin. And as in my family of origin, the consequences of these beliefs have not only enabled and hurt my spouse, but have also deeply affected and crippled my children.

I have found by acknowledging the pain, working on healing the past, grieving the losses; learning new ways of behaving and feeling, setting healthy boundaries for myself, that I am better able to care for myself, love myself and expect decent behaviour from others. I am also more capable of loving. As a result of this process, I am healthier and am now able to work with my spouse to assist in his recovery. I see positive changes in him, and believe there is hope for our relationship and by our example, hope for the healing of our children.


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