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The PBSE/Dare to Connect Approach vs 12-Step Support Groups

In PBSE Episode 232, Mark & Steve respond to a listener's experience and questions with regard to the approach to Betrayal Trauma healing that PBSE and Dare to Connect take, vs. the experience in 12-Step groups. Here's what the partner of a porn/sex addict submitted to PBSE—

Is it me or are the approaches of partner-oriented 12-step fellowships the opposite of the recovery approach taken in PBSE podcasts? The podcasts are all about connection and boundaries. The partner’s 12-step fellowship I attend feels all about ignoring your partner's actions and not letting his actions hurt you. And doing what makes you happy? So it’s about disconnection…. Right? Why is it that they (12-Step groups) are popular on both reddit and your podcasts? Am I seeing this wrong?? Or is there something about those 12 step fellowships that I don’t understand??

On the surface, the approach in PBSE/Dare to Connect vs. 12-Step for partners, can in some ways seem very different. However, they actually are the same fundamental approach, but from two different directions!

Here are essentially the two questions/observations about 12-Step, presented by this betrayed partner—

“It’s all about ignoring your partner’s actions… right?”

- NO! It’s about SURRENDERING your partner’s actions, focusing on yourself (including your trauma & pain) and what you CAN control, which is boundaries built first around your own safety, needs and wants, and then incorporated properly into a committed relationship. This allows for personal healing and the most optimal functioning of the relationship. As recovery and healing progress, a partner uses healthy boundaries to create safety and expectations for what is needed for the rebuilding of trust and moving toward deeper connection.

“It’s all about disconnection…. Right?”

- It's about establishing and holding boundaries around the needs of the self FIRST and learning how to fill your own bucket in healthy ways.

- Depending on how early one is in healing and recovery/how deep the enmeshment trends run in each individual/in the relationship, MAINTAINING LONG-TERM HEALTHY CONNECTION SOMETIMES MEANS SHORT-TERM DISCONNECTION.

- Once personal healing, healthy boundary setting & holding, and healthy sovereignty/independence are happening in a sustainable way, it allows us to authentically connect with those in the world around us, INCLUDING our addict partners.

- Mark and his partner, and Steve and his partner have the best marriages they've ever had, BECAUSE they don’t "need" each other (aren't "needy") the way that they used to. They each work to stand emotionally on their own two feet, and support each other wherever and whenever they can, WITHOUT taking ownership of the other person’s “stuff."

Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—

Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling

Learn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services

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