Alumni Retreat:  Blocks to Working Steps 4 through 9

For over twenty years, ACORN Primary Intensives have focused on helping food addicts do deeper food First Steps – “We admitted we were powerless over food….”  We have received numerous requests for a workshop focused on blocks to working Steps 4 through 9.  Please join us as we launch this new alumni workshop.

Here are some of the blocks ACORN alumni have shared with us while working Steps 4 through 9:

  1. Some find it difficult to complete a 4th Step inventory; others have difficult starting the process.
  2. Some find that when they get into the substance of 4th Step work, emotional issues arise that they either don’t have the skills to deal with or which trigger prior unresolved trauma.  While the place to actually do the rigorous process of Steps 4 through 9 is in a Twelve Step fellowship, and the place to do long-term work on unresolved trauma is in professional therapy, ACORN staff are skilled at helping people sort these issues out and developing a plan of action.
  3. Some who have relapsed or are chronic relapsers, find that one of the problems is that they have never gone through the Steps rigorously and fully “cleaned house.”  Paradoxically, this is often because they do not believe that they need to do this in-depth inventory work in order to sustain long-term recovery; this means they need to do deeper First Step work to accept they have a substantial brain disease as well as a craving for specific foods.

The workshop will begin in the usual ACORN style with secrets about food and current Twelve Step process. Then we will have an exercise in which everyone will do a piece of writing on Step Four – looking at resentments, fear and relationships (sex conduct). This is followed by a simple process actually doing Steps Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine together. Then, in a process group format, we will focus on any difficult emotional and spiritual issues which come up for each person. For those needing instruction in rigorous approaches to the Steps, there will be help similar to that in alcohol and drug addiction treatment. The workshop will conclude with people doing an aftercare plan which incorporates structure for continuing the work begun during the weekend.

The groups will be led by ACORN facilitators who are, themselves, long-time abstinent recovered food addicts, have done all the Steps thoroughly, and who have experience in helping with the deeper emotional and spiritual issues that often come up in the course of serious food addiction recovery.

Please note:  Our assumption is that it remains best to actually do the inventory Steps in a food-related Twelve Step fellowship of your choice, and the workshop is not meant to replace such work.

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