Survivors of Incest Anonymous 

We Define Incest Very Broadly


for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse

WSC Roundtable: Working Steps 1 - 3

  • 06 Oct 2013
  • 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Dial 1-626-677-3000; then press 673296 #

Working the Steps Part I:


The Role of Working Steps 1-3 in Healing from the Wounds of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Roundtable Particulars:


Date: Sunday, 10/06/13


Time: 4:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M. Eastern Time

1:00- 3:30 P.M. Pacific Time


To Participate: Dial 1-626-677-3000; then press 673296 #


A SIA World Service Conference Literature Committee Roundtable Discussion

To Create Text for the SIA Gold Big Book Hope Heals


You Can Make Our Big Book Reality! The SIA WSC Literature Committee & Gold Big Book Subcommittee is seeking your assistance in making our dream of an SIA Big Book come to life. To help with the creation of this text, we are conducting a series of discussions by experienced SIA members about various chapters in the book. You may listen in and participate in these discussions. Each discussion will be 2 and one half hours in length and non-speaker panel members are encouraged to participate during the last portion of the meeting. Additionally, all SIA members are encouraged to share their experience, strength and hope in written form with the committee and participate in our quarterly Literature Committee Meetings on the first Monday of November, February, May and August at 6:30 P.M. ET/3:30 P.M. PT. To participate in quarterly meetings call 712-451-6000; pin number: 190373 # Also, many of the Literature Subcommittees have monthly meetings. These committees include the Big Book/Steps Workbook/Survivor Narratives Book Subcommittee, the Newsletter Subcommittee, the Pamphlet & Translations Subcommittee, the Creative Writing Book Subcommittee, the Meditations Book Subcommittee & the Recorded Voice Subcommittee. The Pamphlet Committee will meet on Wednesday night, October 2, at 10 pm EST on the phone number and pin above, To receive notices about these subcommittee meetings sign up on the SIA World Service web site to receive our quarterly newsletter because monthly meeting times are posted in our newsletter and all SIA members are invited to participate.


Topic Background


The Role of Working Steps 1-3 in Healing from the Wounds of Childhood Sexual Abuse


As one long-time member of SIA notes, “Step-work has taken me more deeply into myself. Step questions, inventories and the sharing of my writing with my recovery partners, sponsor, and therapist have opened my awareness in profound ways to how the sexual, physical and emotional abuse I endured affected me. Moreover, step work has given me the gift of acceptance. It’s helped me to let go of blaming myself for the profound effects abuse has had upon my psyche, my behaviors, and the way I view myself and others. Step work has gifted me with tools to use when I inevitably slip into victim responses. They’ve provide a means for growing a loving inner parent whose support and unconditional acceptance I can count upon at all times. Working the steps has allowed me to move out of victim responses and into unlimited dreams and possibilities. Without the insights that SIA stepwork has provided me with, I doubt I’d be here today because life was too painful to endure.


Today’s roundtable discussion will focus upon the critical role that working Steps 1-3 plays in recovering from the wounds of childhood sexual abuse. Steps 1-3 provide a critical foundation for later step work. They provide a means for walking into the intense terror, anger, shame, abandonment and grief that all survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience. They allow us to admit that we were abused and come to understand the coping mechanishms we developed as children to cope with the abuse. They help us to see clearly behavioral responses that no longer serve. They help us to let go of the past and enter into a new place where we can begin to trust ourselves and others more fully. They allow us to realize that we deserve the best and to finally begin giving ourselves what we deserve. In effect, Steps 1-3 provide a means for learning how to show up for our challenges. They open up the doorway to our original selves and allow us to reclaim the infinite possibilities we came into this world with.


Questions for Consideration

1. Why has working the steps in SIA been an essential part of your recovery and healing processes?

Step 1 reads, “We admitted we were powerless over the abuse, and the effects of the abuse, and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

2. In terms of the first part of the step, please describe why it is important to admit to oneself that childhood sexual abuse survivors are powerless over the abuse.

3. What challenges emerged for you as you worked this part of the step and what did you learn about how to show up for yourself in this process.

4. In what ways had childhood sexual abuse made your life unmanageable?

5. What deeper forms of unmanageability did you discover beneath the various ways you used to run from the emotions and memories associated with the abuse and how did you begin showing up for them?

Step Two reads, we “Came to believe that a loving Higher Power greater than ourselves could restore hope, healing and sanity.” This step implies that believing in a Higher Power can restore one’s capacity to dream, grow and self-actualize. Therefore, it also implies that before finding a loving Higher Power of our understanding that we lived with the opposite: a negative, non-supportive Higher Power that stripped us of dreams, belief in ourselves and our possibilities.

6. Please describe the negative Higher Power whose insanities you lived by prior to working the Steps in SIA. Additionally, what were some of the beliefs and responses you engaged in that kept you connected to a negative Higher Power?

7. Please share with us your journey into a connection with a loving Higher Power that was greater than yourself and some of the issues you experienced and worked with while creating a conscious connection with a loving Higher Power.

8. Why is a loving Higher Power an essential aspect of your recovery from childhood sexual abuse and does it need to be a God or Goddess in the religious sense of these terms?

Step Three reads we “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a loving Higher Power as we understood Higher Power. Some say that the will we give to a loving Higher Power consists of our thoughts and emotions and that turning our lives over means turning our behaviors over to Higher Power.

9. What are some of the challenges you faced in turning your will, need for control, along with thoughts, feelings and behaviors over to Higher Power?

10. What helped you to take the leap of faith that giving oneself to a loving Higher Power implies and how did you carry that out?

11. Those who work the steps in SIA say that the first three steps are critical to healing from the wounds of childhood sexual abuse. They say that working the first three steps initially shifted their lives and often try to work the first three steps on a daily basis. What’s differences did working the first three steps make in your life and do you try to work the first three steps daily and if so why?

Fall 2013 Roundtable Topics                                                                               

Fall of 2013 & Winter of 2014 begins our 4-Part Series on Working the SIA Steps     

Sunday, October 6 : Working Steps 1-3;

Sunday, November 3: Working Steps 4-5;      

December:No Roundtable

Winter 2014 Roundtable Topics

Sunday, January 5: Working Steps 6-9

Sunday, February 9: Working Steps 10-12 & Promises

Sunday, March 9: Sexuality, Survivors & Intimate Relationships


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