The SA Lifeline’s 12-Step Program
For more than a decade, I have admired the personal recovery and tireless work of Rhyll and Steven Croshaw, founders of the SA Lifeline Foundation.
The SA Lifeline Foundation is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to help individuals, couples and families impacted by sexual addiction to find resources that can help them get on the path to recovery.
One of the SA Lifeline Foundation resources I consistently draw upon in my clinical work with partners of sex addicts is the SA Lifeline 12-Step Program.
I refer clients to the SA Lifeline 12-Step Program for the following reasons:
- It is rooted in traditional 12-Step principles and therefore is familiar to those who have participated in SA or S-Anon.
- As an organization, SA Lifeline is betrayal trauma sensitive and partner-sensitive (vs. co-addiction focused and addict-centric).
- The meetings are free and allow anyone to have access to a recovery community regardless of their financial situation. This is noteworthy because many people facing addiction are also facing financial hardship, job loss, or are struggling to manage the cost of treatment alongside other day-to-day financial commitments.
- It offers a varied schedule with meetings held in the morning, afternoon and evening.
- It provides online, face-to-face contact for those who cannot attend in-person meetings locally. Online access has been invaluable for clients who are new mothers, dealing with medical issues, frequent business travelers, or adjusting to the significant time commitment and child care demands early recovery entails.
- It is gender segregated, so men meet with men and women meet with women. This is particularly important for partners who have been sexually betrayed and may be highly triggered if an addicted, heterosexual spouse attends meetings where men and women are dealing with similar weaknesses and histories. Having a gender segregated program for both spouses can add an element of safety and peace of mind.
- Participants are not limited to the term ‘Higher Power’ and are encouraged to use the spiritual or religious language that is most meaningful or authentic for them. For instance, a person may refer to “Jesus”, “God”, “Heavenly Father”, “Buddha”, “Allah”, or “Higher Power,” and this is met with respect and acceptance.
I encourage partners of sex addicts and recovering addicts to include an ongoing 12-Step component in their long-term recovery plans. For those who do, I see increased connection, reduced trauma, spiritual reconnection, and most importantly — significant progress.