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Celebrate Recovery®



Exploring the Effects of Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse

RECOVERY IS A TWO FOLD PROCESS in this case. The first step is healing from the traumas done to us in our past, and the second step is healing from the influence these past experiences continue to have on our past.

Characteristics of Someone Struggling with the Effects of Physical, Sexual, and/or Emotional Abuse may include, but are not limited to:

  • Are hesitant to identify themselves as victims of abuse.

  • Feel isolated, depressed, worthless, and helpless to change.

  • Are struggling with feelings about God in relation to their life experiences of abuse.

  • Condemn themselves, denying the past abuse affects their present circumstances.

  • Feel out of control and defeated in areas of compulsive behavior.

  • Feel angry, bitter, and rebellious; have trouble with authority figures.

  • Feel a lack of self-worth and low self-esteem.

  • Are preoccupied with thoughts of what it means to have a “normal” relationship with others: mates, friends, family.

  • Question their own sexual identity and may experience confusion regarding their own sexuality.

  • Desire to regain their sexuality and feel safe in intimate relationships.

  • Question self-reality: “Who am I?”

  • Question whether life has a purpose.

  • Feel “at home” in crisis situations.

  • Struggle with perfectionism or “all or nothing thinking.”

  • Desire to have victory through Christ over the life experience of abuse.



How We Find Recovery


Through a relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Higher Power, and by working through the 8 recovery principles and the Christ-centered 12 steps, we can find freedom from our hurts, hang ups and habits.

Characteristics of Someone in Recovery From Physical, Sexual, And/Or Emotional Abuse May Include, but are Not Limited To:

  • We recognize that we are powerless to heal the damaged emotions resulting from our abuse. We look to God for the power to make us whole. 

  • We understand that safety is a high priority and will remove ourselves from any unsafe situation. 

  • We come to believe that we matter to God and He loves us as His child.

  • We admit that God’s plan for our lives includes victory over the experience of abuse.

  • We understand that the abuse committed against us is not our fault. We are NOT GUILTY.

  • We understand that the people who abused us are responsible for the abusive acts committed against us. We will not accept the guilt and shame resulting from those abusive acts.

  • We look to God and His Word to find our identity as worthwhile and loved human beings.

  • We learn that the emotions we are feeling are very real and need to be acknowledged. 

  • We learn how to organize our emotions by first noticing them, honoring them, organizing them, and sharing them with God and at least one other person.

  • We don’t accept responsibility for the abuse itself but do accept the responsibility for our responses to the abuse. 

  • We are wiling to accept God’s help in the decision and the process of forgiving ourselves and those who have perpetrated against us.

  • We come to understand that releasing our offender to God allows us to move forward toward the healing process. 

  • We come to understand that forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with my offender. 

  • We are willing to mature in our relationships with God and others.

  • We come to believe that God won’t waste the hurt in our lives.

  • In our recovery, we become willing to be used by God to bring hope to others with similar struggles.



STEP ONE - We admit we are powerless over the past, and as a result, our lives have become unmanageable.


STEP TWO - Believe God can restore us to wholeness, and realize this power can always be trusted to bring healing and wholeness in our lives. 

STEP THREE - Make a decision to turn our lives and our  wills to the care of God, realizing we have not always understood His unconditional love. Choose to believe He does love us, is worthy of trust, and will help us to understand Him as we seek His truth.

STEP FOUR - Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, realizing all wrongs can be forgiven. Renounce the lie that the abuse was our fault.

STEP FIVE - Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of the wrongs in our lives. This will include those acts perpetrated against us, as well as those wrongs we perpetrated against others. 

STEP SIX  - By accepting God’s cleansing, we can renounce our shame. Now we are ready to have God remove all these character distortions and defects.

STEP SEVEN - Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings, including our guilt. We release our fear and submit to Him.

STEP EIGHT - Make a list of all persons who have harmed us and become willing to seek God’s help in forgiving our perpetrators, as well as forgiving ourselves. Realize we’ve also harmed others and become willing to make amends to them. 

STEP NINE - Extend forgiveness to ourselves and to others who have perpetrated against us, realizing this is an attitude of the heart, not always confrontation. Make direct amends, asking forgiveness from those people we have harmed, except when to do so would injure them or others.

STEP TEN - Continue to take personal inventory as new memories and issues surface. We continue to renounce our shame and guilt, but when we are wrong, promptly admit it.

STEP ELEVEN  - Continue to seek God through prayer and meditation to improve our understanding of His character. Praying for knowledge of His truth in our lives, His will for us, and for the power to carry that out.

STEP TWELVE - Having a spiritual awakening as we accept God’s love and healing through these steps, we try to carry His message of hope to others. Practice these principles as new memories and issues surface, claiming God’s promise of restoration and wholeness.

*Throughout this material, you will notice several references to the Christ-centered 12 Steps. Our prayer is that Celebrate Recovery will create a bridge to the millions of people who are familiar with the secular 12 Steps (I acknowledge the use of some material from the 12 Suggested Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous) and in so doing, introduce them to the one and only true Higher Power, Jesus Christ. Once they begin that relationship, asking Christ into their hearts as Lord and Savior, true healing and recovery can begin!

Small Group Guidelines 

  1. Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Please limit your sharing to three to five minutes. 

  2. There is NO cross-talk please. Cross-talk is when two people engage in a dialogue during the meeting. Each person sharing is free to express feelings without interruptions. 

  3. We are here to support one another. We will not attempt to “fix” one another. 

  4. Anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements. What is shared in the group stays in the group. The only exception is when someone threatens to injure themselves or others. 

  5. Offensive language has no place in a Christ-centered recovery group. 



Accountability Team Phone Numbers


Accountability Partners





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