This is the #SLAA Online Group website.
This is not the official SLAA website.

Best Viewed Sober

Welcome to the
#SLAA Online Group

of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
on StarLink-IRC.Org IRC

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Tools of Recovery:

This Recovery Tools section is divided into five major pages:

A list of positive and negative behaviors in recovery

(source unknown - not SLAA conference approved)


Much of what we have learned to date may block communication and may get in the way of creative relationships, friends, associates, mates, and family.  The following behaviors tend to help us become more "open" and able to give and receive clear communication with others.

  1. SPEAK WITH THE FIRST PERSON "I." Instead of "People feel...," or "You feel... ," etc., say "I think...," "I feel...."  This gives more of a flavor of you rather than broad generalities.
  2. SPEAK DIRECTLY TO INDIVIDUALS.  Look and speak directly into their face(s).  If another person asks you, "How do you feel about Sam right now?" for example, turn to Sam and say, "Sam, I feel you were very kind to me a minute ago when you said...," or "I resent you right now," or whatever — rather than answering the one who questioned you originally.
  3. SPEAK FROM YOUR HONEST FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS.  There is no taboo on language, thoughts, feelings or expressions in this kind of group.  Failing to communicate exactly what one feels — be it anger or affection or indifference towards another — is deemed "kindness" by the world and all too often is the most cruel thing we can do to one another.  It is based on lying and not giving a person the compliment of being able to handle honest feelings.  How can persons behave properly if they have never been honestly told how others react to them?
  4. BE AWARE AT ALL TIMES OF YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS OF THE MOMENT.  Express them at the earliest appropriate time.   Be aware even if you cannot express a perception of the moment.   You cannot live creatively if you cloud the present with the imagined past — a memory.  The dreams of future never come.   We freely live in one dimension of time — the here and now.
  5. READ THE MESSAGES FROM YOUR OWN BODY.  Your body is a most basic, tangible aspect of yourself.  It is continually giving you messages.  The open or closed portions of your limbs, sweaty palms, feeling "fidgety," rapid heartbeat, moving to a closer or more remote seat, flushed face, increased elimination needs — all these and more tell that you are afraid, angry, irritated, worried, embarrassed, wanting to be closer to a person, anxious, etc.   These messages can be noted and understood.
  6. BE AS SPONTANEOUS AS POSSIBLE.  Too often, we "mull over," think about, choose careful language, wait too long, try to be polite, wait our turn to speak or react.  This may "water down," negate our freshness, sparkle and genuineness.   Try to let ideas, thoughts and feelings flow out and over as they will convey the true "view."
  7. BE AWARE OF THE ROLES YOU TAKE AND YOUR CHARACTERISTIC BEHAVIOR.   It has been observed that we tend to behave similarly in many situations.  For instance, some of us tend to be ready for a scrap in many situations.  Others tend to withdraw or run away from a confrontation, while others are "peacemakers" or compromisers.   Another may behave very differently in each situation, carefully "sampling" popular opinion and then taking that side.  By observing yourself and others in this group, you can come to helpful insights.
  8. BE AWARE OF HOW PERSONS IN THIS GROUP REMIND YOU OF SIGNIFICANT PEOPLE IN YOUR PAST OR PRESENT LIFE.  Interacting with those persons can often work out actually or completely like the persons of whom they remind you.
  9. LISTEN ACTIVELY.  Good communication involves clear expressions of not only what you think and feel, but also listening clearly to the words, feelings and behavior communications of others (it is good to attempt to "crawl into another's skin" or "wear their shoes" in your imagination in order to understand them).   There is a strong tendency to "read in" things we feel, while missing what a person is expressing because it bothers us for some reason.  Techniques such as repeating back to a person what you thought they said before you answer might be helpful, if it does not demand spontaneity.  One can learn to allow for one's own biases and prejudices, which may distort what is going on in and around us.
  10. DON'T SPEAK FOR OTHERS.  Such as, "Most people think...," "A person always feels...," or "I think So-and-so feels you don't like him/her."  Speak for yourself or ask the person what they are feeling or thinking.  If you feel empathy for a person or feel like defending or attacking someone, speak for what you are experiencing at that moment rather than attributing it to others.
  11. TRY TO HAVE GENUINE "ENCOUNTERS" WITH OTHERS.   The aim of an encounter is not necessarily to either fight (or avoid anger), to always be on good terms, or to "love" everyone.   It is rather to realize that the basic stuff of life is to contact, interact, feel, and communicate meaningfully with others.  A quarrel is often better than complacently ignoring another.  To know that you have been true to yourself while meaningfully interacting with another, also being true to them, is a major aim of such an experience like this. It can have favorable consequences in your social relationships outside of this group.
  12. EXPECT PERIODS OF SILENCE.  Although they may seem, at first, uncomfortable, creative things can occur in our awareness and our consciousness.  Use silence to be aware of what's happening in you.


Here is a list of frequently seen group behaviors that need to be confronted as they happen.  Take the risk to confront your own behaviors.  Take the risk to confront the behaviors of your peers.  Whether they are directly connected to acting out or not, these behaviors will lead to relapse.  Remember, this is about behavior, not the person.  We confront what we see another group member doing, not who he or she is.  Treat the individual with unconditional respect.

  1. EXCUSE MAKING.  For example: "I act out because I'm depressed," or "I act out because my spouse doesn't understand me."
  2. BLAMING AND PROJECTION.  Permits the build-up of resentments and gets the focus off the recovering person and puts it on others.  For example: "The trouble with you is that you're always so critical. Who wouldn't act out!"  " The cop that stopped me is angry at the world."
  3. REDEFINING.  Shifts the focus of an issue to avoid solving the problem.  For example: "I acted out because the language in the Big Book is old fashioned and too religious."  "I acted out because my sponsor told me I could date."
  4. SUPER-OPTIMISM.  For example: "I think, therefore, it is."  "I can stop acting out because I put my mind to it.  I don't need any support."
  5. SUPER-PESSIMISM.  "Stinking thinking." For example: "What's the use, everyone's against me."
  6. LYING.  Confuses, distorts, and takes the focus off the behavior.  Examples are:
    • Commission — making things up that are simply not true.
    • Omission — leaving out major sections.
    • Assent — presenting others' ideas to look good with no intention of following through.
  7. MAKING FOOLS OF OTHERS.  By putting others down, we take the focus off our own behaviors.
  8. ASSUMING.  For example: "Nobody cares about me anyway." Gives us an excuse to blow up, get angry, or act out.
  9. I'M UNIQUE.  "No one can tell me what to do."  "Nobody understands my problems."
  10. INGRATIATING.  Finding out what you can get from other people, how you can control them, use them, or control the situation for your own purposes.  For example: "You're my favorite counselor."
  11. MINIMIZING.  For example: "I only drank three beers."  "I only called my DOC to see how s/he was doing."
  12. VAGUENESS.  Being unclear and nonspecific to avoid being pinned down.  "I guess."  "Probably."  "Maybe."  "I'm not sure about this."  "I drink socially."  "I acted out occasionally."  "I've used it."
  13. AGGRESSION / DOMINANCE.  Scaring others by our power and strength so that they will agree with us or leave us alone.
  14. POWER PLAYS.  Walking out of a room during a disagreement or organizing others to support our anger.
  15. VICTIM PLAYING.  Acting like the King Baby, or whining and acting helpless, or acting too stupid to do anything for ourselves.
  16. DRAMA / EXCITEMENT / SENSATIONALIZING.  A distraction which keeps the focus off our own behavior.
  17. SECRETIVE AND CLOSE-MINDED.  Opposite of going to any length of whatever works.
  18. IMAGE AND SELF-DEFINITION.  For example: "That's me.  That's just the way I am.  I'm just a quiet person."
  19. GRANDIOSITY.  For example: "I've spilled more booze that you've drank!"  "I've acted out for over fifty years before coming to recovery."
  20. INTELLECTUALIZING.  Going ten miles out of the way to state a point; using academic, abstract, or theoretical discussions to avoid dealing with the feelings associated with the issue.
  21. RATIONALIZING.  Unconsciously devising reasonable, plausible, or logical explanations for acting out or beliefs rather than honest accountability.
  22. STAYING IN THE SAFETY ZONE.  Withholding information because of the fear of confrontation; being "stuck" in our recovery and not doing work because we feel safe in being abstinent.
  23. ISOLATION.  Avoiding contact with others, so as to avoid dealing with feelings or changing behaviors.
  24. REPRESSION.  Unconsciously blocking events that are too painful to deal with.
  25. RUMINATING.  Replaying old tapes or past events over and over, rather than taking stock of the past, present, and future with willingness to "let go" and change.