Written by on November 29, 2023


PTSD AND THE 12 STEPS: A Tailored, Mindful, Calming, and Growth-Oriented Approach for Survivors, Family, and Friends Kindle Edition

by DAVID PRESTON (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

For people with PTSD, the language of the 12 steps can be vague and even triggering. Use this expanded guide to find your way and begin healing.

Following a 12 step program can be a great way to heal, but for many people, the language of each step leaves much to be desired. They are written to be open-ended and malleable to peoples’ lives. After all, each person has a unique life story, and a one-size-fits-all set of rules would likely exclude more people than it would include.


However, it can be difficult to start unravelling trauma and PTSD without a clear sense of direction. In this book, I elaborate on each of the 12 steps with narratives that make sense to me and can hopefully help others. Each of these retooled steps is meant to be a possible interpretation that puts some meat on the bare bones of the original steps.

The 12 steps were originally a treatment for addiction, which can often require a more heavy-handed and all-encompassing approach. PTSD may not fit that mold, so this book promotes a softer methodology that centres stability, maintenance, and gradual growth. In essence, I’ve sanded down the rough edges of the 12 methods in an effort to create a safe space for PTSD survivors to unpack their trauma.

PTSD and the 12 Steps is an expanded version of the 12 step approach suited for readers looking to improve their mental health, address their traumatic experiences, and begin the journey of healing from PTSD.



Unlocking the 12 Steps: Navigating Vagueness and Embracing Personal Interpretation

Exploring the 12-step programs reveals a mix of wonder and frustration, particularly when it comes to the vague nature of the steps themselves. This ambiguity, it seems, serves a purpose — recognizing the diversity of our life stories, acknowledging that strict rules may not universally apply. The bare words of the steps can feel stark, yet there’s a reason for this.PTSD AND THE 12 STEPS

The narratives that follow serve as suggestions, offering one possible interpretation of the steps. Their aim is to infuse life and meaning into the seemingly cold and harsh words, recognizing that individual journeys require unique perspectives.

Originally designed for addiction treatment, the 12-step programs sometimes demand a heavy-handed approach. However, when addressing issues like PTSD, a softer touch may be more effective for promoting stability, maintenance, and growth. Therefore, alternatives for each step are provided, their edges and corners smoothed down like a carefully crafted piece of furniture to prevent injury.

Choosing the version that brings the most benefit without triggering undue distress at a particular point in time is key. The following narratives are mere suggestions for interpreting the steps, recognizing that PTSD may demand a gentler approach.



Book Review

Unveiling the Power of Trauma Recovery for PTSD Survivors.

 “PTSD AND THE 12 STEPS” review by Geoff Carter the host of the flagship UK Talk Radio breakfast Show


Navigating Healing: “PTSD AND THE 12 STEPS” by David Preston




In “PTSD and the 12 Steps,” David Preston’s profound exploration of trauma recovery, the 12-step program takes centre stage as a transformative journey for those grappling with PTSD. The author navigates through the complexities, offering insights that redefine the healing process.

The Elusive Language: Tailoring the 12 Steps for Trauma Recovery

For individuals facing PTSD, the inherent vagueness, and potential triggers within the language of the 12 steps can be overwhelming. Carter, through this comprehensive guide, sheds light on how the retooled steps provide a personalized path for trauma recovery, acknowledging the diverse life stories that shape each individual’s journey.

A Safe Space for Trauma Survivors: Smoothed Edges and Gradual Growth

David Preston recognizes the significance of creating a safe space for survivors to address their trauma. “PTSD and the 12 Steps” not only elaborates on each step but also advocates for a gentler methodology. This approach, emphasizing stability, maintenance, and gradual growth, reflects David’s commitment to smoothing the rough edges of the original steps, fostering an environment conducive to genuine healing.



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