Follow by Email

Friday, July 18, 2014

Accountability is Important for Healing Trauma & Addiction

There are many differences between two principal groups: 

1) trauma coaching and addiction recovery; and

2) trauma therapy and addiction treatment. 

The major differences between the former and latter groups are the issue of accountability

In post-trauma coaching and addiction recovery, the client is believed to have the answers to his or her problems in recovering and not in the knowledge of the practitioner. An excellent post trauma and addiction recovery coach effectiveness is based on the questions asked by the post-trauma coach which helps the client focus and come up with his or her answer that is right for them.

Achieve Accountability

To see if you are accountable able or not is through learning and being compassionate toward yourself. 

One way to achieve accountability is through customized writing assignments. The client is responsible for completing his or her assignments. The client is responsible for following through with writing on the assignments before next appointment. The assignments help reduce the “re-experiencing” in that it allows the client to write without feeling the past event, unlike verbally re-telling the event which occasionally causes the client to connect with the emotions that have been buried.   

As a Post Trauma and Addiction Recovery Coach, I work very hard to fit and customize specific questions for my clients. If my questions are not correct and on point, then the client will not come up with his or her right answers, and the forward process will stall.
To be on the same page as my clients, I sometimes have to give him or her an assignment to define a word which is critical to healing. Defining words is important because everyone’s definitions vary in form and meaning. So, I feel I need to work off of my client’s interpretation and not my definition of the word.

Assignment Example 

In the process of writing, clients come up with some of their most potent answers, great definitions, and acute accurate perceptions. Here is an example of a definition assignment that produced great definition done in a significant word. I think this word affects all survivors in his or her daily lives as well as their recovery from either trauma or addictions or both. That word is accountability.

Question -

Think about this question. 
Are you as a survivor more accountable to your life or to the promises you were forced to make by the perpetrator or addicting substance?


The exact assignment question was:

“What does it mean to be accountable?”

I found this definition to be incredibly enlightening. It was written by a client who experienced childhood and adulthood abuse and has a diagnosis of complex PTSD. She also formed severe addictions to numb out the intense feelings of suffering and overwhelming emotions of hurt and shame from her PTSD symptoms. I hope that this description of the word "accountability" will empower you to affix accountability to yourself rather than following the lies of your perpetrator.

The client answered the question entirely in her own words, not from a dictionary.

“Accountability to me is living up to a standard moral code that’s ingrained in my subconscious mind from nature not nurture. It is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for my actions and reactions. Accountability is a system of integrity which suppresses spontaneous reactions. It means that I am liable for my own destiny and culpable for the wrong decisions. Accountability and responsibility are guidelines for progress as I evolve spiritually, morally and mentally. It is doing what is right no matter how unfamiliar or hard it is to do.”

The client made a disconnection from the lies of her perpetrator. Due to her achievement of separating from her abuser, she began to live in the moment more and achieve a higher level of being happy. A positive change happened when she changed her definitions of the words that her perpetrator forced her to believe in. She also created new beliefs about herself from her new definitions.

Acquiring a new mindset through re-defining old words and embedding new personal beliefs can make post trauma and addiction recovery less mentally painful.

Accountability Moving Forward

Accountability is an essential element. When accountability is not operational in the person recovering there is an excellent chance of self-sabotaging behaviors causes relapses. Healing then progresses when accountability is again affixed as an investment into healing, and there seems to be a more rapid forward movement from that point on. 


So to heal from either trauma or addictions, you need to commit to true self-accountability. 
If you do then accountability will enhance your chances of healing the emotional wounds, become honest with yourself and you will be able to cast away false blame.


To make a positive change, an individual needs to embrace the issue of accountability for your actions, directions, emotions, thoughts, and reactions. A side effect of affixing accountability to yourself is that when you're in recovery focusing and thinking of accountability will cause you to spend more time in the moment. Therefore spending less time in false shame of what happened and regret of the past or predicting and projecting into the future. 

Post-trauma and addiction recovery can be healed if you can stay focused on your life and health in the moment. To accomplish this first, you need to acquire new skills for living without crisis and chaos or looking backward. Second, depending on the severity of the trauma, abuse or addiction you need to seek support to help through the treatment journey. 

Be accountable to yourself and grow day by day.
  Coach Bill
Visit my website  and download free eBook


  1. Thanks for this wonderful post. Drug or substance addiction is a serious problem and should be treated in its early stage. We are a addiction recovery agency in California. For more information visit us.

  2. dear Unknown,

    Thank you for your comments. Yes addiction is a serious problem and almost always pushed by abusive or traumatic experiences. Addictions should be treated in the early stages. Addictions and PTSD need to be treated together to get maximum benefits and lasting recovery.