13th Step Syndrome

Couple kissing, photo by Margarit RalevIn March 11 2006 I wrote about avoiding the 13th Step which means “screwing someone crazier than you” – a term clarified by Dr. Stephen Jurd (a leading addiction psychiatrist). There have been more comments on this post than any other post I have written. The more recent comment on 12/10/07 by the author of Damn That Ojeda! website is worth mentioning here because of the enthusiasm with which the message is being relayed, and in order to correct the interpretation of my qualifications. The author refers to Coulter, ‘a right winged journalist’, intending to promote her book whilst appearing on a Carlson program which should discourage similar types from being edified because they are described as having…

spewed out such horrendous slanderous nonsense for no other reason than to let them promote more of their hate [which] will be diagnosed by me as having Dr. Affie Adagio Syndrome.

Allow me to explain.

Dr. Adagio herself does not have this condition. She’s a physician consulting chemically addicted clients and helping them go through the 12 steps of recovery. A noble and worthwhile cause indeed.

But in her treatments and counseling, she’s added one more step:

The 13th Step: Don’t Screw Anyone Crazier Than You

This, I would argue, is the problem with Carlson, et al. They allow themselves to electronically bed with Crazy Coulter for no justifiable reason. If she’s such a callous moron with nothing noteworthy to say before she goes on your show, why would you think your own program will be any different?

As the good doctor explains:

“It is not helpful to enter into an intimate relationship with someone who needs our assistance to recover from any illness or needs to improve their skills.”

Affie’s response: The author of Damn That Ojeda! has, indeed, the correct interpretation of the use of the term 13th Step which I also intended for people outside the 12 Step recovery program. This is because I believe it is a symbolic term of that extra step in any program which trains professionals to provide a service to others and therefore be responsible for not abusing the privilege.

One important correction that needs to be highlighted is that I am a qualified Family Therapist/Life Coach specialising in compulsion and recovery (addictions), a Doctor of Philosophy not a Medical Doctor or Physician. My PhD research was in Compulsion and Recovery and as a result I believe in a diversity of approaches – a synthesis or a balanced approach to recovery.

Couple kissing, photo by Margarit Ralev http://ralev.com/

5 thoughts on “13th Step Syndrome”

  1. @ Kitty: The 13th Stepper is the one who is supposedly a healthier or more knowing person than the one who has been 13th stepped. In other words someone who is in a better place of their recovery than the person they had the intimate relationship with no matter what the length of their recovery. Usually the guide is responsible for the person needing guidance and needs to avoid sexual involvement. This also applies to therapists and teachers and people in such positions of authority.

  2. Whatever happened to living by the Golden Rule?

    Some great leaders wrote it as the equivalent of “Don’t screw anybody in the way you wouldn’t want to be screwed.” That is a start.

    But it really works when you realize it as, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” Now that is powerful!

    The power is in realizing that I am “it” in this great tag game of life!

    Gary
    http://www.LifeCoach411.com

  3. @ Martin Robinson, go to my home page and type in 13th Step and you will get all the posts I have written on the subject which I am sure will help you understand it better and how to avoid falling into that trap.

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