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Step 9

Section 4: The SEA's 12 Step Workbook
Self-Esteem Seekers Anonymous -

The SEA's Program of Recovery
By James J. Messina, Ph.D.


Step 9

We made direct amends to such persons whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or ourselves.


Directions: As you systematically work through the twelve steps of the SEA's program, you will be expected to read the material in this section and respond to the questions in your journal. Each step contains key words or concepts, which are explored in the questions under each step. Your recovery from the negative impact of self‑esteem is dependent on your honest assessment, admission, and acceptance of the steps you need to take in order to ensure your personal recovery. Most likely over your lifetime you will need to review these twelve steps, so for later reference keep the SEA's manual along with the other Tools‑for‑Coping‑Series books in a safe place.

Making Amends

Step 9 requires that you make amends to those people you identified in Step 8. You are expected only to make amends with people when neither you nor they will be harmed by this action.


Making amends is the process of not only seeking forgiveness for the behaviors which caused the harm but also giving these people permission to “call yo" on it or give you feedback when you are reverting back to your old behaviors.


To assist you on Step 9, consult Tools for Personal Growth, Chapter 4 Handling Guilt  and Chapter 16 Accepting Personal Responsibility, and Tools for Relationships, Chapter 13 Handling Forgiving and Forgetting and Chapter 15 Helping Another Recognize the Need for Help.


In order to make amends to those people you have harmed, you need to develop a set of behaviors which will facilitate the amends‑making process. These behaviors are:

  • Ability to let go of past hurt.
  • Trust in the goodness of mankind.
  • Trust in the goodness and mercy of a Higher Power to give you strength to continue to be honest with yourself and others.
  • Letting go of the need to control and fix the uncontrollable and non‑fixable.
  • Letting go of fear of the future.
  • Allowing yourself to be vulnerable to personal growth.
  • Ability to take a risk.
  • Letting go of resentment for past hurts.
  • Accepting personal responsibility for self.
  • Discontinuing blaming others for your problems.
  • Letting go of anger over the past.
  • Taking a risk that people do change.
  • Establishing a personal spirituality.
  • Open, honest, and assertive communication with others concerning hurts, pains, and offenses experienced.
  • Identifying and replacing the irrational beliefs that block your ability to make amends.


Systematically begin to make amends to those people identified in Step 8 with whom making amends will not do harm to you or the other.

As you work on Step 9, answer these questions.
  • What inhibits my desire to make amends with people?
  • Give an example of why it is difficult to make amends to each person listed: Person  -  Reason why difficult to make amends:
  • What irrational thinking blocks your ability to make amends? Give some examples of these irrational beliefs:
  • What behaviors of yours are still blocking your ability to make amends?
  • What fears prevent you from making amends?
  • What areas of trust are lacking in your ability to make amends?
  • What “letting go'' behaviors do you still need to develop to make amends?
  • How does blaming interfere with your ability to make amends? Which people do you still blame for your problems?
  • What unresolved anger issues prevent you from making full amends?
  • What are some ways in which you go about making amends to people who are dead or no longer geographically available to you?
  • How productive is it to write letters of amends to these people?
  • To whom have you written letters of amends?
  • What are your feelings after you have an amends‑making session with a person?



As you complete Step 9, rewrite in your own words why it is so important to you in your recovery from low self‑esteem.