UCE Addictions Ministry
November 12 Agenda
When I look at the world I'm pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic.
Welcome to the UCE Addictions Ministry Group. We are a group of people who have
struggled with our own addictions and the addictions of others. We hope to struggle well
together as we work towards finding sanity, peace, love, and healthy relationships in our
lives. We will strive to spend our time together in a spirit of love embracing the inherent
worth and dignity of all. We accept and respect the varied paths that our members will
take to find sanity, peace, love, and healthy relationships. We covenant to to be together
in a confidential, safe environment where we can explore our paths and our stories.
Our Relational Covenant
▪ Embrace and practice deep listening
▪ We will strive to be respectful of our limited time and try to keep our comments
focused on the issues that have brought us here.
▪ Experience the group in a non-judgmental frame of mind
▪ Build trust within the group
▪ Confidentiality about specifics shared or discussed is imperative for our
▪ We each take full responsibility for what we share or say, recognizing
retractions are acceptable as well
▪ Meetings will always start and end on time
Check-in and Processing of Check-in
Virginia Satir Personality Categories
Virginia Satir was a world-renowned family therapist for forty-five years until her death in1988.
She dedicated her life to helping people grow and heal and is recognized by many as “one of the
most influential modern psychologists and a founder of family therapy.”
As a therapist she developed process-oriented systems to lead people to tap into their internal
resources  to create external changes. She believed that people’s internal view of themselves,
their sense of self-worth and self-esteem, was the underlying root of their problems. She based
her techniques and processes around looking clearly and congruently inward at oneself to view
how we originally learned to cope with our world. She believed that the problem was not the
problem but how one coped with the problem was the problem. Satir developed and named four
stances for viewing how one copes or originally learned to survive.
Virginia Satir was also one of the three world-renowned therapists modelled by Richard Bandler
in the creation and development of NLP.
She summed up her philosophy as the Five Freedoms:
The freedom to see and hear what is here instead of what should be, was, or will be.
The freedom to say what one feels and thinks, instead of what one should.
The freedom to feel what one feels, instead of what one ought.
The freedom to ask for what one wants, instead of always waiting for permission.
The freedom to take risks in one’s own behalf, instead of choosing to be only “secure” and not
rocking the boat.
The Satir Survival Stances
Virginia Satir developed what she called survival stances to demonstrate how people cope with
problems. The four survival stances are placating, blaming, being super-reasonable, and being
irrelevant. She thought that these stances developed through people’s lives from childhood from
a state of low self-worth, low self-esteem and imbalance, in which people give their power to
someone or something else. People adopt survival stances to protect their self-worth against
verbal and nonverbal, perceived and presumed threats.
She illustrated each of the stances in terms of their respect or disrespect of “context”, “self” and
“others.” She also identified body positions to illustrate each of the stances and associated
physiological effects resulting from the stances.
A person who has a placating stance views others and context to hold more value than their own
true feelings. They are nice when they do not feel nice, they take the blame when things go
wrong, they try to alleviate others problems and pain. Physiological effects that placators
typically experience are digestive tract disorders, migraines and constipation. The placator
respects the context and the others, while disrespecting themselves.
A person who has a blaming stance discounts others and counts only the self and context. They
hold the belief that they must not be weak, they harass and accuse others for continually making
things go wrong. They say things to themselves like “If it wasn’t for …, I wouldn’t be in this mess”
and “I’ll beat the…out of you!” A typical physiological complaint of a blamer is chronic stiffness
due to rapid and shallow breathing. The blamer respects the context and themselves, while
A super-reasonable person discounts himself and others and respects context only. He frequently
knows lots of information and works solely from a logical or objective perspective. He says to
himself things like “Everything is just a matter of logic, emotions are a waste of time” and “I must
be more intelligent and show how intelligent I am.” Physiologically this stance is rather dry! The
super reasonable person only respects the context, while disrespecting themselves and others.
A person that is irrelevant discounts self, others and context. An irrelevant person is often seen
as amusing or a clown. They can distract attention away from any stressful situation. Their
internal dialogue will be about anything other than the matter in hand. They are physically active
and inattentive by whistling, singing, blinking or fidgeting. They may appear unbalanced. The
irrelevant person has no respect for themselves, others and the context.
The Congruent Survival Stance
The ultimate goal of the Satir growth model is congruence. Satir held that high self-worth,
self-esteem and congruence are the main “indicators of more fully functioning human beings.”
The congruent person holds equal balance in terms of self, others, and context. “When we decide
to respond congruently, it is not because we want to win, to control another person or a
situation, to defend ourselves, or to ignore other people. Choosing congruence means choosing
to be ourselves, to relate and contact  others, and to connect with people directly.”
Using the Satir Survival Stances in Therapy
In the first instance, the therapist can use the Satir stances and their associated characteristics
as a tool for recognizing and calibrating incongruence in their clients. They can also respond to
their clients areas of disrespect of self, others and context in determining desired outcomes.
We can also use Virginia Satir’s techniques for helping clients to transform their survival stances
to congruence. This can be achieved by adding awareness, knowledge, manifestation and
experience to the client’s outcomes. We can develop outcomes for our clients that add a sense of
self awareness to the placator
awareness of the other person to a blamer
self awareness and awareness of the other person to the super-reasonable
context followed by self-awareness and awareness to the irrelevant.
Finally, as therapists we can become better by building this sense of congruence in ourselves and
in our communication.
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Copyright © 2012 Andrew Fogg. All Rights Reserved, All Trademarks Acknowledged.
I want to love you without clutching, appreciate you without judging, join you
without invading, invite you without demanding, leave you without guilt,
criticize you without blaming, and help you without insulting. If I can have the
same from you, then we can truly meet and enrich each other.”
― Virginia Satir