Self in Exile Disorder

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Introducing RSA

RSA stands for ‘Real Self Anonymous’.  

The story so far:

We are a small group averaging 3 to 4 people, meeting once a week.  We have been going for roughly a year.   Most of us have experienced changes.  Some of these significant improvements.  None have been miracles.  But we consider this to be a lifetime endeavour of growth and learning. 

The atmosphere in the meeting has been lively, interesting, a place to share experiences, gain relief, and to learn.  To feel connected, a sense of purpose and belonging. 

All of us present have had some experience in the 12 step fellowships.  However this is not a requirement for membership. 

Below is an outline of the format on which we base our meeting.  This is followed by some of the fundamental quotes which are intended to explain the direction and underpinning of our recovery.


Welcome to RSA.


This meeting, combined with study group, is a pioneering exploration into integrating the Masterson Approach with 12 step recovery. 

·       Our shared purpose is to support the Real Self. 


We consider that the concepts found in the Masterson approach lend vital clarity, orientation, and focus to our recovery work and step inventories.

The tools, principles, and practices of the 12 step fellowships form the basis of our path to healing and way of living.

P. 38 of the original AA Big Book* states:
“Your next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.  This is not an overnight matter.  It should continue for your lifetime.”

As a basis for this on-going learning, we propose that we acquire a working knowledge of the following:

·        The 3 different character structures as described by the Masterson approach.

·        The qualities, capacities and experience of the Real Self.

·        How all the above interacting dynamically, – each disorder, if uninterrupted, creating and reinforcing the other. 

·        Understanding this dynamic includes awareness of the ‘Triad of the disorders of the Self’.


Sharing/ Listening guidelines:


“Meeting quality is an illusive, fragile but very precious thing”
                             Adapted from ‘Discovering the Principles’  SA publication.



We suggest that you listen for the similarities, and take an interest in the differences. 



A share is based on a need that arises primarily from within oneself, and from one’s own real lived experience. We bear witness to our own experience.

We avoid cross talk.

Cross talk is:
A share that is based more on the response to another person’s share than on ones own experience.
We identify but don't compare ourselves with others, or try to fix them.




“Though our decision was a vital step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and be rid of the things in ourselves which had been blocking us.  Our liquor was but a symptom.  So we had to get down to conditions and causes.”  P.64 AA Big Book

In RSA a specific understanding is on offer to help us to get down to these conditions and causes.  Understanding ‘the Quadrants’ and how they operate both inside ourselves, and  between self and others, allows us to bring the light of awareness to previously hidden places.  This is part of our on-going journey of discovery.