Step 9 of the 12 Steps: Restoring Trust

- May 23, 2024

Restoring Trust: Step 9 of the 12 Steps in Addiction Recovery


Step 9 of the 12 Steps is a critical milestone in the journey of addiction recovery, focusing on making amends to those harmed by one’s past actions. This step is about taking concrete actions to repair relationships, restore trust, and heal the wounds caused by addiction. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of Step 9, its role in fostering accountability and reconciliation, and the empowerment that comes with making meaningful restitution.

Acknowledging Responsibility:

Step 9 begins with acknowledging full responsibility for past actions and their consequences. It requires individuals to confront the harm they have caused to others with honesty and humility. By taking ownership of their behavior, individuals lay the groundwork for genuine reconciliation and healing.

Making Direct Amends:

Central to Step 9 is the process of making direct amends to those harmed, wherever possible, except when to do so would cause further harm. This may involve apologizing for past wrongs, offering restitution, or taking concrete steps to rectify the damage caused. By making direct amends, individuals demonstrate a sincere commitment to repairing relationships and restoring trust.

Cultivating Empathy and Compassion:

In making amends, individuals must cultivate empathy and compassion towards those they have harmed. It requires stepping into the shoes of others, understanding their pain and suffering, and expressing genuine remorse for past behavior. By approaching the process of making amends with empathy and compassion, individuals foster understanding and connection in their relationships.

Rebuilding Trust:

One of the primary goals of Step 9 is to rebuild trust in relationships that have been damaged by addiction. This requires consistency, honesty, and a willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions. By making meaningful amends and demonstrating a commitment to positive change, individuals can begin to rebuild trust and strengthen their relationships.

Healing Wounds:

Step 9 is also about healing the wounds caused by addiction, both for oneself and for others. It provides an opportunity for individuals to address past hurts, mend broken relationships, and move forward with a sense of closure and resolution. By actively engaging in the process of making amends, individuals create space for healing and reconciliation to occur.

Facing Challenges:

Navigating Step 9 can be challenging and emotional, as individuals confront the consequences of their past actions and seek to repair the damage caused. It requires courage, humility, and a willingness to face difficult conversations and emotions. By staying committed to the process and seeking support when needed, individuals can overcome obstacles and make meaningful progress towards reconciliation.

Seeking Support:

Support from trusted mentors, sponsors, or therapists is invaluable in navigating Step 9. These individuals can provide guidance, encouragement, and perspective throughout the process of making amends. By sharing their experiences with others who understand, individuals can gain strength and resilience as they work towards healing and reconciliation.


Step 9 of the 12 Steps is a transformative journey of accountability, reconciliation, and healing. By acknowledging responsibility, making direct amends, cultivating empathy and compassion, rebuilding trust, healing wounds, facing challenges, and seeking support, individuals empower themselves to repair relationships and restore trust in their lives. In embracing Step 9, individuals embark on a path of personal growth and transformation that leads to lasting sobriety and fulfillment.

Written by Marina Moussa