Individuals recover at their own pace. We, however, have learned by experience that those ACA members who make the greatest gains in the shortest amount of time are using the tools of recovery.
ACA Tools include:
It is through meetings we connect with other people to discuss recovery issues, hear about their ACA experiences, incorporate information about methods/techniques of recovery and build a personal support network, if we choose.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to recover from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family.
When attending a meeting, you can simply observe/listen or participate as you feel comfortable.
Many ACA members come from family backgrounds where feelings and perceptions were judged as wrong or defective. In ACA, each person may share his or her feelings and perceptions without fear of being judged or interruption. In ACA, we create a safe place to open up and share.
Going to meetings and listening to others who talk about their own experiences, strengths and hopes often helps us in our own recovery. Sharing at meetings helps us to focus, define and clarify our problems. Sometimes we vent gently or feel our feelings. Talking out loud about our action plan to change our lives helps us to resolve some problems. At times, we report our progress or share how well our current plan is working. We often use meetings as a reality check on our overall program, comparing adult life before program to current life in program.
ACA meetings are designed to be a safe place to share. All members use their first names only and agree what is shared in meetings stays within meetings. The phrase, 'what you see here, what you hear here, let it stay here' is often heard.
In ACA, we speak about our own experiences and feelings; we accept without comment what others say because it is true for them. We also work toward taking responsibility in our lives rather than giving advice to others.
To ensure a safe environment, we do not engage is 'crosstalk'. Crosstalk generally includes:
If any member ever feels a meeting is not safe, for whatever reason, it should be raised confidentially with the Trusted Servant of that meeting.
Your and our Recovery depends on group unity.