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Al-Anon Observation Paper

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Alcoholism is as prevalent in my family, as blood is in our veins. When previously asked to observe 12-step groups, I ritualistically flocked to Alcoholics Anonymous, without consideration of the possibility that other groups had any potential to make an impact on me. I always pride myself in my ability to identify as an individual that is not ensnared in alcoholism, but unfortunately am an individual that was highly tormented by alcoholism. Through observation of the group and how it processed, as well as identifying how I felt as a new attendee, I was able to understand why self-help, support groups are so vital for individuals in recovery. I finally realized, I too am in recovery.

I attended Al-Anon meetings on Sundays at St. Matthew Episcopal Church. The meetings began at 11:45am, and were held until 1:00pm, which was contingent on the progress of each small group. I was in attendance beginning January 19th, with attendance on January 26th, and February 2nd. The groups first met in one room together, and then broke into smaller groups to process. The initial meeting room is a nursery room in the church. It had a lot of natural lighting from the windows, and was decorated in children’s religious artwork. The room was far too small for all of the attendees. There was an average of thirty-five attendees at each meeting. Many times people who came late had to stand outside the doorway and listen in, because the room was literally overflowing with people. There were never enough chairs, which forced some individuals to stand, until the large group, broke into small groups.

The group itself was entirely made up of middle age, Caucasians. There was an average of about thirty-five attendees each week. The average age of the gr...


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...http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/6/5/348.full
Gifford, S. (2011). Differences Between Outpatient and Inpatient Treatment Programs. Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/differences-between-outpatient-and-inpatient-treatment-programs/0007531
Galanter, M., M.D. (2008). Spirituality, Evidence-Based Medicine, and Alcoholics Anonymous. PsychiatryOnline. Retrieved from http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=100364

Peele, S., PhD. (2004, August). Is AA's loss psychology's gain? American Psychological Association. Vol. 35 NO. 7 pp. 86 Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/jn.aspx
McGovern, M. P., PhD, & Carroll, K. M., PhD. (2003). Evidence- base Practices for Substance Use Disorders. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. Retrieved from http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dcare/pdfs/fp/McGovernMark-Evidence-BasedPractices.pdf


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