AA Meeting Formats in Treatment Facilities
Does a District support groups putting on AA meetings at treatment facilities, if so are they able to provide or favor a particular format? Is there a preference for Big Book Studies, Open Discussion, or Speaker?
A District can support individuals or a group or groups that bring meetings to treatment facilities. Individuals, a group or several groups can also bring a meeting to a rehab if they want. Guidelines available on the G.S.O. website at www.aa.org make it clear the Traditions apply; cooperate with the Treatment Facility administrators, but don't affiliate. Get permission from the administrators and be gracious guests. AAs voice no opinion regarding outside issues, including treatment modalities, methodologies, policies or preferences. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
The format of the meetings is entirely up to the AAs visiting the treatment facility; they can reflect the group's typical meetings or they can be quite different (the Guidelines indicate there's a difference between AA meetings in Treatment Facilities (i.e., common discussion meetings) and Treatment Facility meetings (which may be designed to have a more structured, educational format).
Since the purpose of the visit is to carry the AA message of recovery to alcholics who still suffer, Big Book studies are appropriate, as are Step Study meetings. Check out the "Hyannis Rotation" on the 'net; one group offers an innovative combination of step study and big book study: see www.bigbookstepstudy.com
Sometimes, "panels" of two or more AAs present talks about AA's perception of the problem (Silkworth's allergy and the obsession of the mind that combine to cause a loss of choice, the spiritual malady buried in the middle of page 52 explained more clearly and less kindly on p. 62, and the need for a spiritual solution described between pages 25 and 44 (Silkworth's psychic change is Jung's vital spiritual experience - see Appendix II). Not surprisingly, Ch. 5, How It Works, shows 12 spiritual exercises that produce a spiritual change sufficient to recover from alcoholism.
In deciding how to carry the message, keep the 12 Traditions in mind. This is a great opportunity to understand why they were adopted.
And as always, be gracious guests of the TF administrators...burn no bridges for those yet to give and get AA's message of recovery.