Two amiable greeters at the door directed me down the hallway to a meeting room where chairs and tables had been arranged in a large circle. Upon entering, I was surprised to see that fifteen men and women, varying in age from their early forties to mid-seventies, had already gathered there in small groups. I noted that oversized coffee cups were ubiquitous, as were cookies, frosting-laden brownies and good natured small talk. Feeling out of place, I situated myself in a chair toward the back of the room, next to a middle-aged women who was wearing muck boots and smelled faintly of horses. Her presence (or the horse smell) put me at ease until beginning of the meeting was announced.
“Margaret” the chairwomen, who was clearly well-known to those in attendance, began by leading the group in the Serenity Prayer and reading the AA Preamble. Subse...
... middle of paper ...
...orced by the positive sense of spiritual connection which accompany them.
Twelve step programs such as AA have the potential to benefit a wide array of individuals, particularly those who have moved beyond the pre-contemplation and contemplation stages of change. Because managed healthcare frequently limits a client’s ability to see their counselor, twelve step programs can become an integrated (and cost-effective) part of one’s treatment or after care plan. Based on my experience, I believe it would be important to prepare the client for their first meeting by explaining its structure, principles, and familiarizing them with the program’s steps (twelve step facilitation). Of course, if there were any questions or concerns which indicated that their participation might be incompatible with the goals of therapy or their belief system, those issues would be addressed.
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