In the United States alcohol plays a key role in society. Alcohol is a euphoriant and depressant. Many Americans love to enjoy alcohol and it is quite accessible in most communities. In fact, the United States has high rates of alcoholism: half the population is considered regular drinkers or consumes 12 drinks per year (Black, 2010, p.xiv). However, for some people, alcohol can become addictive. When alcohol is consumed, it affects the brain which causes changes in behavior and mood. The Bible offers warnings about the effects of alcohol. One passage states, ?Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper? (Proverbs 23:31, New International Versions). In the end, if one is not careful, alcohol can lead to destruction. However, there are several programs that are offered in communities to help people deal with alcohol abuse. One common program is Alcohol Anonymous. The only requirement for attending Alcohol Anonymous meetings is for the member to have a desire to stop drinking.
Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of attending four Alcohol Anonymous meetings at the Anchor Club located in Cheyenne Wyoming. By attending these sessions, I hoped to gain a better understating of support groups and enhance my ability to effectively lead groups. Beyond doubt, both of my objectives were met and so much more. From the onset, I learned that it is important for a group leader to encourage and support the group members. Many of the members who attended the Anchor Club wanted to be loved, understood and not judged. Most importantly, they were striving to maintain their sobriety. As a group leader encouragement and support w...
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...ven if they feel healed or healthy.
The closing stage of the alcohol anonymous meeting was very intimate. The Lord?s Prayer was recited by the group at the end of each meeting. From a spiritual perspective, the Lord?s Prayer at the end really offered encouragement and emotional healing to members. It really seemed like members left the session knowing that they were not alone in their battle. On average, the closing stage was five minutes or so. One downside was the lack of leadership. Depending on the intimacy of the discussion, some groups would quickly close faster than others. Also, in some cases members would dominate the discussion not allowing some members to gain their own personal closure. Nevertheless, it appeared that members still had their needs met for that day. The group members made it a point to love and support to one another.
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