Inland Empire ACA Intergroup

What To Expect at Your First Meeting

Going to your first ACA meeting is a big step toward recovering from the affects of family addiction or dysfunction.

If you haven’t found a meeting yet, you can search here for an online or in-person meeting.

Here are some things to know about attending your first ACA meeting.

  1. Meetings follow a format. Most meetings begin with the Serenity Prayer, some readings, and introductions. People will share their experience, strength, and hope by taking turns discussing the readings or some other topic. Meetings last 60-90 minutes, close with the Serenity Prayer, and usually stay open for questions.
  2.  Every meeting is different. Attendance varies anywhere from three to fifty. The format will vary from meeting to meeting. Some meetings are men-only, women-only, most are co-ed. Some meetings have more old-timers than newcomers, some the other way around. Some meetings are structured and formal, others feel like family gatherings. There is a wide range of ages. You are encouraged to attend at least six different meetings in order to find one that is right for you.
  3. Meetings are a safe place. While others are sharing, we don’t talk or interrupt (read more about crosstalk). We listen, and then when it’s our turn to share, we can expect the same of those listening. We believe you will find your first meeting to be safe, caring, and non-judgmental. Remember you are with people who came from similar environments and share similar experiences.
  4. You don’t need to register or sign up. You can find a meeting here, and feel free to drop in when you are ready. Most meeting information is up-to-date, but you can reach out to the meeting contact to make sure the time and location are correct.
  5. You are not required to speak at the meeting. At meetings, we share our experience, strength, and hope. We identify ourselves by first names only to preserve our anonymity. You are invited to share when you are comfortable.
Source: This information is used with permission granted by ACA Arizona Intergroup.