Meetings – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of meetings?
What are the different formats of meetings?
There are many meeting formats in S.L.A.A. Each meeting’s format is decided upon by “group conscience,” and is subject to change by that group. Here are some common meeting formats. Several of these formats may be combined in any meeting.
- Speaker Meeting – One or more members of S.L.A.A. share experience, strength, and hope by telling their “stories.” Each speaker’s story provides an opportunity to reflect on our own history, feelings, and challenges.
- Topic Discussion Meeting – A specific recovery topic is suggested by the members, or taken from S.L.A.A. literature. When this type is combined with a Speaker format, members may also be invited to share how they relate to the speaker’s story.
- Step Meeting – The group focuses on one of the Twelve Steps, often reading out of the S.L.A.A. basic text, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.The group might also have one person speak on the Step. The meeting is then open for the other members to share on that Step.
- Getting Current Meeting – Members are encouraged to briefly share with the group the recent or on-going emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges to their sobriety, or to ask for help if they are in danger of acting out. Sometimes an entire meeting is devoted to “getting current.”
- Newcomer Meeting – The meeting addresses specific concerns of newcomers to S.L.A.A., or beginners on the road to recovery. Topics often revolve around the first three Steps, sponsorship, bottom lines, abstinence, or withdrawal.
What can I expect from an S.L.A.A. meeting?
S.L.A.A. meeting practices vary widely from region to region. Here are some relatively common practices, although not every meeting may be conducted in this fashion.
Who runs the meeting?
An S.L.A.A. meeting is run by its members. Typically, there is a member who guides the meeting (the secretary), another who is entrusted with the group’s finances (the treasurer), and perhaps one other who orders the literature for the group. These “trusted servants” are volunteers elected to regular service positions in the group by its members.
What do other people in the meeting do?
Many members take part in other aspects of the meeting as well. These service opportunities can involve helping to set up the meeting, identifying oneself as a sponsor, putting away chairs, talking with newcomers after the meeting, or representing the group at the regional (Intergroup) level.
When do I speak up?
Typically, newcomers can speak at any time during the regular portion of the meeting. At some meetings, a specific time is reserved especially for newcomers. This is a time when newcomers can share why they have come to S.L.A.A. or ask questions about the program, which can be addressed after the meeting. Remember, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to.
What’s with the money basket?
S.L.A.A. groups are self supporting, declining outside contributions. Our expenses, such as rent and literature, are paid by voluntary contributions from our members. We pass the basket, also known as “practicing the Seventh Tradition,” and members are encouraged to donate as they are able. No one is ever required to make any donation at an S.L.A.A. meeting. Some of the money collected may be sent on to the local Intergroup and to S.L.A.A.’s Fellowship-Wide Services (F.W.S.) office, which both provide service to the Fellowship on a regional (Intergroup) and worldwide (F.W.S.) basis, respectively.
So, what’s with this God or Higher Power talk?
S.L.A.A. is based on spiritual (not religious) principles. The references to God or to a Higher Power acknowledge our powerlessness over this addiction; our faith that a power greater than ourselves, whom some call “God,” can and will restore us to sanity; and our decision to trust this Higher Power to do just that. We have found that acknowledgment of some Higher Power is crucial to recovery from our self-destructive behaviors. Members are not required to adhere to any doctrine, either religious or secular. You are welcome in S.L.A.A., whether you are of any faith or none.