I choose to do my observation on alcoholism, because it is a major problem that affects all different types of people throughout and remains to be a ongoing problems; these people may become alcoholics for varies reasons. A program was originally developed back in the 1930’s to help people with this problem and get them on the track to becoming sober. The program was developed to be an AA’s Twelve Step program of spiritual and character development.
Within the development of this program a book (Alcoholics Anonymous also known as the Big Book) was written with the objective is to help the alcoholic find a power greater than himself that will solve his problems the problem being an inability to stay sober on his or her own. The program that I went to was located in the Houston Heights area at the Heights Group, this organization has been operating since 1949 and developed with Jack N. , George R. , Bill W. , Stanley G, Tommy P. , Dutch D. and Pappy S and have moved several times since then, they have been at their current location since 1983.
I found the Heights Group online and it said that they had an open meeting and it gave the schedule, although it was open I still called ahead to make sure it was okay for observers to attend. I went to the meeting it was a little hard for me to fine, because I wasn’t familiar with that area of town and also the building looked like a house, but luckily it had its name on all sides of the house. As I pulled up, I saw several people standing around outside talking, drinking coffee and smoking. Walking in the people seemed to be very friendly and inviting.
As I entered the building, I walked in this large open room with several chairs, a few recliners and a sofa, the head person was sitting in the front corner of the room, he was reading pages from the alcoholics anonymous blue book, in which he started to explain the topic of the day, which was humility. The book had a lot of spiritual attributes in it, because I kept hearing the leader refer to God and having faith in the as well as one’s self. After the topic was explained, then he went on to introduce himself as a recovering alcoholic, then each person in the group went around and introduced themselves.
The leader also welcomed all of the first time visitors and observers to the meeting. After the introduction, the leader went into more detail about the topic and how it changed him along with help of God and staying faithful. In this group the atmosphere was very laid back, people had gotten comfortable and taken their shoes off. As I sat, I noticed different things around the room, for instance, on the front wall there was two large picture sized frames with the 12 steps for a recovering alcoholic and the 12 traditions.
I also noticed that there were several older white men in the meeting than anyone else and maybe one or two young people. This atmosphere was very laid back, although it was laid back, the members had to be called on to speak on the topic, it seems as if most of them just wanted to listen to the other members problems in hopes of finding solutions to their own, but when they did speak, you could see that they had really been ashamed as well as humiliated about their addiction and how they just take it one day at a time.
As I listen to the story and problems of the members, I noticed that the members take up a collection or donations from everyone. I remember watching one lady speak, she was shacking and almost crying, she was really embarrassed for herself as well as her friends that she had affected. After listening to these members speak, I learned that alcoholics have a sponsor, someone that helps them through the process and this is what one lady was looking for. In the meeting, I hear everyone keep saying “We take things one day at a time and I keep faith and pray that I can do this. They speak of being at piece and having serenity, because God helped them get on track. The meeting was very spiritual, throughout the whole meeting the members talked about how they have to humble themselves and surrender the addition to have a been life and a piece with themselves. It seemed like their main purpose for getting sober was to fine this piece and serenity and be aware of the problem they had, and in doing so to have faith in God to help you with the problem.
I think the therapeutic approach for alcoholics is cognitive behavioral therapy and 12-step counseling program, because people have to be encouraged to find different ways to replace their alcoholic lifestyle with healthy behavior and this happens in different stages and levels. They also have to explore their challenges and anxieties, establish their strengths and weakness as well as their needs. So they have to gain self-awareness about their situation and problem as well as examining the positives and negatives of leading a non-alcoholic or a alcoholic lifestyles and determine if they want to anticipate changes in their future.
The thing I really liked about this particular AA meeting was the openness and honesty with the individuals in the room and how it was so laid back. It seemed as if the format of this meeting allowed the individuals to speak for a good duration of the time, rather than taking half of the time to reading a chapter in a book. I believe hearing others stories, downfalls, triumphs and wisdom towards a particular situation really helps people open their eyes, which in turn will help them realize that drinking too much is a problem that will most likely lead to many detrimental health (body and mind) effects on oneself.