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How does an AA group work?

AA groups meet for two-hour meetings at times and places that are announced in the printed group list of Alcoholics Anonymous and on the Finnish AA website. In Finland, there are currently around 700 groups in every small town. Meeting times and places can be found at

In group meetings, there is usually a rotating speech, which can be based on the text read at the beginning of the meeting. Other methods are also used, as the groups decide their methods of operation independently. You can get a topic for your own speech from the contents of the previous speeches. You don't have to speak, you can just listen if you want. You don't even have to say your first name if you don't want to. The last name is never mentioned in the speech.

Everyone takes from the speeches what is important to them at that particular moment. The principle is "Take what you want and leave the rest". Everyone can grow into their own solutions in their own way, at their own pace. AA does not support or oppose any issue or outlook on life, therapy or treatment. The AA program is spiritual and spiritual, but does not recognize any religion. Members have the right to their own personal convictions.

The length and scope of the speeches are not limited as such. However, each member of the group should take into account that the AA group is recovering from alcoholism and that all participants should have a chance to speak during the couple of hours available.

In speaking, it would be good to learn to express yourself and share your experiences, bring your feelings to the surface and deal with them. Equally important is learning the art of listening.

Only alcoholics and persons who suspect that they are alcoholics are allowed to participate in the closed meeting. Those participating in the meeting are obliged to remain silent and may not tell outsiders who attends the meeting. Everyone is welcome to the open meeting. The group always announces whether the meeting is open or closed.

In the group, you will hear how the participants have survived their predicament and how, by implementing the AA program, they strive for balance in their lives and a happier, content-rich life, and above all, sobriety. The groups are self-directed and independent. The operation is based on self-sufficiency and mutual, voluntary service.

Participating in the group's service tasks, for example making coffee, within the limits of one's own resources, helps the group member out of isolation and promotes the recovery of self-esteem. There is a box in the palaver, the proceeds of which are used to pay, among other things, rents and buy coffee accessories. However, putting money in the box is optional.

You can get the best support towards permanent sobriety and a happier and more balanced life by going to meetings regularly.

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