Types of AA Meetings: A Guide to the Different Group Options for Recovery

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a worldwide fellowship of individuals recovering from alcohol addiction. AA meetings provide a supportive environment for members to share their experiences, seek guidance, and work through the 12-step program. While the format and focus may vary, here are some common types of AA meetings:

1. Open Meetings

Open meetings are open to anyone interested in learning about AA or supporting those in recovery. Non-alcoholics, such as family members, friends, and healthcare professionals, are welcome to attend and observe.

2. Closed Meetings

Closed meetings are exclusively for individuals who identify as alcoholics or have a desire to stop drinking. These meetings provide a confidential space for personal sharing and discussion of recovery-related topics.

3. Speaker Meetings

Speaker meetings feature one or more members sharing their personal stories of addiction, recovery, and experiences with the 12-step program. The speaker usually has an extended period to share their journey, followed by an opportunity for brief comments or questions from other attendees.

4. Discussion Meetings

Discussion meetings involve group discussions focused on specific topics related to recovery. A moderator or chairperson may introduce a topic or read from AA literature, and participants are encouraged to share their thoughts, experiences, and insights on the topic.

5. Big Book Study Meetings

Big Book study meetings focus on studying and discussing the content of the Alcoholics Anonymous book, also known as the “Big Book.” Participants read and analyze passages from the book, share their interpretations, and discuss how the principles outlined in the book apply to their recovery.

6. Step Study Meetings

Step study meetings concentrate on exploring and working through the 12 steps of AA. Each meeting typically focuses on a specific step, with participants sharing their personal experiences and insights related to that step.

7. Beginners’ Meetings

Beginners’ meetings are specifically designed for individuals who are new to AA or early in their recovery journey. These meetings provide a supportive and informative environment where newcomers can ask questions, receive guidance, and connect with more experienced members.

8. 12 and 12 Meetings

12 and 12 meetings involve studying and discussing the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. These meetings provide an opportunity for reflection, sharing, and understanding the principles and spiritual concepts behind the program.

It’s important to note that the format and content of AA meetings can vary based on the group’s preferences and the needs of its members. AA meetings are typically free to attend and are held in various locations, such as community centers, churches, or dedicated meeting spaces. To find specific types of AA meetings in your area, it is recommended to consult local AA resources, directories, or reach out to the local AA Intergroup or Central Office.