Open 12 step meetings are modeled after the customs and group dynamics of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, these meetings allow participants to practice the suggested 12 steps (or principles) for recovery in a safe and confidential environment. The word ‘open’ implies only that new participants are welcome to join the group at any time. "Closed" meetings are for members only. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop compulsive and obsessive behavior with regards to media, that is to say any man-made technology.
A wide variety of meeting formats are being used by groups of this kind. This format is taken with some adaptations from the existing 12 step meetings.
Most open 12 step meetings use a written script which is read by several group participants at the request of by a leader chosen for each meeting. When first exposed to this kind of meeting format, many people find the use of a script to be ‘canned’ or even insulting. The use of a script, however, has several important functions. For example, it de-emphasizes the role of the leader, or "chairperson" in the group.
The leader does not have to prepare any creative questions or group activities in advance. Some people put it this way: “If you are working on your own issues and you can read, you can lead a 12 step group”.
The use of a script also emphasizes the fact that all participants are present to work on their own issues not to passively receive from either the leader or other group participants. The use of a script makes it clear that the core of the group process is not the introductory activities but the period of no-crosstalk sharing which follows.
12 step groups are not affiliated with any sect, or denomination and do not wish to engage in outside controversies, our primary purposes is to focus on recovery.
Hello, and welcome to the Media Anonymous [group name] meeting. My name is __________ and I am a recovering media addict. Please join me for a moment of silence, after which we will recite the Serenity Prayer.
[For the closed meeting we add, this is a closed meeting of media anonymous and it is open to anyone who has a desire to stop compulsive and obsessive abuse of media.]
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. [Optional but recommended - Thy will, not mine be done.]
This group is committed to creating a safe place for men and women to share their experience, strength and hope. This is not a therapy group, no one is here in a professional capacity. Our purpose is to grow spiritually – to grow in our relationship with God. We are not here to talk about others, to condemn, criticize, or judge anyone. Our desire is to improve the quality of our lives by looking honestly at who we are, by learning from listening to and sharing with each other, by placing ourselves in the care of a Higher Power [of our own understanding] .
Media Anonymous, is a 12 Step program for media addiction recovery. There are various groups and interactive courses of study offered via our web-pages. We invite you to participate in the process of developing these study sessions, with your own input based on your "experience, strength and hope".
THE TWELVE STEPS
The spiritual guidelines of the twelve steps, are the foundation of our group(s) so I’ve asked __________ to read The Twelve Steps for us.
THE TWELVE TRADITIONS
We also have time tested practices, that assist us in maintaining unity and these are the called our 12 traditions and I have asked __________ to read those for us.
[Here we use the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, replacing the words "Alcoholics Anonymous" with the words "Media Anonymous"]
Is there anyone here today for the first time? If so, please tell us your first name so we can greet you.
If you are new to Media Anonymous , we offer you a special welcome. We suggest that you attend at least 6 meetings to give yourself a fair chance to decide if this group is appropriate for you. We encourage you to exchange phone numbers with other members of the group for support between meetings. Phone lists, literature and information on other 12 Step recovery support groups i.e.: Workaholics Anonymous, Codependents Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics Anonymous, Emotions Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and for Substance Abuse Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Overeater's Anonymous, Anti-Nutrients Anonymous.
If you have any questions, please feel free to talk with a sponsor at the end of the meeting. Is there anyone here, that would like to be available as a sponsor. Please raise your hand. Thank You.
It is our custom to introduce ourselves by first name only. If you wish to identify your primary addiction(s) as part of introducing yourself, we welcome you do to so. Please do not feel compelled, however, to introduce yourself other than to share your first name. My name is ______________ and I am a Media Addict and [optional but suggested - an xyz multiple addict recovering by the grace of God].
(Note: The custom in most groups is to respond to each person’s self introduction by saying “Hi, name”.)
Every meeting we remind ourselves of some basic group guidelines. Most of the principles and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous are used as part of our group. We respect the confidentiality and anonymity of each person here. Remember that whatever you hear at this meeting is shared with the trust and confidence that it will remain here. Who you see here, what is said here, when you leave here, let it stay here.
Before our sharing begins, I will read our Guidelines for Group Sharing.
1) Everyone is invited to share, but no one is obligated to do so.
2) Please keep your sharing focused on recent experiences and events. Focus on your personal experience, strength and hope. On, what works and not on what does not.
3) Limit your sharing to 3-5 minutes if it is a large group. Allow everyone in the group to share once before you share a second time.
4) Please…NO CROSS TALK. Cross-talk occurs when individuals speak out of turn and interrupt one another, or commenting on another's sharing. The group is disrupted, and focus is diverted from the individual whose turn it is to speak. We respect the truth of another, regardless of how we may feel that it is absurd or ridiculous in our opinion.
5) Refrain from asking questions. Questions will be answered after the meeting so that sharing will not be interrupted.
6) If you have recently used chemical substances, or pharmaceuticals which have had a mood-altering effect on your behavior, we ask you NOT to share until after the meeting.
7) We are not here to give advice, take pain away, or solve other people’s problems. We can share what we have done to change our own behavior, but not what we think someone else should do.
This meeting can take many forms i.e.: a step study, topics can be suggested, a speaker meeting [this is suggested for "open meetings"], dialogue on readings form 12 Step source literature or slogans. The Media Anonymous Twelve Steps represent a striving for spiritual "progress not perfection" which can provide a way out of destructive behavior and an opportunity to improve our relationship with our Higher Power.
Today’s meeting focuses on Step __________.
As your chair person I need to qualify I will share for a few minutes [3-5 min.], then will open the meeting for general sharing relating to the topic being covered. If you would like to share please raise your hand to be recognized or we can go around the circle [group conscience]. This is a spiritually-centered program, and we ask you to also share how your spirituality related to the topic or the Step being discussed.
(Notes: At this point the chair, or members rotate the reading of the step which is the focus for the meeting [here, we read from 12 Step Literature and replace the words "XYZ Anonymous" with "Media Anonymous , where applicable] and shares from his own current experience. When finished, the chair can either continue the sharing time by acknowledging a volunteer from raised hands, or can continue the sharing by asking the person next to them if they would like an opportunity to share and continue by moving around the room. If the group is larger than 20 people, many groups will form small groups of 5-7 people for the sharing portion of the meeting.)
(Note: A time of prayer follows. The prayer time can be structured in a variety of ways depending on the customs of the group or requests of individual members accepted by group conscience.)
Are there any recovery-related announcements?
This group is self-supporting through our own contributions [ the 7th Tradition].
(Note: take time for a collection before continuing.)
Media Anonymous is a fellowship twelve-step groups, most of our members belong, or require additional support for other 12 Step programs. We encourage you to attend other twelve-step meetings that apply to your situation. We also encourage you to bring a friend to this or to other 12 Step meetings and to invite them to experience some of the benefits that can be gained from participating in this program.
Remember! What you hear at this meeting is confidential; leave it at this meeting! It is not for public disclosure or gossip. Please respect the privacy of those who have shared here today.
or "What you hear, here, or who you see here, let it stay here!"
Will everyone please clean up after themselves and help rearrange the room?
Will all who care to, stand and join me in closing with the Lord’s Prayer ? [ This prayer is a popular option and although it is practiced in many groups, it is not affiliated directly with any 12 Step program. Please use discretion and group conscience, by inviting members to suggest prayer options. Hand holding in a circle and candle light meetings, are also optional and can be fun.]
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