Thursday, September 10, 2009

A veteran counselor speaks

This email came in to the LifeRing Service Center today:
I am a 54 year old recovering alcoholic, 25 years sober today actually.  I've read Martin's book [Empowering Your Sober Self] and am very excited.  I am a licensed alcohol counselor in practice for 17 years and my experience is that about 60% or more of clients DO NOT want anything to do with AA.  For all the reasons that Martin cites.
I've always wanted to do something for the community (vs. for my own practice/income) and I think starting LifeRing in this area is the ticket.  I'd like to know how to get started.  I've got a place to hold the meeting, for up to about 12 or so.  After it gets bigger I can deal with finding a bigger place.  This is a VERY rural area so even AA meetings hover around 6 to 18 very seldom going over 25.  But I'm sure there is a hunger for some alternative to "the 12 steps" in addiction recovery around here and I'd like to get a meeting off the ground.  There are no [alternative] meetings even close to here.  ...
Please let me know how to start and what help is available from your organization.  I've read Empowering Your Sober Self and have the workbook on order.
The book that this writer probably needs most immediately is How Was Your Week?  That's version 1.0 of a handbook for LifeRing convenors (meeting starters and meeting facilitators).  A key chapter, dealing with how to start meetings in new locations, is online free here.  More information about available resources is on the Meeting Starter page of  I wish the writer the very best of success in starting LifeRing in his neck of the woods, and congratulations on 25 years clean and sober!  

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