Mental Health Nursing

Alcoholic Anonymous Meeting
Informed Reaction Paper

Alcoholism affects virtually every family or group. It is a major health problem in the
United States and is one of the major national health initiatives for Healthy People 2010.
It is expected to continue to be a concern in the awaited Healthy People 2020. Alcohol
may be a silent problem as often happens in the aging community or more socially
acceptable/visible as in the college community. It is everywhere in our society. Many
patients you care for may be alcoholics and not acknowledge this or recognize it. It is
highly likely if you have not been affected by an alcoholic you will be during some part
of your life. AA is still the most effective intervention
As part of this course you are required to attend an OPEN meeting of Alcoholics
Anonymous. An open meeting is for anyone who knows someone who is alcoholic, is
someone who is an alcoholic, or is inquiring about AA. No one need give any more
information about self than their first name. Say “I am interested in the problems of
alcoholics,” or you can decline to say anything. Make sure that you attend an open
meeting. You can go online for the Washington Area Intergroup Association
http://www.aa-dc.org or look in local newspapers for times and listing.
This is an experiential exercise. You may be surprised and run into someone you
know. You may feel uncomfortable but so will any other newcomer to the AA program.
Empathy is part of being a health care professional. Do not take notes during the
meeting.
Reaction paper should include:
Your name,
Date/time of meeting
Site of the open meeting.
It must be typed and you are required to use APA format.
Paper and brief oral report are due as indicated on course schedule. You may attend a
meeting at any point in the semester but do not hand in paper until class day.
No email submissions.
In your paper describe:
1. Describe the milieu or environment.
2. Describe the group process—what was going on in the meeting for example you
might comment on the leadership of the group, the behaviors of the group or of
individuals in the group that you noted. Was there a silence, did members of the group
talk by invitation etc.

3. How were issues brought to the floor? How did you know that others in the room
had similar problems or situations?
4. Behavior exhibited by group members: verbal/nonverbal, supportive or distant.
5. Any themes? What do you remember about the group conversation/
6. Your personal feelings regarding the experience. This is a major part of the paper.
You should read Chapter 23 in Stuart 9 th ed. before you attend the meeting. Along with
your personal perspective what did the meeting ignite in you or allow to come to your
consciousness? How could this help patients who are alcoholic or their significant
others?

After the meeting, go to a safe place, perhaps your home and reflect on what you
experienced. Write a brief summary of your observations, impressions and feelings.
Hand in paper to me at the assigned class and be prepared to discuss the issues in small
group. This paper is a reflection of your experience but it is an informed reflection…
You should have read Stuart Chapter 23 on substance abuse prior to attendance. You
need to be familiar with the etiology, diagnosis and interventions that are available for
people with substance abuse problems. Read Chapter 31 on group theory.

Alcoholic Anonymous Meeting
Informed Reaction Paper

Grading Scale- total of 50 points
1. Describe the milieu or environment. (5 points)
2. Describe the group process—what was going on in the meeting for example you
might comment on the leadership of the group, the behaviors of the group or of
individuals in the group that you noted. Was there a silence, did members of the group
talk by invitation etc. (10 points)
3. How were issues brought to the floor? How did you know that others in the room
had similar problems or situations? (5 points)
4. Behavior exhibited by group members: verbal/nonverbal, supportive or distant. (5
points)
5. Any themes? What do you remember about the group conversation? (5 points)
6. Your personal feelings regarding the experience. This is a major part of the paper.
You should read Chapter 23 in Stuart 9 th ed. before you attend the meeting. Along with
your personal perspective what did the meeting ignite in you or allow to come to your
consciousness? How could this help patients who are alcoholic or their significant
others? (15 points)
7. Your name, Date/time of meeting, Site of the open meeting. It must be typed and
you are required to use APA format. Turned in on/ or before week 7.
(5 points)

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