“It is in small groups that people can get close enough to know each other, to care and share, to challenge and support, to confide and confess, to forgive and be forgiven, to laugh and weep together, to be accountable to each other, to watch over each other and to grow together. Personal growth does not happen in isolation. It is the result of interactive relationships. Small groups are God’s gift to foster changes in character and spiritual growth.” Gilbert Bilzekian
1. How Do Workbook Groups Start?
■ You decide you really want to understand and benefit from the 12 Steps or 14 Traits
■ You locate the signup sheet located on the clipboard. You sign up
■ Newcomers should wait two - three months before signing up
■ When enough people, generally 6 – 8, have signed up the group decides to start
2. Where and When Do Workbook Groups Meet?
■ In one of the church basement rooms either before or after the regular Monday Night ACA Group meeting (either 6:00 or 8:30)
3. How Long Does a Workbook Group Meet?
■ Workbook groups typically meet once a week, for an hour, and work through the 12 Steps or 14 Traits in great detail. There is also homework during the week.
■ Between 12 and 24 months to complete the workbook. (I know, I know, your group will be different)
4. What Happens When the Workbook Group Meets?
■ When the group starts, the group decides if they have enough members (if not they ask the big group for more people). Usually after three to four weeks the group decides to close the group to new members
■ All members of the group buy the “Twelve Steps of Adult Children – Steps Workbook” or the "The Laundry Lists Workbook" and the ACA “Red Book”.
5. Group Rules:
■ For group safety your group MUST figure out and agree at the beginning (as well as you can) how you will go through the red book and workbook. (Slow, Medium, Fast). Write it out and stick to this agreement.
■ Figure out how to go back to amend this agreement as time goes on. Change happens.
■ Make sure your group is not controlled by one or multiple people. Speak UP! This is your group too.
■ It’s a good idea to not talk about subjects other than the 12 Steps or 14 Traits (except 2 minutes of chit-chat to start)
6. What Can I Expect From My Workbook Group?
■ Acceptance, respect and love with support while I work and learn
■ The willingness to work through core issues
7, What Can My Workbook Group Expect From Me?
■ To arrive to group on time and have my homework done
■ The willingness to work through core issues and share all honestly
■ Expect ups and downs as the group progresses. Work through the pain with love. Remember, “Principles before personalities”.
■ Ask your sponsor or another experienced member of our group for further clarity or suggestions.
■ Make all group decisions by group consensus. Remember, you are trying to increase group safety by making sure everyone is heard, considered, included and accepted. Quick is not always better.
■ This group is (probably) like the dysfunctional family you came from, so expect group members to push your buttons. It’s OK, because besides the material, that’s why you are here. Work through it.
■ Dive in to your group! What have you got to lose but your fears, hang ups, self-doubt...
■ If you want to make significant progress towards learning and applying the 12 Steps in your life because of the pain caused by being part of a dysfunctional family, we strongly urge you to sign up for a Monday Night ACA 12 Steps Workbook Group. The growth is worth the pain. ■ Life does get better one day at a time.
Materials Required - The ACA "Red Book" + yellow “Twelve Steps of Adult Children – Steps Workbook” or "The Laundry Lists Traits" can be bought from our group Treasurer or ordered online at: http://www.adultchildren.org/lit/Handbook.s. See the treasurer for a scholarship if you can't afford the materials.
At the Libertyville ACOA group, we offer and highly recommend participating in a workbook study group. These groups are intended for individuals wishing to gain a better working understanding of the 12 steps or 14 traits, leveraging the power that a group setting offers. Sign up today! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. Being in these groups will take time and effort, but more than balancing the work are the rewards of being a part of a group with a common focus and an interest in recovery. Doing your personal work with your group will allow you to share and grow in ways not possible in any other setting. Give it a try, what have you got to lose except your misery?
These groups meet for one hour, either before the regular Monday night ACOA meeting or after. Once 6 - 8 people have expressed interest in participating in a group, those members decide which time slot works best for all.
Feel free to ask questions of those who have been through this workbook process. The effort is worth it.