Tuesday, March 29, 2016

What EA Is...and Is Not

EA is such an inclusive group that anyone desiring emotional health is welcome. At times, it seems the group can be all things to all people. However there are some things that EA is and somethings it is not. Here they are:

  • EA is led by members. Meetings duties should rotate among all members. Directors, trustees, sponsors, or meeting leaders do not have authority over members.
  • EA is about equality. The spirit of EA is not represented by any one person diving directions or guidelines to members of other groups around the country.
  • EA's literature is important in helping members work the steps. The literature is not required reading, but it does carry the central message of our program. Some of us may have the notion that if members purchase and study EA literature, they will decide to work the program at home rather than attending meetings. Not true; literature usually enhances meeting participation. We believe that putting extra information about the program in the hands of members is always a good thing. The decision to attend face-to-face meetings or not is entirely up to each EA member.
  • EA is non-confrontational. We do not take members aside to suggest immediate actions they must take to become well. We ofer quiet assistance and guidance. We inspire others by our example; we do not give advice.
  • EA is an important part of emotional wellness for many people and can be worked as a member chooses. The EA Program need not be followed so rigidly that those who aren't sponsored (or those who aren't making obvious progress in their recovery) are looked down upon or discouraged from attending meetings.
  • EA is open to anyone seeking emotional health, regardless of their race, religion, sexual preference, style of dress, or personality type. However, we do abide by the concepts and traditions of the program. We can not allow members to act in such an overbearing, pushy, sarcastic, mocking, or threatening manner that they scare away newcomers. An EA meeting is a place where all members should feel safe and respected.
  • EA is a spiritual–not a religious–program. Groups are not encourage to say special prayers (other than the Serenity Prayer) during meetings. People of all faiths, as well as athesists and agnostics, should feel welcome at our meetings and a part of our program. Members may feel free to substitute "Higher Power" or another term for "God" in reading our literature.
  • The EA meeting is a peaceful, neutral space for groups to gather. It is not the place for religious or political discussion, or for the use of non-EA sanctioned material. EA meetings should not be the sales or distribution point for cosmetics, cookies, health aids, non-EA books, chain letters, or the like.
  • EA members' experiences are theirs alone. They are not a standard to be met, or a way of offering direct instruction to other members.
  • EA is supportive of all positive actions that members take to regain and maintain their mental and emotional health. We do not discourage visits to psychiatrists, taking medication, or the like.
  • If a group is following the above guidelines, as well as the concepts and traditions of EA, it is considered an EA group. If a group does not follow these principles, it is simply a gathering of like-minded people. EA does not lend of sell its program name to non-EA groups.

From pages 7-10 in It Works if You Work It published in 2003, St. Paul, Minnesota: Emotions Anonymous. ISBN 0-9607356-9-0. OCLC 54625984. Order from Emotional Anonymous International.

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