It’s important to clarify that SCA is not group therapy. SCA is a spiritual program based on the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholic Anonymous. We provide a safe environment for working on our problems of sexual addiction, and to achieve sexual sobriety.
All meetings have different sizes, formats, topics and different people, but they are all focused on our sexual compulsion, and they all follow some basic guidelines. For example, most meetings require that all cellphones be turned off prior to the start of the meeting to avoid disruptions. Each meeting has a leader who reads from a script and guides the meeting till the end.
During the sharing portion of a meeting, each person introduces themselves by their first name only and the nature of their addiction.
It is often required that during your share, you do not mention specific acting out places, names of apps or websites, or that you use sensational or explicit language. Meetings also encourage you to not crosstalk, interrupt or comment on a person’s share, but that you share from your own experience, strength and hope.
Most meetings contain these elements:
1. A statement of purpose.
3. We also make use of AA’s (Alcoholics Anonymous), SLAA’s (Sex and Love Addict Anonymous) and other Twelve Step programs’ conference-approved literature, as well as other appropriate materials.
4. Meetings will either focused on a reading from one of our approved literature books or a recovering member may give a long share on “what it was like, what happened and what it is like now” for him or her.
5. Individuals are welcomed to share, either about a topic that was established in the reading or the long share or about whatever they need to share to get into or stay in recovery. In larger meetings, individual shares are given time limits. While the goal is to share honestly and openly, many meetings place guidelines on sharing, to avoid having one person’s share trigger another person’s disease. Some meetings allow other members who become triggered by an individual’s share to indicate so by raising their hands. Some meetings set aside specific times to encourage newcomers to share. The Four obstacles to success provide some guidelines for the types of sharing to avoid at meetings.
6. At some point, the meeting will pause to pass a basket for donations (our seventh tradition), which supports rent for the meeting room, meeting expenses and to support the work of our local Intergroup and ISO. During that time, members may make SCA-related announcements. Periods of recovery may be honored. Some meetings give “chips” to honor periods of recovery and to welcome newcomers. People in our program may receive ‘welcome’ chips, ’24 hours’ chips for those looking to start their recovery, and we celebrate member’s sobriety for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, six months, nine months, and one or more years of adherence to the sexual recovery plan they created.
Open and Closed meetings:
Meetings can be “open” and “closed” meetings. An “open” meeting is typically defined as allowing non-SCA members, and court-appointed individuals to attend and/or participate, while a “closed” meeting allows attendance and participation only by SCA members or those who think they might qualify for membership. These “closed” meetings DO NOT sign court papers.
Remember, the Third Tradition states: “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop having compulsive sex”, so if you think you might meet that requirement, you are welcome to attend an meeting.
Court, Speaker, Reading and Chips meetings:
A “court” meeting welcomes court ordered attendees, court papers are signed at the end of the meeting.
A “speaker” meeting invites SCA members from different groups to share their experience in SCA.
A “reading” meeting focuses on reading literature.
A “chips” meeting rewards tokens to those who achieved a certain level of progress during a certain duration.