Finding The Right Type of AA Meeting for You

If you're in recovery and looking for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, you should know about the many types around town. It’s important to find the right meeting for you for where you are in your recovery and ​for what you need. Below is a list of some types. In addition, meetings can be geared toward young people, men, women or the LGBT/all welcome community.

1. The Topic/Discussion Meeting:

Each of these meetings is structured around a different leader who picks a topic and then talks about it for five to ten minutes. He or she will then open the meeting up for general discussion. The idea is for the topic to be solution-oriented to help those in the meeting. Sometimes the topic can come from AA literature.

2. The Speaker Meeting:

These meetings have one person sharing his or her experience, strength and hope as well as what life was like before and what it is like now. The speaker’s story usually has a combination of entertainment value, inspiration and instruction.

3. Big Book Study:

The AA literature is known as The Big Book. This type of meeting will have people reading paragraphs at a time from The Big Book, and after a few pages of reading, people stop and then share/discuss what was just read and their experience or thoughts on it. The Big Book studies aim to give any newcomers to the meeting an understanding of what the alcoholic’s problems were and what the solutions are.

4. Twelve-Step/Twelve-Traditions Meeting:

This meeting typically runs like a Big Book study, but the information comes from another set of AA literature – The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. This meeting works specifically on a single step or tradition at a time; each meeting covers one whole step or tradition.

5. Beginner Meetings:

This type of meeting can take place with any of the above. It is often a topic/discussion meeting and a beginners meeting, or a Big Book study and a beginners meetings. These meetings usually are led by more experienced members, with the primary focus on introducing new members to the tools available for maintaining sobriety. Newcomers in recovery are not restricted to these types of meetings, but one of the benefits of beginner meetings is the opportunity to meet other people as they start their sober journey.


Written by Rachel Rabinowitz, Posted in Counseling Services

About the Author

Rachel Rabinowitz

Rachel Rabinowitz

Rachel’s primary role is to bring awareness and prevention strategies into Jewish day schools and synagogues, as well as into the Atlanta Jewish community. She also works as a case manager and therapist in the Solutions Atlanta Intensive Outpatient Program, where she specializes in individual, group and family therapy — specifically adolescents, young adults and their families.