Welcome to the weekly __________ meeting of Trauma Anonymous. We meet every ________ at ______ PM at this location and conclude promptly at ______ PM. Please take this time to turn off any mobile devices and dispose of any food or drinks other than water.
Would anyone like to read the preamble?
[Hand preamble to volunteer.]
At this meeting we identify ourselves by first name only. We may also identify ourselves as having history of trauma but are not obliged to do so; this is because for some of us any declaration of distress, past or present, was used by others as a pretext for further abuse and thus may act as a trigger.
Are there any newcomers to the meeting? We ask this not to embarrass you but to welcome you.
We encourage newcomers to attend several times before making a decision about whether or not to continue. Meetings can be very different from one another; recovery may also occur in subtle ways which may not be immediately noticeable.
In this group we encourage the use of “’I’” statements” such as “I’ve noticed when I’m in this situation I often feel this way” rather than “You statements” such as “You know when you’re in this kind of situation you feel like…”. This is our way of minimizing projection and taking responsibility for our feelings.
Non-verbal gestures of identification with speakers is acceptable but we do not allow for cross-talk or feedback. Cross-talk is commenting while someone else is sharing while feedback is responding to a person’s share. While this may seem harsh it is designed to help members feel free to share without fear of being interrupted, contradicted or criticized.
We discourage the recounting of traumatic experiences in explicit or gruesome detail as doing so may be triggering for both the speaker and others; we also discourage the use of profanity. As facilitator I may restate this guideline during someone’s share, if I do please do not take it personally it is only meant to safeguard the group. In the case of ongoing disruptions by the same individual I may ask that person to leave the room; again this for the safety of the group and that person should feel free to return to a future meeting provided they are willing to adhere to the guidelines. If you feel the need to leave the room for any reason during someone’s share, we ask that you try to wait until their share is finished if possible..
Would anyone like to serve as our timekeeper?
The following is a list of symptoms some of you may be experiencing. For all who care to do so, please read from it and pass it along.
[Pass out List of Symptoms.]
As a 12 Step Group we also have a list of steps to give structure to our recovery; for all who care to do so, please read one or more entries from the list of steps for this group and pass it to the next person.
[Pass out Steps in opposite direction from previous sheet.]
We also have a list of traditions adapted for this group, would all those who care to do so read one or more entries from it and pass it along?
[Pass out Traditions in opposite direction from previous sheet.]
[Calculate time for shares based on numbers present. Take group conscience if necessary.]
The meeting is now open for sharing. No one must share at this meeting, it is entirely ok to pass. In our group whoever has just finished sharing gets to pick the next person to go; would anyone like to go first?
[Select first person.]
[Allow shares until __________.]
It is now time for our Seventh Tradition break which helps us maintain our autonomy. We do not have dues or fees but we do have expenses, please give what you can and pass along. If you cannot give at this time please come back anyway, we need you more than we need your money.
We may now continue sharing.
[Indicate to last speaker before break to select next person.]
[Around ________ after speaker has finished read below.]
The time for sharing has now ended. If you did not get a chance to share and wanted to, please find someone from the group afterwards willing to listen. Please do not talk to anyone about their share without asking their permission first. Also, remember that what is said here stays here, let there be no gossip of any kind.
For all who cares to do so, please read from the following list of improvements we can expect from following the program of Trauma Anonymous.
[Hand out list of Promises.]