The Al-Anon Meeting Type designation, which previously referred to whether the meeting was open to visitors or closed to attendance by members only, often confused members and newcomers. It has been replaced by the term Meeting Attendees, and the options have been changed to “Families and Friends Only” and “Families, Friends, and Observers Welcome” on the WSO Group Records Forms.
These new descriptions match the wording approved by the Board of Trustees at their April 2019 meeting. The language is consistent with the Al-Anon spiritual principles of confidentiality and anonymity. The new terms were designed to be clearer to new members and more welcoming to both new and potential new members and professionals seeking to understand our program. For more information about the decision, click here.
Any member can attend any Al-Anon meeting regardless of its location. A meeting that is designated as “Families and Friends Only” means they do not want non-members to attend their meeting such as counselors or nursing students, who often will observe Al-Anon meetings designated as “Families, Friends and Observers”.
As an al-anon member in San Diego, can I attend a closed meeting out of state/country? or does it mean it is for only members of that particular community?
I add my hearty endorsement of this change to the wording — “Families, Friends, and Observers Welcome” is inclusive and welcoming. I’m surprised that any Al-Anons would insist on a “closed” meeting, it seems we need all the visibility and public outreach we can get, since so many people, even AAs, have no idea of what we do here.
The wording is much clearer to new people and for people that want to observe and learn.
I love the new words for designating who is welcome at Al-Anon meeting!
Everything that makes recovery more welcoming is a great step toward drawing in newcomers
EXCELLENT work and final decision!! THANK YOU!!
I can’t say that “open” and “closed” ever confused me, but the new wording is certainly more welcoming and warm. Thanks.
As a 6-year member, I have found the old wording confusing when I want to attend a meeting while traveling.
I think this is a very good decision. Thank you, everyone involved in this service!
Hi a newcomer may feel like an observer for awhile because they may not feel like they belong because sometimes it could take years for someone to recognize that they had lived with the behaviors of untreated family disease of alcoholism and never saw the drinking present. A lot of alcoholics hide the drink. But the good thing is they will come back if they want help for themselves no matter what. Professionals and friends overly concerned about a friend of an alcoholic but not effected or doesn’t feel like they have a personal problem with someone drinking will not… Read more »
I work in my area’s LDC and have explained the open and closed distinction (listed on our meeting schedules) to newcomers twice already today. I think the change is a good one.
I am confused about where the designation of an “open” or “closed” Al-Anon meeting is found. Northern California District 6-10 has a Weekly Meeting Schedule. No mention is made of an open or closed meeting.
Shouldn’t the new type of meeting be placed in the Weekly Meeting Schedule?
Hallelujah! I had the problem trying to explain it to my home meeting! Is the Guideline being changed also? (I forgot the G#)
This is a welcome change that clarifies who can attend meetings of these groups while recognizing that part of our outreach may involve welcoming those from the professional community to attend and view what we’re about.
I like this. Very helpful for new and current Al-Anon members! I remember this being discussed during the 2015-2017 term. Glad it has been finalized. Thanks.
I am glad to see this information. Will be helpful. I am a DR and was planning to discuss with the AFGs in my District.
I am very very glad that wording has been changed and made more welcoming for all.