Live SA Groups
Joining a live 12-Step SA (sexaholics anonymous) group is perhaps the most powerful tool available for overcoming sexual addiction, however it is not for everyone. For people who are acting-out live (with real people), then SA is indeed the suggested course of action. But for those who are struggling with porn and masturbation, it is not always the way to go. There are a few drawbacks / dangers in joining such groups if the person does not really need them (sort of like taking chemo treatments for a common flu, which can do more harm than good).
If a person is not really ready (hit bottom), they can sometimes learn worse things in the groups. Although many groups have frum Jews, the groups are also made up of non-Jews and even sometimes members of the opposite sex. The sharing that happens in the groups can sometimes open up new ideas in an addict’s mind. Also, anonymity is a big inhibitor for people coming from the insular religious communities. Although the groups are very careful about protecting members anonymity, it is still challenging to join face-to-face meetings, especially when dealing with such sensitive issues.
That is why Rabbi / Dr. Abraham Twerski suggests that people try GYE’s anonymous phone conferences first, before trying live groups. Even though live group support is more powerful than phone support, the possible risks can sometimes outweigh the benefits (depending on the person’s situation).
So before considering live groups, have you tried all the other tools we offer? See here for information on GYE’s anonymous 12-Step phone conferences. And see the 10 suggestions on our “First Time Here” page. Make sure you read our handbook, sign up for the daily chizuk e-mails, post on the forum, get yourself a partner/sponsor through our partner program, try the powerful TaPHSiC method, etc…
If you have tried all these things and are still experiencing falls, and if you indeed feel your life is unmanageable and you are powerless to stop, then live groups may be the best next step for you. If you need more advice on whether to join a live group, call our hotline at 646-600-8100, Ext. 2 > 2. If you're in Israel, call 1599-500-119.
If you feel you are an addict and are considering live SA meetings, Moishi from NY has an important message for you (8 min).
Listen to his story/message here in English. For his story/message in Yiddish (his mother tongue) click here.
"I'm too afraid to join a live group. What if I meet someone I know?"See what GYE members have written to us:
Dear Guard, Last night I went to my first live meeting. Over the last couple days I was just planning, imagining and getting nervous. I was literally shaking from fear of going to a live meeting. It may just happen to be that I know someone there or someone may see me walking in. What will I say while at the meeting? I was practically scared to death, until... I just walked through those doors. I decided I'll find my corner and thank god no one knew me. That worked for about five minutes until someone I knew very well walked in... I thought I was finished! I mean chopped meat! Until it dawned upon me, just like he knows me, I know him. Just like I'm not going around telling anybody, he's not going around telling anybody. Also, I thought the meetings would be a real serious place. No! Everyone was joking around with me. They all gave me a hearty welcome, a hug and offered to assist me in any way. Thank you so much! Please share this with other GYE members. If I can even help even one struggler I'm happy.
Thank you so much for giving me the scariest advice of my lifetime almost six months ago that I need live meetings. I've been sober in SA for over 5 months now and I was always scared of going to a meeting. I imagined I would meet all my closest friends there, which in reality is totally insane - though now I wish some of my closest friends would join. The feeling of warmth was so powerful I was almost drunk from it. It was a total cultural shock to be cared for in such a deep way. Everyone offered assistance but no one pryed or tried shoving anything down my throat. Thank you so much! (By the way, the Daily Dose of Dov definitely deserves credit for me joining the live meetings).
Finding a Live SA GroupIf after consultation and introspection you decide that live 12-Step groups are indeed appropriate for your situation, go to www.sa.org to search for a group in your area (if you are in Europe, go to sexaholicsanonymous.eu). You can also call the SA central number (toll free) 866-424-8777 or E-mail: email@example.com
There are a lot of SA activities in Israel both in English and in Hebrew. For English speakers in Israel, visit http://www.sa-israel-eng.
If you you’d like a frum contact who can guide you to a group in your area, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have frum SA contacts in the following cities:
- Crown Heights
- The Five Towns
- Los Angeles