You must be sober and in a fit state to partcipate before coming to a GOAL Group meeting, and you need to contact the group facilitator beforehand. Group work is not suitable for everyone...we need to be sure it's right for you. If group work is not suitable we can talk about alternative ways to give you support.
The GOAL Group currently meets on Thursday evening at Community Base South Wing, Queens Road, Brighton. The group focus on Relapse Prevention - very useful if you have recently stopped drinking, or if you need to brush up on your strategies and techniques for staying healthy and sober.
New members often ask if they will have to stand up and say, "My name is X, and I'm an alcoholic." GOAL doesn't do that...we don't refer to ourselves as 'alcoholics' - we are 'ex-drinkers'.
At group meetings members discuss personal issues relevant to their continued health. We should underline that we are an abstinence based group. While we accept and support members experiencing occasional lapses / relapse, we do not subscribe to the view that a return to 'controlled' or 'social' drinking is possible (for us). Most of our members have tried and failed to return to drinking alcohol socially on an occasional basis. We have all reached a point where we want to put 'booze' behind us and get on with the rest of our lives.
There are times when we all feel the need to talk to someone who has been through similar experiences, someone who can listen and understand how we feel - touching base with people in the group, at meetings or on the phone can make all the difference when you are feeling vulnerable. The Group meeting is an important source of practical advice, information and support. It's also somewhere to meet new friends and rebuild your self confidence. Statistically, you have a much better chance of staying sober if you engage with a support group like GOAL.
Every meeting has a trained facilitator in attendance. Generally there are about 10 to 15 people at any meeting, so everyone gets a chance to be heard. You don't have to speak if you don't want to. We take confidentiality very seriously. We have a good representative balance of men and women and all age groups - we welcome members from the LGBT and Ethnic Minority communities who often face additional discrimination when coming to terms with alcohol dependecy. GOAL meetings are non-discriminatory and non-judgemental.
The GOAL Group has adopted the Code Of Practice recommended by the Federation Of Drug & Alcohol Professionals.