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A Program That Has Enabled Improved Mental Health Turns 50

Emotions Anonymous. Have you heard of it? If you're like most people, probably not. While you might be familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, EA is not nearly as well known. There's not great reason for this. EA is one of over two dozen Anonymous programs whose twelve step methods are rooted in AA.


Before the pandemic, EA had around 300 groups in the U.S. who were meeting on a regular basis, compared to thousands of AA meetings. But the pandemic changed the dynamics of the support group world. Whereas groups primarily met in person before March 2020, most Anonymous groups moved their in-person meetings online. At the same time, a new constituency of members have joined support groups. Now, groups are figuring out how to move forward in a new hybrid world. Many are hosting meetings in person, while conferencing people in, in an attempt to maintain members who joined during the pandemic.


EA was founded in 1971, a spin out of Neurotics Anonymous. The organization is based in Minnesota. It has a staff of four hard working, part time employees and a board of trustees of seven. The EA "Big Book" which contains the steps, traditions, just for today slogans and more, was published seven years after the organization's founding, in 1978. In 1987, the organization put out the Today book which is a daily reader that contains inspiration and insights for every day of the year. Since then, workbooks and pamphlets have been published to supplement and modernize the comprehensive offering that EA has to provide.


If you feel your emotions strongly, regularly, it is worth looking further into Emotions Anonymous to see if it is the right program for you. You have nothing to lose by attending a couple of meetings. In EA, you will learn that life is beautiful and that it is meant to be enjoyed one day at a time. You may learn to lay down your ego and be more accepting of others. Life's biggest problems will be put into their proper perspective.

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