What Is A Closed Al Anon Meeting?

May 2, 2023

Al-Anon meetings offer a safe place to talk about the family disease of alcoholism. Members share their stories, listen to others, and help each other stay sober.

A typical meeting consists of an introduction, a speaker, and a discussion. The meeting usually ends with a prayer and snacks.

Open Meetings

Al-Anon meetings are open to anyone interested in attending. This includes doctors, mental health professionals, students, librarians, human resource administrators and civil servants.

Typically, after the serenity prayer, the chair introduces a topic and everyone shares their thoughts on that topic. This gives newcomers the opportunity to get a feel for the general meeting format and the literature used.

Most of these meetings are open to the public but some choose to operate as closed Al-Anon meetings. If you are considering visiting a closed Al-Anon meeting, be sure to find out if the meeting is designated as an "FFO" (family, friends and observers) meeting before attending.

An open meeting allows members to share their experience, strength and hope without fear of gossip or criticism. This helps them stay focused on their recovery and gives loved ones a chance to learn more about their lives in recovery.

Closed Meetings

A closed Al Anon meeting is one that is available to members and prospective members only. Often, these meetings are held in places like houses of worship, schools, hospitals and libraries.

In these cases, the local group pays rent to the organization or operator of the building where they meet. This helps them maintain their anonymity and is a strong principle in Al Anon.

Closed meetings allow people to share their experiences, strength and hope in a confidential setting. They also help those affected by someone else's drinking to find a place where they can speak openly about their problems and not be judged.

Beginners Meetings

A Beginners Meeting is a special meeting designed especially for newcomers to AL-ANON. These meetings may be a stand-alone meeting or an extension to a regular AL-ANON meeting.

These meetings generally include a welcome and a serenity prayer. After the prayer, the chair will usually introduce a topic and then everyone shares their thoughts on that subject.

This type of meeting is a great way to get a feel for the Al-Anon philosophy. It is a very safe place to share your feelings and ask questions.

Al-Anon meetings are a confidential and anonymous place to help yourself or someone you know overcome alcohol addiction. No one is allowed to discuss the content of the meeting outside of the room.


Sponsors are a crucial part of the Al-Anon program of recovery. They help newer members understand how the Twelve Steps apply to their lives and provide a support system between meetings.

They also provide a safe place for Al-Anon members to discuss the experiences, strength and hope gained through participation in the program. They encourage personal involvement and application of the program to one’s life, as much or as little as the member prefers.

These sponsors are not required to be Al-Anon members themselves, but they must demonstrate a commitment to using the program in their own lives. They may choose to be a sponsor for someone they know or for a stranger.

Al-Anon groups meet in houses of worship, schools, hospitals, treatment centers and other civic buildings - any place where the group can afford to rent its own space. Meetings are open to families and friends of alcoholics and to those interested in learning about the Al-Anon and Alateen programs.


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