Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘aa’

What to Expect at Al Anon Meeting

Posted on: July 20th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

What to Expect at Al Anon Meeting

You may be familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous meetings because you have been to one, someone close to you attends meetings or you’ve seen it on television. Most people have an idea what an AA meeting is like, however not many people know about Al-Anon or Al-Ateen. Al‑Anon is a  support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s alcohol abuse. Alcoholism is known a “family disease” in which several members of a family can be affected by one persons habits.

Like  AA groups, these meetings are a safe and welcoming place where you can connect and share your experiences with others that are going through a similar thing with their loved one. Parents, spouses, siblings and close friends of alcoholics attend Al-Anon to open up about how alcoholism has affected their lives.  Members can share their frustrations, negative past experiences and even share some healthy coping mechanisms, strengths and positive experiences that can give other members a sense of hope.

Like AA, the first time you go to a meeting you can share and talk to the group but you are not required to.Members of the meeting will then share their thoughts, things they are experiencing or talk about their progress in recovery. Everything that is said and shared in the meetings is anonymous and each member of the group is expected to maintain confidentiality. Most people find that sharing with the group can be cathartic and helpful even if their loved one has chosen to not get help.

Attendees can form friendships and more importantly a sense of support, knowing that they are not the only ones dealing with something so difficult like alcohol abuse. Many feel reluctant to attend a first meetings, but this Al-Anon is solely intended to offer help you and your family may have been needing for years.


How to Get an AA Sponsor

Posted on: April 6th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

How to Get an AA Sponsor

The connections that you make in recovery can become an important element in ending an addiction. Having people you can rely on for compassion and support will make the whole process of learning to be sober much easier. One of the most crucial relationships that you can have in recovery is the connection you have with your sponsor.

An AA sponsor is someone who has successfully remained sober for a long period of time and can act as a mentor when you are getting through the difficult early stages of recovery. They provide knowledge, guidance, experience and sympathy for people who are just starting their journey to becoming sober. Sponsorship can be a critical tool in learning more about the practical aspects of quitting an addiction.

When looking for a sponsor the relationship can be informal but it is important to find someone with at least two years sobriety. The longer they have been sober the more effective their role as a mentor will be. It should be someone who is experienced enough to provide useful advice and pass on meaningful knowledge from their own life.

You can easily find a sponsor in your AA meeting as many people in these communities tend to reach out to newcomers to offer support. You might choose someone from the group that you feel comfortable with and you can rely on or someone might approach you and offer to be your sponsor. You can start with a temporary sponsor if you need immediate help until you eventually find your permanent sponsor that you want to be your long term mentor.

AA meetings are designed to be an open community where people can reach out for help. If you need a sponsor it won’t be difficult to find someone who is willing to support and mentor you.


Attending An AA Meeting On Vacation

Posted on: July 20th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Attending an AA Meeting on Vacation

While you are planning a long vacation it can be stressful to worry about how you will cope with the experience and still stay sober. Vacations are meant to be relaxing and a way to get away from your problems but unfortunately you are also away from the comforts of home and your usual routine. This can be difficult for people in recovery who are used to having certain resources available and a structure to their life that helps keep them sober.

The great thing about 12 step meetings though is that they really are available everywhere. You may have already had people in your local meetings who were visiting on vacation from different parts of the country. It is pretty common for people to find an AA meeting wherever they are so that they can keep in touch with their sobriety goals even while traveling.

Anytime you are going on a significant trip, or even a short getaway, you might consider looking into what types of AA meetings are available in the area. Being prepared and knowing you can go to a meeting beforehand can ease some of the stress of traveling.

Connecting with New People

The more you travel and find different AA groups the more connected you will feel with the sober community all around the country and even around the world. AA is even available on many cruise ships, so really almost any vacation can include a meeting or two if you really need it.

It may feel intimidating to have to start over with a group of people you have never met. You might have a special bond and rapport with the people in your local AA group and feel hesitant to try something new. But as you have probably experienced in your own AA group, twelve step meetings are always welcoming and offer support to anyone new to the group.

It can be very rewarding to open up to a new group of people in an entirely new city. It can even help you realize just how universal addiction and the process of quitting really is for everyone. No matter where you go, every AA group will understand what you each person is experiencing and be able to provide empathy.

Triggers During a Vacation

Almost every occasion for traveling can include some type of trigger that will make it hard to stay committed to your goals. Your resort might offer free drinks or classes like wine tasting. They might even unknowingly hand you a glass of champagne when you arrive to check in. These types of situations come up all the time and it is important to be prepared for them.

Being away from home can make it harder to handle the obstacles that come up during vacation. Going to at least one meeting or even attending them every day might be the best way to get through your vacation without struggling too much.

It is important to communicate about your sobriety to whomever you are traveling with. If you are on a trip with a big group of friends or more distant family members they may not be familiar with your situation.

To avoid any confusion or pressure tell them about your recovery and your need to attend meetings. Let them know that you might have to miss out on certain excursions or activities so that you can spend time at a meeting. You might feel bad about being on a different schedule but your sobriety should be the highest priority throughout your vacation.

How to Find Meetings

As soon as you know where your hotel is located you should start looking into meetings that are close by. You can search the AA directory on and type in the name of the city or zip code which will direct you to the websites of local AA resources. There are also several apps you can download to your smartphone such as the Twelve Steps companion app that includes a directory and a map function to help you get directions to a meeting.

You should try to find a meeting as close as possible to your hotel so that there will not be too many issues as far as transportation. Something within walking distance, a bus ride or quick taxi ride is the best option. Make sure that you are completely prepared by finding exactly where the meeting is and knowing how you will get there before you even leave for your vacation.

Even though looking for a meeting and talking to a new group of people may seem like it’s out of your comfort zone, most people find it extremely helpful while traveling. Discussing your vacation stresses and fears with the group will help you stay strong no matter what type of triggers you experience on your trip.

Alcoholism Rehab Center

Posted on: November 14th, 2016 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Alcoholism Rehab Center

Alcohol is a drug so normalized and ubiquitous that it can be difficult for some people to recognize when they have become addicted or their use is causing problems. In 2014, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that 87.6 percent of people over 18 drank alcohol in their lifetime, far above the consumption of any other drug. The report also declared that 16.3 million adults have an alcohol use disorder. If your alcohol use is causing harm, feeling out of your control, or proving difficult to stop, you may question why it seems so much harder for you to just stop or drink in moderation on your own. If you are concerned about your drinking and want to stop, a stay at a rehab center can offer vitally important resources to help you get sober for good.

Traditional Ideas in an Alcohol Rehabilitation Center:

The mutual peer support group Alcoholics Anonymous was formed in 1935, establishing a basic program and system of principles that has helped many people get and stay sober. Those basic ideas such as the indispensable need for supportive community, the importance of spirituality, and that recovery is a lifelong “one day at a time” journey remain a solid foundation for anyone’s recovery journey.

New Ideas in an Alcoholic Rehab Center

However, there is also a lot of new information about the brain, the effects of addiction, and ways of treatment that can also play a very important role in supporting your recovery. A recovery center will be an intensive experience in which you are able to care for all your needs and be supported in all aspects of recovery. You will get down to the roots of your addiction, develop new ways of coping and gain control over your life.

Finding which of the Alcohol Rehab Centers is Right For You

The Gooden Center has been offering alcohol rehab to men for over 50 years, and has generally been rated as above average by its alumni whose lives were turned around. But it is one of more than 14,000 facilities in the U.S. claiming to offer special treatment for addiction. It can be difficult to figure out which one may work for you or offer real help from your addiction.

Here are a few things that can help you determine in a rehab center will offer to truly support you in sobriety:

  • Evidence-based treatment – this means the staff are not simply relying on cliches or simplistic models of how addiction works, but use innovative techniques and therapies that have been shown to work.
  • Use of group therapy – One of the most effective tools to maintaining sobriety is building up a secure support network of people who can make you feel valued and supported, and can encourage you and listen to you in challenging times. Both staff and fellow addicts can offer you invaluable resources to help you, and so there should be a safe atmosphere for people to engage together, and opportunities in the schedule to do so.
  • Holistic healing – A good rehab center will recognize that sobriety is not only about stopping your drinking, but about getting to the reasons behind your addictive behavior. Determine what your triggers are, and find alternative ways of meeting those needs that better support your health and thriving. There should be a variety of programs to look after your physical and mental health treatment, and meet your social, spiritual, and emotional needs.
  • Affordability – Efforts should be taken to make sure you can afford the experience. Make sure the center can work with your insurance or offer a scholarship so that cost is no barrier to your treatment.
  • Aftercare resources – For some, the intensive inpatient rehab can easily become a 30, 60, or 90 day “bubble” that is an escape from normal life. The danger is that once they return to the stresses and temptations of normal life, relapsing as they fall back into old habits. That is why it is vitally important that the rehab thinks about what happens after treatment. Sober living, 12-step meetings, and opportunities for alumni can all renew your commitment and help you hold onto your sobriety.