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A Brief Synopsis of the Tools of Gam-Anon

A Brief Synopsis of the Tools of Gam-Anon
When we first come to a Gam-Anon meeting we hear of The Twelve Steps and the Tools of Gam-Anon. We wonder how these will help us. Our Tools help us better understand and work the Gam-Anon pro- gram. The  tools  of  Gam-Anon  are  meetings,  telephone  and  email,  literature,  writing, sponsorship,  service, pressure relief, and anonymity.
Meetings: The only requirement for attending meetings is that you are a person who has been affected by someone with a gambling problem. In addition to the spouse or parents, the widow or widower, the companion, the divorced spouse, the child, the friend, the employer or employee, etc., can attend. . . We share our fears, burdens, and worries with the group, as well as our experience, strength, and hope.
Telephone and Email: Using the telephone or email between meetings is a helpful way to stay in touch with the program and receive the experience, strength, and hope daily. . . . No longer do we have to do it alone. We simply pick up the phone or send an email. . . . The more seasoned member can reach out to the newcomer to offer words of encouragement between meetings.
Literature: At meetings all over the world we read from the same Gam-Anon literature. Gam-Anon has a  rich  variety  of  books,  pamphlets,  and  information  sheets  about  the  Twelve  Steps  of Recovery, personal growth, and reflections on our lives, offering us strength, hope, and the Gam-Anon experience.  . . . How calming it can be to carry one of our small pamphlets to read during a stressful day! . . . Reading from  our  Gam-Anon  literature  at  meetings  and  using  selections  to  guide  our  sharing  
provides  an inspirational focus.
Writing:  Writing  gives  us  insight  into  ourselves.  It  is  helpful  in  strengthening  our  
thoughts  and resolutions. . . . We can use writings as another dimension in communicating with others. . . . Taking the time to get our thoughts together and not talking in a hasty manner eases the turmoil and helps us when we are confused.
Sponsorship:  Sponsors  are  members  in  our  program  who  are  willing  and  able  to  share their experience, strength, and hope with a newcomer on a one-to-one basis. They keep regular contact with the newcomer between meetings. A sponsor does not have all of the answers . . . but a sponsor listens and is objective. This offers the newcomer a sense of belonging and trust, and the experienced member a renewed sense of sharing and worth.
Service: Service  is the  principle of the  Twelfth  Step of Recovery. It  is a  way  of giving 
back to the program what has been so generously given to us.
Pressure Relief Group Meeting: Most of us come into Gam-Anon with issues of debt and financial pressures. Sometimes the debts are overwhelming and in the name of the gambler; other times the debts are held jointly or are in the name of the Gam-Anon member. Regardless . . . the Pressure Relief Group Meeting is an invaluable tool in getting the finances in order. The goal . . . is to relieve the financial pressures by suggesting a budget that prioritizes the normal needs of the family, which addresses all debt, and is livable.
Anonymity: An important principle for group survival is ANONYMITY. This means that each person in the  Gam-Anon  Program  has  the  right  to  be  as  anonymous  as  he  or  she  chooses.  Maintaining anonymity  is  vital  if  Gam-Anon  is  to  give  support  to  its  members  and attract newcomers to the fellowship.. . . Anonymity means that we all equals in Gam-Anon.  We are all affected by a compulsive gambler.