Based on my experience, Alcoholics Anonymous and Emotions Anonymous are similar but also very different. Let’s start with the similarities.
Similarities: EA takes on the AA model where people gather around and talk about their issues. They also both follow a 12-step program that helps people aide in recovery. The structure of the meetings are similar, from keeping it to an hour session to allowing all those who want to share a chance to do so. They each have little rules in place to help members feel wanted and safe. Rules such as confidentiality, no direct engagement of other people’s issues, and no attacking or displaying judgment upon others.
Differences: In AA, the focus seems to be on the addiction itself (primarily alcohol though I’ve seen some crossovers with dual drugs) and recovery. Having said that, I’ve seen AA members touch on their underlining problems (be it anxiety or depression or other emotional issues), but all in all I believe the primary concern in AA is sobriety. If you need help with alcohol addiction recovery, I feel Alcoholics Anonymous is definitely the place to go.
Side Note Opinion: In AA, I feel like there’s a sobriety hierarchy of sorts like a snobbish “I know more than you” attitude because they managed to stay sober for x-amount of years. And though I commend and even encourage everyone to boast their accomplishments, I feel this condescending air about AA members is unwelcoming and off-putting.
In Emotions Anonymous, the focus is on your underling emotions. In my opinion, EA gets to the root of the problem rather than focus on what you’re doing to cover it up.
One great thing that AA offers that EA doesn’t harp on so much is a push for sponsorship. In AA, everybody has a mentor, someone to help guide them through the 12 step program. If an AA member feels like they are about to relapse or go into the depths of hell then they have someone in place. EA, on other hand, offers sponsorship but it’s not their top priority. The primary focus of Emotions Anonymous is on helping yourself.
So, in the end, both programs provide great tools for recovery, depending on your issues. Maybe you need just one of them, both, or none of the above. It’s all up to what works best for you.
It always is up to you, remember that. You have the power to change if you so desire. Be well, ladies and gents!!