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Support Group for

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse - ASCA





Contents

    • Who Are We?
    • When and Where Do We Meet?
    • Who Can I Contact for More Information?
    • What Is the Basic Meeting Format?
    • What Do I Have to Do at Meetings?
    • How Many People Attend Meetings?
    • What Types of Child Abuse Do You Discuss?
    • What Is the Demographic Background of Meeting Participants?
    • What Are the 21 steps of ASCA?
    • Can I Join?
    • Does It Cost Anything?
    • Do You Have Any Resource Materials?
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      Who Are We?

      Our ASCA meeting in Chicago is a support group for adult survivors of child abuse. We generally meet weekly (more on this below), to give one another emotional support and an opportunity for expression of feelings, thoughts, memories, hopes, insights, and education on the subject of child abuse.

      Our meetings follow the Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) program as designed by the Morris Center in San Francisco. The format is similar to that of 12-step programs with some significant differences. Similarities include directed readings, short and long shares, absence of cross-talk, and mutual support. Differences include the replacement of the 12 steps with a list of 21 steps that are more relevant to survivors of child abuse. For more information on our meeting format, visit ASCA's website at www.ascasupport.org.

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      When and Where Do We Meet?

      We take one week at a time. If we have enough folks to hold the meeting, we do. If there are not enough folks that week, the meeting is not held and we shoot for the next week. We get this done via email. If you wish to be added to the email list which will allow you to be notified as to whether the meeting is on for that week, please send me a message at:

      ascahealing@gmail.com

      This mechanism attempts to ensure that no one ends up being the only one to show up for a meeting. Once the meeting attendance has grown to a routine size, this mechanism will be dispensed with and the meeting will just be held on an on-going basis every week.

      Some folks prefer to use an email address that doesn't contain their full name, or is a pseudonym.  This can help maintain their anonymity, at least in emails.

      PLEASE DO NOT GO TO THE MEETING PLACE UNLESS YOU'VE GOTTEN AN EMAIL THAT THE MEETING IS ON FOR THAT WEEK - THERE WILL NOT BE ANYONE THERE!!!


      MEETING TIME AND LOCATION:

      Fridays, 7pm to 8:30pm

      Swedish Covenant Hospital
      Anderson Pavilion
      2751 W Winona St
      Chicago, IL 60625
      Conference Room #A105, 1st Floor

      The Anderson Pavilion is a free standing building on the south east corner of the intersection of California (2800 W) and Winona (5132 N).  Winona is the first street south of Foster.  Turn onto Winona - one way East bound. 

      Parking

      There are various areas for free parking on the side streets, but you may have to get familiar with the area to know where it is free and where it is permit parking.  The first time I went there I parked in the parking lot just to make it easy for myself.  I then spent some time after the meeting getting familiar with the area..............

      There is Pay Box parking on Foster.  And there is the hospital's parking lot - $4.


      Building Directions

      When you go into the Anderson Pavilion through the front revolving door there will be a information desk immediately in front of you.  Walk directly forward and just to the left side of the desk - you will be going down a hallway which is about 100 feet long.  Walk to the end, turn right, and our door is immediately on your right-hand side - Conference Room #A105.  Please remember to come on time, as the meeting's guidelines do not allow anyone in after the shares begin (this to prevent attendees' shares from being interrupted).  Thank you for your consideration.


      Street Map
      http://chicago.citysearch.com/profile/35397084/chicago_il/anderson_pavilion_swedish_covenant_hospital_.html


      CTA Bus Foster Bus #92
      http://www.transitchicago.com/riding_cta/busroute.aspx?RouteId=256
      get off at the California stop.



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      Who Can I Contact for More Information?

      Stu at ascahealing@gmail.com

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      What Is the Basic Meeting Format?

      1. Opening Comments by Co-Secretaries, Readings
      2. Presenter (maximum 15 minutes)
      3. Feedback to Presenter (10 minutes)
      4. Shares (maximum 5 minutes each)
      5. Closure Comments
      6. Announcements & Closing

       

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      What Do I Have to Do at Meetings?

      You do not have to do anything. You do not have to introduce yourself and do not have to speak. You can just sit and listen if you like. This is a no pressure situation. We try to keep the atmosphere easy going and friendly.

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      How Many People Attend Meetings?

      We average nine to twelve people per meeting, but has been as large as sixteen attendees.  This meeting started in July 2010 and is still ongoing.

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      What Types of Child Abuse Do You Discuss?

      We discuss the whole gamut of forms of child abuse, including:  sexual, physical, emotional abuse, and neglect.

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      What Is the Demographic Background of Meeting Participants?

      We have people of many races, religions, ethnic backgrounds, and life style choices. We have both men and women, most meetings with a 50-50 split by gender. Our participants cover the adult age range.

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      What Are the 21 steps of ASCA?

      STAGE ONE: REMEMBERING

      1. I am in a breakthrough crisis, having gained some sense of my abuse.
      2. I have determined that I was physically, sexually or emotionally abused as a child.
      3. I have made a commitment to recovery from my childhood abuse.
      4. I shall re-experience each set of memories as they surface in my mind.
      5. I accept that I was powerless over my abusers' actions which holds THEM responsible.
      6. I can respect my shame and anger as a consequence of my abuse, but shall try not to turn it against myself or others.
      7. I can sense my inner child whose efforts to survive now can be appreciated.

      STAGE TWO: MOURNING

      1. I have made an inventory of the problem areas in my adult life.
      2. I have identified the parts of myself connected to self-sabotage.
      3. I can control my anger and find healthy outlets for my aggression.
      4. I can identify faulty beliefs and distorted perceptions in myself and others.
      5. I am facing my shame and developing self-compassion.
      6. I accept that I have the right to be who I want to be and live the way I want to live.
      7. I am able to grieve my childhood and mourn the loss of those who failed me.

      STAGE THREE: HEALING

      1. I am entitled to take the initiative to share in life's riches.
      2. I am strengthening the healthy parts of myself, adding to my self-esteem.
      3. I can make necessary changes in my behavior and relationships at home and work.
      4. I have resolved the abuse with my offenders to the extent that is acceptable to me.
      5. I hold my own meaning about the abuse that releases me from the legacy of the past.
      6. I see myself as a thriver in all aspects of life - love, work, parenting, and play.
      7. I am resolved in the reunion of my new self and eternal soul.

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      Can I Join?

      We welcome any person who is recovering from child abuse except for those who are currently perpetrating abuse on others  (See note 6 below.).

      Our Meetings are classified as Open drop-in. This means that a newcomer to the ASCA meeting is always welcomed into the group. Participants come when they want. There is no set commitment to attending ASCA meetings and no requirement to participate. If you like, you can just get comfortable in your chair and watch.

      To ensure cooperation and safety in our meeting, we observe the following guidelines:
      1. Please arrive on time and remain until the conclusion of the meeting. Latecomers will be asked to wait outside so that speakers who are sharing are not interrupted. There are two opportunities for entry - 1) just prior to the main presenter about 10 minutes into the meeting, and 2) just prior to the share period approximately 35 minutes into the meeting. No one will be allowed in after this last time.
      2. ASCA meetings are exclusively for survivors of physical, sexual, or emotional childhood abuse.
      3. This is an anonymous meeting. Only first names are used.
      4. What you hear today is told in confidence and should not be repeated outside this meeting.
      5. We ask that no one attend our meeting under the influence of alcohol or drugs, unless the medication is prescribed by a physician.
      6. ASCA meetings are not intended for survivors who are currently perpetrating abuse on others. Talking about past or present perpetrator type behavior is not permissible.
      7. Language that is considered derogatory concerning race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or other minority status is unacceptable in our meeting.
      8. By participating in this meeting we all agree to abide by the spirit of ASCA, our guidelines and any interventions by the Co-Secretaries.

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      Does It Cost Anything?

      There is currently no cost to attend our meeting.

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      Do You Have Any Resource Materials?

      Sure. Please go to the top of this page and, on the left side, click on "ASCA Reading Materials".  You may read online or download any file you would like.  Please make sure to read the "Survivor to Thriver Manual".  It is the entire ASCA program of healing:

      To hear an audio sample of an ASCA meeting go to:   http://ascasupport.org/meetings.php

       

      Will This Group Help Me?

      Each individual will have their own, unique experience. Many survivors report that the group has been a wonderful help in their recovery, providing camaraderie, the feeling that a person isn’t the only one, a forum for expression, and a resource for ideas. Recovery takes time and, usually, a variety of approaches including individual therapy. We can’t promise that the group is for you, but if you feel that it might be, we hope that you’ll give it a try.

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      We just want to add that support groups are a potent and affordable device for healing. And healing should not be postponed for a sunny or rainy day. We look forward to seeing you at a meeting soon.

      Hoping for you a peaceful day,

      Scott & Stu

       

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Subpages (1): ASCA Reading Material