Last Updated on 26 November 2023
HOW in Australia
Most SLAA meetings – both in person and online – within Australia use the “HOW Concept”. Originally inspired by similar ideas within other 12-step fellowships, HOW is one particular way of working the steps. HOW began in Australia and has since spread to other SLAA groups around the world, but especially within the United Kingdom. Many find that the HOW concept which encourages members to make daily outreach calls, attend 3 meetings weekly and follow the HOW guide to working the steps is very helpful for achieving both sobriety and recovery.
The Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous HOW Concept has been formed to offer the sex & love addict who accepts the twelve steps and twelve traditions as a program of recovery a disciplined and structured approach. The SLAA HOW groups have been formed in the belief that our disease is absolute and therefore only absolute acceptance of the HOW programme will offer any sustained sobriety to those of us whose compulsion has reached a critical level.
Therefore, the HOW defined bottom-line sobriety, the steps, traditions and tools of recovery are not suggested. Rather, we accept them as requirements for our recovery. We commit ourselves to a black & white sobriety so that we may deal with the grey areas of living.
In HOW we have found that if we commit to using the tools of recovery daily our disease of sex and love addiction can be arrested one day at a time. Here are the tools as we work them according to the HOW concept:
This is our willingness to stop acting out in our own bottom-line addictive behaviour daily. There are no absolutes for sobriety in SLAA, as individual patterns of sex and love addiction vary. In HOW each sex & love addict works with a sponsor to identify their personal bottom lines. We become sober by daily abstaining from these bottom-line behaviours. We also believe that negative thinking is a large part of our disease, so we’re learning one day at a time to abstain from negative thinking.
We use SLAA literature as well as the AA Big Book and the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions as tools of examination and release. When we substitute the words “sex and love addict” for “alcoholic” and “sex and love” for “alcohol” we feel we identify absolutely. Our writing assignments in HOW are taken from these.
Attend a minimum of three meetings per week. With so many meetings online, this is much easier now! Meetings are dedicated to the concept of remaining Honest, Open-minded and Willing to listen… this is the HOW of the programme.
Make or take four calls a day – one to our sponsor and three outreach calls to other SLAA members. The phone is like a lifeline: we need the contact. It can be like a mini-meeting. We suggest using chat online or taking a photo of the list to get numbers.
Our practice of daily prayer and meditation is to develop a relationship with a power greater than ourselves which can guide and sustain us in recovery. We ensure our continued and sustained abstinence from sex and love addiction by being forever aware that God is doing for us what we have never been able to do for ourselves.
This is freedom from the bondage of self. Service is working the tools of the program to the best of our ability, giving back what we’ve been given. It’s helping out at meetings, welcoming newcomers and being available for calls and sponsorship. Sobriety is a service to ourselves and the group.
A SLAA HOW sponsor is a sex and love addict who, thank God, has 30 days of continuous sobriety working the SLAA HOW concept and has taken the first three steps. In keeping with our second tradition, our leaders are but trusted servants – they do not govern.