What to Expect

Coming to an ACL meeting may feel similar to hanging out with close friends or acquaintances anywhere else—you show up, talk about your lives, share what’s meaningful to you, and connect! The main difference is that at an ACL meeting, the facilitator will intentionally set a deeper tone of vulnerability and mindful expression so you will be encouraged to discover and share thoughts or feelings you typically would not. Our facilitators make sure everyone is

helped to feel safe and comfortable; we emphasize not going too far outside your comfort zone. Meetings are active, participatory experiences that incorporate both a) time to tune into yourself, such as meditation and journaling, as well as b) exercises to connect more authentically with others, using open-hearted presence, self-expression, vulnerability, deep listening, acceptance, and self-care.

Locations

Use the map below to find a local chapter and get in touch with the Chapter Leader, or view a complete list. No Meetups in your area? Get in touch to start a Meetup in your home town.

Frequent Asked Questions

Why is loneliness a public health issue?

Recent studies have shown that being lonely increases one’s risk of premature death as much as excessive smoking, and more than excessive drinking, air pollution or obesity. Furthermore, loneliness is a global issue that affects people everywhere, regardless of their age or socioeconomic status.

Are ACL Meetups therapy or
mental health treatment?

No, ACL meetings are not therapy groups. They are simply spaces that emphasize connecting with oneself and with others in a warm, accepting environment. Participants consistently report such interactions to be healing and life-changing.

How do I find an ACL group near me?

We are developing a search tool to use on our website and in the upcoming app that will enable you to locate the nearest group wherever you are in the world. In the meantime, you can contact us.

There is no ACL group near me! What can I do?

Please consider starting your own chapter! We try to make that process relatively easy and will guide you through it. See the answers below regarding how to become a chapter leader. If leading a group is not an option, you can: 1) gather a small group of individuals interested in ACL, and we will provide a leader for you via Zoom, or 2) attend live bi-weekly online meetings (via Zoom) which will be available once the app is released.

Do you need a professional degree to become an ACL chapter leader?

No. We are looking for individuals who are warm, empathic and compassionate, who want to enhance their group facilitation skills, who want to live more passionately and boldly, and who want to help others do the same. To become an ACL chapter leader, we request an interview and two letters of recommendation.

What does joining the project as a chapter leader entail?

1) attend Dr. Tsai’s free monthly Zoom trainings or view the recording if you miss a training before you lead a group, and 2) start an informal chapter by bringing ACL to your friends, family, colleagues, clients or any other specific group using Dr. Tsai’s ACL protocols (adapting them to your audience, setting, and facilitation style), and 3) send feedback forms from your group meetings to our team. Starting an informal chapter is a good way to get a sense of the benefits of this project without too much effort. If you are interested in starting a formal chapter on Meetup.com, they do a good job of attracting members whom we otherwise would not access. MeetUp.com requires a $45 quarterly fee. All chapters, formal and informal, will be represented on the ACL website map (www.livewithacl.org)

What are the monthly training Zoom video calls like?

In these 90-minute sessions you have the opportunity to experience the protocol first-hand before you teach it. There are usually 25-35 attendees on the call; brief break-out sessions of 3-4 participants allow for more intimate discussion. The calls create a sense of community for all of us who are facilitating ACL across the globe. You are then encouraged to adapt the protocols you experience to the audience you will work with and your facilitation style.

When do trainings take place?

Trainings online (Zoom.us) take place monthly on first or second Sundays at 1-2:30pm Pacific Time. There are no sessions in June and August.

What fees are involved?

The trainings are free for leaders of ACL groups. If you lead an informal group with people you know, there are no fees for group leaders to pay. If you want to reach a wider audience through creating a formal chapter on MeetUp.com, that platform currently charges a quarterly fee of $45 USD. If the quarterly fee to MeetUp.com is a hardship, some scholarships are available. As a leader you may request a small donation of ~$10 USD from your participants which you can keep, but it is important that no one will be turned away due to an inability to pay.

If I donate, what will my contribution be used for?

Contributions help expand the work of ACL through program development, leadership training, and outreach.

Is my contribution tax deductible?

We have 501(c)(3) tax exempt status as a nonprofit so your contribution is tax deductible in the U.S. subject to current laws.

What specific actions can I take to support this project?

Please consider what special skills or passions you have that will increase the impact, visibility, and outreach of this global project. Encourage everyone you know who will resonate with the ACL mission to get involved either as a member or as a chapter leader. Financial contributions are always welcome.

Do you have job openings at your nonprofit?

Currently, we don’t. But if you have special skills that you think will benefit our programs, please let us know and you can jointly help us to raise funds to compensate you for your expertise and time.

How can I get more information?