The primary objective of MAAEZ is to equip clients to deal with some of the experiences they are likely to encounter in an AA meeting, so that they will not immediately reject AA as a potential source of help. MAAEZ is not intended as a summary of AA concepts nor as a intervention that teaches the program of recovery as outlined in the AA “Big Book”: those tasks are left to the fellowship of AA. Rather, MAAEZ is meant to soften newcomers’ resistance to AA so that they do not quit going to AA before they have had a chance to see how the fellowship and the AA program can help them.
The desired outcome of MAAEZ is to facilitate participation in Alcoholics Anonymous and/or in other 12-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous. It regards such active involvement as important for sustained abstinence. The intervention prepares clients for a transition into the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous. It does this by addressing some of the myths about AA and by creating a safe environment for clients to honestly share their experiences with 12-step programs (both positive and negative). MAAEZ is delivered in a group rather than an individual setting because the group dynamic helps the individual prepare for the group process of Alcoholics Anonymous.