"I think it's self-help that's in a nice little package," said Andrews, a former columnist for the Orlando Sentinel and the Rome News-Tribune who abides by Quaker principles. "What it starts out with is getting a gal to recognize that God didn't make any junk. So she starts there, recognizing that she is fearlessly and wonderfully made. I had one nurse say to me, 'Nobody ever told me that before.' Then they go from there [and] if they're doing their work for seven weeks by the time they get through they're able to motivate themselves.
"[In Dr.] Doug Laipple's [endorsement] letter he points out that it is not a program for women who need extensive psychiatric care but it's a wonderful self-help program for women who need help with relationships or career choices or just daily self-motivation. It works. I had to make it work. The hardest thing that's in that program that I personally had to live by was a poster that I wrote, which says, 'My thoughts are the cause of all my suffering. Nothing outside of me is hurting me.' ... We are totally and completely and utterly in control of our response."
A key aspect of "The Angel Within" is seven motivators, the first two of which are "I am fearlessly and wonderfully made!" and "I will be still and know."
"One of the exercises for them to remember [the motivators] is just before you drop off to sleep at night you see your handwriting [of] that motivator on a blackboard or a whiteboard and that's where the real work is," Andrews said. "It's like [a] repetitive prayer or 'Hail Mary full of grace.' The repetitiveness of using them is what puts them in the brain and they're there when you need them. ... I think [the Atlanta Quakers are] going to try to get women's organizations in Georgia to purchase sets of motivators for the women in prison. That I'd be very happy with because they really need far more than just someone going in and teaching a Saturday seminar.
"They need something to take away and the motivators are beautiful. There's seven of them on decorative stationery. They go up on the wall and then on Sunday morning you'll pull up the one you're working on and you work on that one all week and then start with week number two. So I would love for the women in the prisons that want one to have just the set of motivators. They really work."
Julia Ewen, the Atlanta Friends Meeting's clerk of the social concerns committee, said implementing Andrews' program into Georgia's prisons currently is in the developmental stages. Along with seeking a Quaker who will receive training and introduce "The Angel Within" to women prisoners, the Atlanta Friends Meeting plans to meet with the head of the Georgia prison chaplains to see if the program is acceptable in its present format or needs further adapting.
"The prison population is a gathering point for people who have very low self-esteem," Ewen said. "That's one of the reasons why they get into such an anti-social way of living. You'll find a lot of women in the prisons come from backgrounds where they were abused or backgrounds of poverty. Rich people who have self-esteem very rarely end up going that far down the system. There are other places they end up like private mental health treatment or community service sentences instead of prison.
"So I think the people we are seeing in the prisons are people without a lot of resources and people who maybe do not think very well of themselves. So 'The Angel Within' is a gentle way of raising self-esteem and giving the women something that they have control over, which is not generally the case in a prison."