Northern California Co-Dependents Anonymous
What is Sponsorship?
Sponsorship is a tool of CoDA and other 12 Step programs in which a Sponsor and a Sponsee – someone seeking the guidance of someone who is currently working the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, using CoDA program literature, workbooks, and other CoDA approved resources, to work the CoDA Program.
Why Sponsor or be Sponsored?
Being a sponsor - or being sponsored - is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in recovery. Co-Dependents Anonymous is a 12 Step program of recovery from codepedence and similar to other 12 Step Programs. A sponsee is someone who seeks guidance in working the 12 Steps.
Sponsorship provides a safe space to experience giving loving, caring support within a structured CoDA framework. Being a Sponsor or sponsee will help you with an improved understanding and application of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions in your life.
How Do I Find a Sponsor?
Attend CoDA meetings as much as possible. Be aware of slippery excuses that can postpone you approaching others who have or currently are working the 12 Step Program. Avoid waiting for the right moment, the next mini-conference, or feeling "too uncomfortable."
Recovery through Sponsorship is possible for those who seek the guidance and input from a sponsor. Orient your listening to other people’s sharing at meetings towards those who continually bring up working the steps with a sponsor, how their life continues to improve, and whose disposition and temperament you admire.
Ask those with whom you identify as having the recovery you would like in your life and ask them if they would be willing to sponsor you. Do not take their answers personally! Many of us were guided by our Higher Power to a best person to sponsor the sponsee. Continue working with other CoDA tools while searching for a sponsor.
What Can I Expect by Having a Sponsor?
Building a relationship with a sponsor – and the sponsor with you – is an unique opportunity to work through the 12 Steps. The process of working the 12 Steps through the various CoDA literature and workbooks often provokes deep down, often recessive memories. It is recommended to assure the full value of sponsorship, that the relationship be focused on working the 12 Steps – and not one about becoming best friends.
Suggested Sponsorship 'Ground Rules'
The success of the sponsor – sponsee relationship begins with establishing the logistics and to the extent possible, the responsibilities and expectations of the sponsor and the sponsee.
The value of the sponsor – sponsee relationship begins early in which each seeks a commitment from the other. An experienced sponsor may offer some suggested, up-front ground rules in anticipation of setting forth realistic goals and expectations.
We recommend discussing in advance practical aspects of what you and your sponsor are about to embark, such as:
- Should you and your sponsor meet in person? If so, how often? Where?
- Do you each have adequate time to commit to Sponsorship?
- Does the sponsor or sponsee anticipate any foreseeable obstacles.
- The sponsor and sponsee discuss their expectations from Sponsorship.
- Obtain an agreement with each other should expectations falls short?
What Kind of Commitment is Involved?
The level of the commitment of both the sponsor and the sponsee is an important element and greatly influences the outcome. CoDA offers reading materials and workbooks – and other resources, such as The 30 Questions; however, it is your program – and thus the results will be a measure of your effort. Discuss with a prospective sponsor before beginning your availability and foreseeable interruptions.
Developed for those who want to get started working the Twelve Steps using The 30 Questions, a free PDF download, is a great tool for sponsors & sponsees, co-sponsors, and Step Study groups to take a deeper dive in applying Steps 1, 2, and 3 to their daily life. The 30 Questions rely on the text found in the Co-Dependents Anonymous Book - sometimes referred to as the Blue Book.
12 Step and 12 Traditions Workbook
Developed to accompany the CoDA Blue Book, the 12 Step and 12 Traditions Workbook is a great tool and provides a foundation for you and a sponsor to work through some or all the Steps.
Thinking about finding a sponsor - or being a sponsor - often opens up questions about how to go about it. Contact us with Sponsorship questions - such as how to find a sponsor.
Being a sponsor at times may be challenging and present unexpected dilemmas. The Twelve Tips for Sponsors provides a foundation to rely upon and is a valuable resource for anyone considering becoming a sponsor.
The degree of success of initiating a productive and healing Sponsorship relationship is often dependent on first establishing some ground rules. Getting Started Working the Steps was developed by experienced sponsors.
The CoDA 30 Questions is one of many Sponsorship tools providing a solid framework for the Sponsor and Sponsee to follow. The 30 Questions refers to reading in Co-Dependents Anonymous - sometimes referred as the Blue Book - as related to the first three steps.
Download and print the CoDA Patterns and Characteristics of Codepedency.
Download our free Welcome to CoDA Packet filled with information about the CoDA 12 Step Program of recovery from codependence. The pamphlet includes the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, Patterns and Characteristics, and much more.
Have a CoDA Question?
Contact us with questions about CoDA. Please remember we are an all-volunteer organization.