What it is and What it Isn't
There are four major points in sponsorship that most Twelve Step Fellowship members will agree on:
- The primary responsibility of sponsors is to help their sponsees work the Twelve Steps.
- A sponsor and sponsee have an obligation to discuss their mutual expectations, objectives, and requirements, if any, regarding the sponsorship relationship before they enter into that relationship.
- A sponsor shares his or her experience, strength, and hope with his or her sponsee rather than trying to run the sponsee's life.
- A sponsor must never take advantage of a sponsee in any way.
What does a Sponsor Do
- A sponsor's primary responsibility is to help a sponsee work the Twelve Steps by providing explanation, guidance, and encouragement.
- A sponsor helps us get established quickly in our Fellowship by explaining basic concepts and terminology and by introducing us to other members.
- A sponsor is a safe person who we can learn to trust.
- A sponsor can answer the many questions that we have as newcomers or develop as "mid-timers."
- A sponsor can help us in the process of self-examination that the Steps require.
- A sponsor encourages us to read the basis text of our Fellowship and other program literature and to engage in Fellowship activities and service work.
- A sponsor can monitor our progress, confront us when it is appropriate, and generally help us stay on the recovery path.
- A sponsor reminds us to apply Twelve Step principles in our lives.
- A sponsor models the Twelve Step program of recovery.
- Our sponsor is available in times of crisis.
- A sponsor provides practice in building relationships.
What a Sponsor does not do
- A sponsor cannot keep us in recovery.
- A sponsor is not our therapist. The Twelve Steps are about spiritual growth, not therapy.
- A sponsor should not attempt to control our lives or encourage an unhealthy dependence.
- A sponsor should not take advantage of us or exploit us in any way.
Factors to consider in choosing a sponsor
- Has what we want.
- Lives in the solution.
- Walks the talk
- Has a sponsor
- Emphasizes the Steps
- Has more time in recovery that we do
- Has worked more Steps than we have
- Is available for telephone calls and meetings
- Emphasizes the spiritual aspect of the program
- Gender is the same as ours