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The Sponsor/Sponsee Roles in AA’s 12-Step Program

There are many different support groups in the game of addiction. The few that fall into a similar category include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous (CODA). These all follow a 12-step program. Upon early recovery, it’s suggested to attend meetings daily. While finding meetings that fit, it’s important to keep an eye out for a sponsor. A sponsor is defined as another member who takes the sponsee through the 12 steps. A sponsee would be defined as a new member to the program or a member that wants to repeat the steps. A new member or newcomer should look for a sponsor that has what they want for themselves. This can mean a few different things that include happiness, spirituality, healthy relationships and so on. It’s suggested for the sponsee to interview the potential sponsor before entering an agreement that may as well be doomed from the start. Here are a few questions a sponsee might consider asking:

  • What is expected of me?
  • Do you have a call time? (A time each day to call)
  • How quickly will we be going through the steps?

Now that the sponsee has chosen the right fit. It’s time to establish boundaries. There are certain roles the sponsor may not feel comfortable playing. Bringing the family into the recovery of the alcoholic, or any other member seeking help should be not be taken lightly. There are boundaries that can be crossed left and right. It’s wise to make them clear from the start. That’s not saying the family should not be involved in recovery. The 12-steps were built to release the person suffering from the bondage of whatever addiction that may be. It is a sensitive topic that not everyone wants their family being apart of every step of the way. The information must be kept confidential between the sponsee and sponsor to maintain trust. That being said, the sponsor/sponsee relationship is about the sponsee. The sponsor will most times be there for the sponsee during hard times and make suggestions. The sponsor will take the sponsee down a path that they had followed themselves to get sober. This is meant to keep the sponsor sober, thus the beauty of the program. The sponsee must follow suggestions and do the 12 steps to remain spiritually fit and on the road to recovery.

Enlightened Solutions encourages our patients to take advantage of AA’s 12 step program. Our partial program will give the addict the ability to find what works for them our their journey to recovery. Given the opportunity to connect with the community is a life skill we believe in here in New Jersey. Please call for more information: 833-801-5483.

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