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How Does One Become An Effective Sponsor?

April 1st, 2011 – Posted by James W. West M.D. F.A.C.S. in Living Sober


Question:  Are there any directions about how to be an effective Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor?

 A sponsor is an alcoholic who has made progress in the recovery program and shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through AA.  A sponsor usually shares her or his own story and how the program has led to sobriety. Sponsorship includes bringing the newcomer to a variety of AA meetings and introducing him or her to other members in the group. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is a central part of the sponsor-newcomer relationship. The sponsor goes over the main features of the book, explaining the 12 Steps in detail.

 The sponsor is available at any time to share ideas, suggest or just listen. She or he is sensitive to the idea that the sponsorship may feel awkward or uncomfortable, in which case the newcomer is helped to find a different sponsor.  Early in the newcomer’s sobriety, the sponsor will take her or him on a 12th step call, so that working with a newer newcomer can start.

 A comprehensive pamphlet, “Questions and Answers on Sponsorship” can be obtained by writing to: Alcoholics Anonymous, Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY  10163.

Related posts:

  1. Do you think having an AA sponsor is absolutely necessary?
  2. How can I stay absolutely honest?
  3. What do you think about new relationships in early sobriety?
  4. Is therapy OK if you’re in AA?
  5. Is there an AA success rate?


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