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What Does a 12-Step Sponsor Do?

Choosing a 12-Step sponsor is the best way to start getting involved in a recovery fellowship and beginning to go through the Twelve Steps. When looking for a sponsor, we should choose someone who is applying the program to their life and living happily, joyously, and freely in their sobriety. In short, we should choose a sponsor who has what we want in our own sobriety.

A sponsor can give us an accurate view of the 12-Step recovery program we have chosen. They are not a therapist, and their goal is to take us through the Twelve Steps of recovery in the same way that they went through them. The Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet, Questions and Answers on Sponsorship, explains, “An A.A. sponsor does not offer professional services such as those provided by counselors, the legal, medical or social work communities, but may sometimes help the newcomer to access professional help if assistance outside the scope of A.A. is needed.” We cannot expect a sponsor to play the role of therapist or life coach, but we can rely on them when it comes to aspects of our life related to our sobriety and recovery in our Twelve Step program.

Sponsorship will vary based on the individual we have chosen. Narcotics Anonymous, in their pamphlet Sponsorship, Revised, explains, “Sponsors share their experience, strength, and hope with their sponsees. Some describe their sponsor as loving and compassionate, someone they can count on to listen and support them no matter what. Others value the objectivity and detachment a sponsor can offer, relying on their direct and honest input even when it may be difficult to accept. Still others turn to a sponsor mainly for guidance through the Twelve Steps.” We should focus on choosing an individual who will present 12-Step recovery and take us through the steps in a way that will be most beneficial to our recovery.

Sponsorship not only benefits the sponsee, but also strengthens the sponsor’s own sobriety. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.” Once we have gone through the steps, it will be our turn to sharing our experience, strength, and hope with others who are still struggling.

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future on the journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers a highly effective residential treatment program that includes medically-supported detoxification, maintenance care, individual therapies, counseling (including family therapy), and plans to help clients build life skills that will help them after discharge. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431