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On the Road to Recovery

"We strongly suggest getting a sponsor early on.  Do not go it alone.  Our experience shows that you cannot recover in isolation" BRB pp 126-127 

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The Fellow Traveler Model

How ACA Does Sponsorship

  • Sponsor and sponsee are on an equal footing avoiding caretaking and co-dependence.


  • Style of sponsorship suited to ACA program as it avoids teacher/student or authority figure/people pleasing emotional traps ACA’s are familiar with.

  • Keeps the focus on each person according to his/her experience; allows empathic listening and sharing; making suggestions rather than giving instructions or orders.

The relationship between a sponsor and sponsee represents a spiritual connection between two people helping each other find life beyond the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family.  BRB. pp 365

Types of Sponsorship

The Traditional Sponsor

  • Takes the sponsee through the Steps in sequence

  • Is usually someone of the same gender that has already completed the 12 steps and is actively working the ACA program

  • Shares their own story, experience, strength, and hope in empathy with a sponsee’s breaking through denial and journey of discovery and recovery

  • Usually meets in person with the sponsee to do the work on a regular basis


  • Two ACA members working on completing their steps or the laundry list traits together

  • Co-sponsors may be working the steps for the first time or re-working the steps.

  • Neither person is a sponsee; both practice honest sharing and empathic listening

Workbook Group

  • A group of three or more who agree to work the steps together usually using the Yellow Step Workbook

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