Tips and Tools for Sponsorship
Ways to Approach Sponsorship
Being a sponsor or a sponsee can be one of the most rewarding experiences in recovery. It is a key way to strengthen one’s own program exponentially. There are as many ways to create and nurture the relationship as there are ACA members. However, experience has shown some approaches to be particularly effective. Here are some examples:
A key function of a sponsor is to take a sponsee through the Steps usually using the Yellow Workbook
Integrate life experiences with the Steps
Set boundaries around meeting time and length, availability, other potential boundary issues for either one
Many sponsors and sponsees avail themselves of counseling, especially when working Step 4 in the Yellow Book.
Be mindful that sponsorship can be triggering. Sponsees may want to discuss feeling triggered with their sponsors. However, both sponsors and sponsees may need to be prepared to take care of themselves by setting limits, taking breaks, calling other Fellow Travelers, journaling, etc.
A sponsor should be clear about their limits and limitations where sensitive topics are concerned (incest, violence) and be able to encourage a sponsee to get professional help when appropriate.
Sponsor burn-out can happen if you don’t take it easy and set boundaries for yourself.
A sponsor who is experienced doing service or a trusted program fellow traveler can be a helpful sounding board for sponsorship questions and situations - don’t hesitate to use them.
Resources for Sponsorship
Many ACA members, groups, intergroups and WSO have published or posted resources for ACA sponsorship. Here is a selection of links and downloadable documents from the ACA website and from various Intergroup websites that might be helpful (a simple internet search for ACA Sponsorship will bring up many more!):