Sponsors & Step Studies


Sponsors are recovery companions who guide sponsees through CoDA's 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.

CoDA sponsorship is defined in the following literature:

Questions that may be helpful to ask members after meetings:

  • What has been your experience with sponsorship?

  • Will you share you personal definition of sponsorship?

  • Have you participated in a step-study?

Each person's response is not the right or wrong answer. You can take what you like and leave the rest.


In CoDA, we have a strong focus on not giving advice. Not asking for advice and not giving advice can let us see how a safe, trustworthy and equal relationship feels. Instead, we focus on sharing our own experience and hearing the experience of others.

CoDA Sponsor Quote


If you're looking for a sponsor, LA CoDA suggests reading the list of suggested Sponsor Characteristics in the handbook Sponsorship: What's In It For Me? (pg 8 & 9) and looking for someone who has the recovery you want.

It can take time to get to know someone well enough to ask them to be your sponsor. Talking with them after the meeting can give you a deeper understanding of the person. If you find someone that resonates with you, you can ask them how they sponsor and share what you are looking for before deciding to work together.

Other sponsorship options include: co-sponsorship, online sponsors and phone sponsors.


You can establish how long to meet, how often, ways to communicate in the week, the length of the relationship, etc. The six questions on page 20 of Sponsorship: What's In It For Me? can be helpful to consider when setting sponsor / sponsee boundaries. Below are some additional examples adapted from the CoDA Sponsorship Booklet (no longer in print):

  1. In general, how much time is each willing to give to this relationship?

  2. How often do you want to get together or talk on the phone?

  3. Are there certain times of the day or evening that one is not willing to take calls or texts?

  4. Who initiates contact? If the sponsee doesn't reach out for a while, does the sponsor call?

  5. Are there any foreseeable circumstances that could change the relationship (i.e. a decision to change workloads, get married, move away or have a child?)

  6. Does either member want to set a time limit on the length of the relationship?

  7. Under what circumstances would the relationship be terminated?

  8. Does the sponsor or sponsee expect gifts or money, cash loans, housing, cars or employment?

  9. Are there appropriate boundaries on socializing, sexuality and intimacy?


Some members choose to go through their step-work in a step study, instead of with a sponsor. Some have both. A step study is a group of members answering their step questions together. If you're interested in doing this, you can announce at your meeting/s that you're looking for members to participate. It can be beneficial to have a member who has worked through Step 5 to participate in the group to share their experience, strength and hope.

If you or your group has questions about how to start a step study, feel free to reach out to Los Angeles CoDA Intergroup by attending the monthly meeting and participating in the open discussion or by emailing info@lacoda.org.

The following document was created by CoDA International and shares the difference between step meetings and step studies. It offers suggestions for how to start a step study and a step study script sample on p.8:

CoDA International offers more info on their page:

To learn more about how to use the group conscience process to make decisions within the group, visit:

I learn to see myself as equal to others. My new and renewed relationships are all with equal partners.

~Promise 6 from CoDA's Twelve Promises