A Sponsor is an established member of the Parental Alienation Anonymous (PA-A) fellowship, who have been attending meetings regularly for a substantial period and have applied the principles of the PA program to their own lives. They mentor other members, give advice, and support, and assist them in completing the 12 steps.
As sponsors, people reach out to those in need, and they share messages that are both personal and practical. Sponsorship is an integral part of recovery. We learn to trust, respect and work with another person as part of our spiritual recovery.
Members ask their sponsors to participate in working their steps. They talk about and read through one step at a time in order. As a step is completed the sponcee works their next step in their own time. Sponsors are a guide to help folks navigate and understand the steps.
Sponsors also meet up and talk at regular intervals with their sponcee’s, often before or after meetings.
What does a sponsor NOT do?
A sponsor is not your therapist. You will not receive professional help from a sponsor. A sponsor should not impose his or her personal views on you. A sponsor is also usually not a close friend or a romantic partner.
For the sponsor-sponsee relationship to be successful objectivity and honesty are important. It’s best if your sponsor is someone you respect and trust. Some people prefer a sponsor of the same gender or who has a similar backstory, but this isn’t always necessary for a good sponsor-sponsee relationship. Sometimes a new perspective is beneficial, too.
All that matters is you are comfortable with your sponsor. Remember, all sponsors are temporary. You or your sponsor are free to end the relationship at any time for any reason. However, if you choose to do so, make sure you do so in person. Set boundaries and respect the end of the relationship. Always remember to thank your sponsor. If your sponsorship relationship ends, do not dwell on it. You can always find a new sponsor, or potentially move into a sponsor role for another person.
What do I do as a sponsee?
Always show up to meetings with your sponsor. If you do have to cancel, make sure to give your sponsor advanced notice.
Set up boundaries with your sponsor in the beginning. When is the best time to call, morning or night? Would your sponsor prefer to communicate via phone, email, or text? Respect your sponsor’s wishes and privacy.
Do the work. As you work through the 12-Steps, you may have homework to do between meetings with your sponsor. Always make a full-hearted effort to do the work.
Remember, your sponsor is not your therapist. Your sponsor is a mentor and guide to work with you, but your sponsor will not have all the answers. Your sponsor is not perfect and like any relationship, there will be challenges that arise. This is a great safe place to practice living life on life’s terms.
How can I find a sponsor?
During a PA-A meeting, the secretary will make a sponsorship announcement. They may ask people interested in being a sponsor to raise their hands. If this doesn’t happen at the meeting you attend, you can also let your secretary know that you are looking for a sponsor. You can also approach someone in your group one-on-one before or after a meeting. Don’t take it personally if the person turns you down. Their reasons may have nothing to do with you. Perhaps the person feels he or she does not have the time to dedicate to be a good sponsor. Be persistent!
Can I be a sponsor?
Yes, but don’t rush into this role. You shouldn’t be a sponsor if you’ve never had a sponsor yourself. It’s recommended that you attend regular meetings, be actively working the steps, have a service commitment at a meeting or helping at the virtual office. All you need is to be 1 step ahead of your sponcee. Once you are ready, go for it! You will learn more about yourself by being a sponsor for someone else. It is a magical and life changing experience. It is an intricate part in your own interpersonal growth. Giving back is an essential part of healing. The sense of responsibility that comes with being a sponsor may give you more motivation to strengthen your own recovery.
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