What does a Sponsor do?
What does a Sponsor do?
One of the most powerful “tools” to help people stay emotionally "sober" in EA is the sponsor. This individual is there to offer guidance and support to their sponsee. The sponsor is not only a person who guides the member through the EA program, but is also there to listen. Being able to rely on a sympathetic ear can be particularly important when the individual feels on the verge of an emotional relapse. Choosing the right sponsor is important, because an unsuccessful relationship could prove to be very discouraging.
A sponsor is somebody who:
· Has a one to one relationship with a more junior member of a 12 Step group – this other party is referred to as the sponsee;
· Is there to offer advice and support. Some sponsors are willing to offer this at any time of the day or night;
· can be a trusted friend;
· shares information and resources about the 12 Step program;
· guides the sponsee through the steps;
· offers the sponsee encouragement and praise;
· provides a shoulder to cry on and an opportunity to vent;
· is a friendly face in the meetings;
· is a resource for honest feedback; and is
· can spot the danger signs of an approaching relapse or recognize that their sponsee has gone ‘off course.’
The individual sponsees can feel free to talk about issues with their sponsor that they would not feel comfortable discussing in the meetings. Some sponsees will end up revealing secrets that they have never shared with anyone else on the planet.
A sponsor does their work as a form of service in the group. The reason why they do this is two-fold: not only is it a way for them to give something back, but, more importantly, it helps to keep them working the program as well. Twelve Step groups depend on service to thrive and sponsorship can be the most rewarding service of all.
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