What is a sponsor?


A sponsor, when speaking about 12 Step programs of recovery is a mutual and confidential sharing between two members. A sponsor is a person with whom a member can discuss personal problems or questions, and who will share their experience, strength, and hope in working the program. It is strongly recommended that the person you choose as a sponsor has completed a Fourth and Fifth Step.

Is having a sponsor required? No. Although it is strongly recommended.

Sponsorship is not a relationship to be undertaken lightly. It is good to give it some thought before making the commitment. No one is a perfect sponsor, but avoiding sponsorship denies us a valuable experience for growth. Sponsorship is a form of Twelfth Step service and a way of expressing gratitude for what we have gained in the program.

In finding a Sponsor look for one who:

  1. Has what we want.
  2. Lives in the solution.
  3. Walks the walk.
  4. Has a sponsor.
  5. Emphasizes the Steps.
  6. Has more time in recovery that I do.
  7. Frequency of contact.
  8. Has worked more Steps than we have.
  9. Is available for telephone calls and meetings.
  10. Emphasizes spiritual aspect of the program.
  11. Gender is the same as ours.

Sponsorship is not a permanent relationship. It is okay to change sponsors when felt that the relationship no longer meets our needs. Sponsees deserve to know that they are welcome to change Sponsors whenever they want. Sponsors and sponsees make this point clear at the initial onset of the relationship. Terminate any relationship that is endangering your own recovery. If after thoughtful consideration one person decides to end a sponsorship relationship, it is recommended that the situation be approached with honesty and love.

Benefits of Sponsorship

Sponsors can learn too. The newest member can give insights to those who have been in the program for months or years. The exchange between sponsor and sponsee is a form of communication, which will instruct and nourish both persons.

We are all seeking peace of mind. Having and being a sponsor are important steps towards that goal and becoming what our Higher Power wants us to be –loving and serene people comfortable with ourselves and the world.

Interview the potential sponsor

Discuss mutual expectations. If we discuss our mutual expectations at the beginning, the Sponsorship will go more smoothly. Our goal in interviewing a potential sponsor is to determine how well we will work together. It is possible to have more than one sponsor.


“SPONSORSHIP” is a publication of Depressed Anonymous Program of Recovery. This brochure is readily available to all members of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship as well as the Dep-Anon family and friends fellowship.

“Sponsorship” is a publication of the Depressed Anonymous Publications office, based in Louisville, KY.

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