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The following is a four hour workshop focusing on the sponsorship relationship. The workshop consists of a short literature review, guest speakers, individual writing and reflection and group sharing.

Suggested Agenda

Duration Details
10 mins Open with the Serenity Prayer
Introductions and housekeeping
20 mins Literature Study such as OA Brochures “A Guide to Sponsors” or “A Guide to the Twelve Steps for You and Your Sponsor”.
45 mins Panel discussion with three guest speakers sharing their experience,strength and hope on sponsorship. End the session with the ask it basket and questions from the group.

Note when choosing guest speakers, try getting sponsors with a different focus or with different lengths of recovery.

15 mins Break
15 mins Literature study focusing on working with a sponsor – review selected references from the The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous (eg. pg 14, 22, 26, 45, 48, 70, 76, 97, 98 and 111)
45 mins Panel discussion with three guest speakers sharing their experience,strength and hope on working with a sponsor. End the session with the ask it basket and questions from the group.

Note when choosing guest speakers, try getting members with a different lengths of recovery.

45 mins Individual writing and reflection
40 mins Sharing on writing and reflection
5 mins Close with “I Put My Hand in Yours”

Questions for individual writing and reflection

Sponsor Focus

Starting Out

  • Why should I sponsor?
  • Am I ready to be a sponsor? If not, why?
  • What is style of sponsorship?
  • Should I ask a new sponsoree what they expect from me as a sponsor?

Working the Program with a Sponsoree

  • I have a new sponsoree – where do I start working the program with her/him?
  • Do you sponsor the same way for all of your sponsees?
  • What bottom lines do I have for my sponsorees? Eg number of meetings, regular phone calls, written assignments
  • What boundaries/limits do I need to put in place with my sponsoree? eg. routine phone calls during certain times only, emergency phone calls any time.
  • How much contact do I want to have with a sponsoree?
  • How do I take a sponsoree through the steps?
  • How do I know when it is time to move on to the next step?
  • Which step is my sponsoree on? How do I know?
  • How many people am I comfortable sponsoring at one time?
  • How important is God/Higher Power in the sponsorship relationship?
  • How do you make sure that your sponsorees program isn’t reliant on you as a sponsor?

Troubleshooting

  • When and how should I decline sponsorship?
  • My sponsoree is in relapse – what should I do?
  • I am in relapse – what should I do – should I not tell my sponsorees, tell them or stop sponsoring?
  • Am I carrying my sponsoree and trying to save them?
  • Am I sharing my experience, strength and hope in OA or am I sharing on outside issues?
  • How can a sponsor break through denial of a sponsoree in a loving manner?
  • What do you do if your sponsoree is lying to you?
  • What do you do if your sponsoree doesn’t do any of the suggested writing assignments or step work that you suggest?
  • If a sponsoree is in crisis but stops calling, what do you do?
  • What do you do if your sponsoree is suicidal?
  • If a sponsoree tells me of a crime commited by a third person, does anonymity extend to the third person?
  • Is it a break of anonymity to identify who my sponsor / sponsoree is to others?
  • Should a sponsor give advice on food plans and nutrition?
  • Do you think you can have a sponsor of the opposite sex?
  • My sponsor and I are now dating – can he still be my sponsor if we are in a relationship?

Letting Go

  • When and how should I end a relationship with a sponsoree?

Focus on Working with a Sponsor

Starting Out

  • Why should I work with a sponsor?
  • What do I expect from a sponsor?
  • How do I work out who is the sponsor for me?
  • How do I ask someone to sponsor me?
  • What do I do if there are no sponsors in my area?
  • Should I have only one sponsor for everything or should I have a food sponsor, steps sponsor, spiritual sponsor etc?
  • How do I get over the fear of rejections when asking someone to sponsor me?

Working the Program with a Sponsor

  • What sort of contact do I want with a sponsor? Eg daily, weekly, for step work, to commit food plan?
  • Am I willing to do what my sponsor suggests?
  • Do I work the steps when there is a crisis?
  • Do I only call my sponsor when there is a crisis?

Troubleshooting

  • Is my sponsor my Higher Power?
  • When you have a problem with the advice that your sponsor is giving you, how do you handle it?
  • What do I do if my sponsor is in relapse?

Letting Go

  • When and how should I end a relationship with a sponsor?
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