An ACA sponsor is someone who truly understands what its like being raised in a dysfunctional family. Someone who listens and with whom we feel comfortable sharing our progress.
It is important this person be active member of ACA attending meetings on a regular basis, working the 12 steps and honestly helping themselves in their own lives.
A sponsee does not feel a burden to their sponsor by asking of their time, though a sponsor may wish to make that clear upon first accepting an offer of sponsorship.
Sponsorship is our chance at giving back to the fellowship both for the sponsor and sponsee. Sponsorship offers us another form of growing.
There are many kinds of sponsorships available to us:
Fellow traveler. This is the traditional method. This person is often found in the same fellowship or within a similar group, such as another Adult Children support group or another Alanon group, if we're in Alanon.
Temporary Sponsor only serves until a permanent one is found.
Multiple sponsors are okay only as long as we are not using this method to avoid intimacy or shopping for an opinion we just want to hear.
Co-sponsors two people in agreement sponsor each other
Long distance sponsors- thanks to the internet this is much easier to do. In fact, some people prefer this route because there is sometimes a greater sense of security in being anonymous. Some people feel they can be themselves more.
Step study groups: Meet regularly, work steps together
Service boards/committees: can mentor healthy behavior and offer sponsorship influence but are not to be used as replacement for traditional types of sponsorship
An effective sponsor:
- watches for willingness of sponsee to take action.
- knows how to protect boundaries of both sponsor and sponsee.
- learns and also works the 12 steps
- has confronted own denial and surrendering
- knows own story and can tell it with honesty and humility
- has achieved an observable level of serenity.