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What are some guidelines in choosing a 12-Step Sponsor?

What are some guidelines in choosing a 12-Step Sponsor?

How should a sponsor be chosen? The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible, and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request. An old A.A. saying suggests, “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink — and should seem to be enjoying sobriety. Should sponsor and newcomer be as much alike as possible? Often, a newcomer feels most at ease with a sponsor of similar background and interests. However, many A.A.s say they were greatly helped by sponsors totally unlike themselves. Maybe that’s because their attention was then focused on 10 the most important things that any sponsor and newcomer have in common: alcoholism and recovery in A.A. A.A. experience does suggest that it is best for men to sponsor men, women to sponsor women. This custom usually helps our members stay focused on the A.A. program. Some gay men and lesbians feel an opposite-sex sponsor is more appropriate for similar reasons. From: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf AA/NA considers “sponsorship – a vital stepping-stone to service and sobriety” and that an essential component in maintaining sobriety is “…the miracle of Twelfth-Step work – that sharing the A.A. message with other alcoholics helps to keep us sober”. From: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/smf-110_en.pdf Recommendation from one of HPRP’s paneled providers:  an appropriate sponsor fulfills the following criteria: is of the same sex (unless it is a gay individual so that someone of the opposite sex is more appropriate), has been in AA/NA for at least 1 year, the sponsor has a sponsor, is actively working the program and is available for daily calls and weekly in-person meetings.