Choosing a 12 Step Sponsor: Tips and Suggestions


You’ve completed treatment and started attending your 12-step meetings.  The next step on your road to recovery is to choose a sponsor.   The relationship between you and your sponsor will be one of the closest relationships you will have in your life.  You will share things with your sponsor that you never have, nor ever will, share with anyone else.  Looking back on your recovery, your sponsor will be somebody that will always stand out for you.  Your sponsor will understand the problems you are facing in a way that very few will.  Choosing the right sponsor can be a big step in ensuring you are able to maintain your sobriety.  

Choose a Sponsor of the Gender You Are Not Attracted To

Your sponsor will be the person that you turn to in your toughest times.  It is vital that you choose a sponsor you feel comfortable talking to.  You need to respect and trust your sponsor.  Ideally, your sponsor will be someone who has been sober for at least a year and that you relate to.

Choose a Sponsor of the Gender You Are Not Attracted To

The relationship you form with your sponsor will be one of the deepest you will experience.  Much like your physician or therapist, it is important that you never become romantically involved with your sponsor.  Blurring the lines between a sponsor and romantic partner can be a set-up for relapse.  

Talk to Multiple People

Make sure you speak with multiple people before you decide on a sponsor.  The last thing you want to do is choose a sponsor only to find out 6 months down the road that you can’t trust them.  This is a big decision, take your time and make sure you make the best decision.

Continue Going to Therapy

Your sponsor is not a therapist and does not have the training or experience necessary to offer counseling.  Sponsors are fellow addicts who want to help you through some of the problems they faced.  Continuing talk therapy with a trained professional will help to ensure you maintain your sobriety.

Establish and Respect Boundaries

Your sponsor is another addict that is sharing their experiences with you.  They should not meddle in your personal life or make demands of you.  You must also understand that they have a life separate from your recovery that needs to be maintained and respected as well.


The Lakehouse Recovery Center offers 30, 60, and 90 day programs to men and women seeking to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. In addition to providing excellent clinical care, we offer both recovery and non-recovery activities. Our goal is to show clients how to have fun again, learning how to live in recovery without drugs and alcohol. For information, call us today: 877.762.3707



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