How to Be a Good AA Sponsor

Written by yvonne glasgow
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How to Be a Good AA Sponsor
Having a good sponsor is important in Alcoholics Anonymous. (Thomas Barwick/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Just like the people who go to AA meetings, their sponsors live by a creed, too. They have what is called the "12 qualities of sponsorship," which include, but are not limited to, being there for the person they are sponsoring, living the words they teach and the ability to be a friend to someone in need. Not only is this how to be a good sponsor, but it is also how someone looking for a sponsor can find the right one.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Be sober, because a sponsor must be part of the solution. If you are drinking, you are saying to the person you are sponsoring that drinking is OK. You must lead by example, just as a parent does to a child.

  2. 2

    Have your own sponsor. To be a sponsor in AA, you must have been a member, which means you, too, have a sponsor. It is not hard to fall back on old habits, especially when taking someone newly dry under your wings.

  3. 3

    Teach the program's purpose and philosophy. Live by the steps, and remind the person you are sponsoring of the steps. Be with him to make sure that he complete them.

  4. 4

    Stay in recovery, and complete your steps. A person looking for a sponsor is going to need someone who has been in the program longer and who has completed more steps. Be knowledgeable in what you do, and you will be a good sponsor.

  5. 5

    Be available for meetings and late-night phone calls. The person you sponsor will rely on you to talk her down and remind her of the work she has accomplished without alcohol.

  6. 6

    Remind them that a higher power is there for them. Spirituality is a big part of the program, and a good sponsor will emphasise that aspect.

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