Sponsors / Recovery Buddies

Do I Need a Sponsor if I am in a Residential Program?Premium Content

Do people in residential recovery programs need "sponsors" in the support groups in which they participate?

Most support groups encourage recovering people to find a sponsor. "Mentorship” is a solid Biblical concept. The relationship between Paul, the seasoned veteran apostle, and Timothy, the young, gifted, upstart preacher is an excellent example.

Still, it is best to delay the process of finding a sponsor until the residential program participant is nearing graduation. While still in the program, the staff serves essentially as the "sponsor". Having an outside sponsor too early in the program can actually be counterproductive, especially if the sponsor gives guidance that is at odds with what the program's staff. It can also place the staff in a difficult situation in regard to confidentiality.

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How Do We Keep Recovery Participants Motivated?Premium Content

How do we help participants to stay motivated so they will complete our programs and succeed afterwards?

1. I've stayed in touch with the “hands on” dimension of the ministry by volunteering at our local rescue missions. Conducting chapel services for program participants and interacting with them is something I always look forward to doing. One local mission, the Kansas City Rescue Mission, where Joe Colaizzi serves as executive director, is an example of a rescue mission recovery program that is doing a lot of things right. Their recent follow-up efforts reveal that for three years running, 70% of their graduates are still sober for year or more after leaving the mission. This is a very good rate of success. So, what are some of the things they are doing to promote such success?

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When You Have No Sponsor or Recovery BuddyPremium Content

It is OK Not to Have a Sponsor
Not everyone in recovery has a mentor all of the time. It is OK not to have a sponsor or recovery buddy! It is important for you to have a special rapport with the person who is going to be your recovery buddy or sponsor. Do not try to rush the process The more time you spend finding an appropriate person the more likely you will find someone who is a good listener and communicator. Not everyone is able or willing to commit to being a good sponsor. They may have other obligations that prevent them from being an effective mentor.

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When a Sponsor/Sponsee Relationship Goes BadPremium Content

Everyone can benefit from a good Sponsor/Sponsee relationship. It can be invaluable to have a recovery buddy with whom you are accountable. There are many benefits of sponsorship. A sponsor/recovery buddy should be an emotional safe haven who provides support and guidance.

Some recovery relationships simply peter out because of family obligations, conflicting goals, stress at work or lack of shared values. Others might be destroyed by deceit or manipulation on the part of one or both parties.

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What a Sponsor Does and Does Not DoPremium Content

A mentor/recovery buddy/sponsor can provide vital support, encouragement and accountability during the eating disorder recovery process. And what a difference that can make to the sponsee. However, it's important to understand the role of a sponsor - what does he or she does and does not do.

A quality mentor/recovery buddy/sponsor has good listening skills and the ability to tune into what the sponsee is feeling. A sponsor provides a safe place to talk so the sponsee can feel comfortable sharing his or her needs.

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Benefits of Having a Sponsor/Mentor/Recovery BuddyPremium Content

Would you like to have someone to talk to who can relate to what you're experiencing? Perhaps you would like to communicate with someone who has been through eating disorder recovery or other difficulties, but has made it to the other side. Maybe you desire some added support and encouragement.

Many in eating disorder recovery benefit from having a mentor, sponsor or recovery buddy. While mentoring is appropriate for basically any reason the one being mentored would like to have one, listed below are some common circumstances under a person might seek a mentor during eating disorder recovery.

1. While seeking diagnosis and treatment.

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Sympathy in One Another's Joys and Sorrows

Elizabeth's neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they rejoiced with her." Luke 1:58

We see here a striking example of the kindness we owe to one another. It is written that "they rejoiced with her." How much more happiness there would be in this evil world, if conduct like this was more common!

Sympathy in one another's joys and sorrows costs little, and yet is a grace of most mighty power.

"Rebuilding Relationships in Recovery" - Workshop TranscriptPremium Content

note: You may discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE

Obie-Host Welcome to the "Rebuilding Relationships in Recovery" Workshop
Please join me in welcoming Chaplain Michael Clark who will be leading the workshop. He is involved with Shadows of the Cross Ministries as well as Prison and Recovery Ministry. Chaplain Clark is a noted Speaker and Writer, Addiction Counselor/Professional as well as a Recovery Support Specialist. He will speak for several minutes after which we will open the floor for questions and comments from you for Chaplain Clark.

Let us open in prayer this evening.

Heavenly Father,
We ask Your blessings upon Chaplain Clark as he leads this workshop today.

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Sponsor, Accountability Partner, Recovery Buddy: What's the Difference?

There may be some confusion about the difference between a recovery buddy/accountability partner and a sponsor. In AA, where much of the groundwork was laid for recovery, they use a sponsor/sponsee relationship.That requires someone who is spiritually mature and who has a firm foundation in recovery with many years under their belt to be the sponsor.

Unfortunately, the truth is that many people come to a group, get "recovered" and leave.They never give back.
That does two things:

  • it shortchanges them ("You have to give it away in order to keep it")
  • and

  • it short changes the newcomer (who needs someone to mentor them)

Guidelines for Recovery PartnersPremium Content

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