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My first meeting
Can I bring a friend?
If a meeting is open, and most are, you are welcome to bring a friend or family member to that meeting.Your first meeting
Do I need to register to attend?
No, all you do is turn up. If there are contact details listed you can reach out; alternatively just turn up and say you are a newcomer. If there is a requirement to register to attend a meeting via a particular online platform, instructions will be stated in the meeting entry.
Is CoDA a religious programme?
Definitely not, each member, if they decide to work a CoDA programme, defines a Higher Power of their understanding. This usually becomes clearer after you attend 6 meetings and hear the relevant steps being read.
There are no contact details for a CoDA group – is it still open?
All meetings are autonomous and provide their own information. The most up-to-date information is listed on: CoDA Meetings List
My friend is codependent. How can I help them?
You could provide a link to our website where there is more information. It is for each individual person to decide if they wish to attend a meeting or not.
There isn’t a meeting in my area.
Did you know there are a host of CoDA groups in the UK and beyond who meet online? Some are held online permanently. See just a few sources for finding a meeting which matches your schedule, see: Online CoDA Meetings – UK Online CoDA Meetings – Australia
Online CoDA Meetings – Canada
“Online CoDA Meetings – Rest of the World
I need advice on my life/relationship
CoDA is a fellowship where we do not give advice and we do not take the place of counsellors. A lot of our members in similar spaces discovered after attending 6 meetings that they had better insight/direction on what they should do for themselves.Your First CoDA meeting
What does working the programme offer?
The patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. They may be particularly useful to newcomers.
Many others before you have also identified similar traits and patterns and came to make a choice to learn about CoDA and what working the programme can offer them.
Find out more about Patterns of Recovery
What does “principles before personalities” really mean?
It means we practice honesty, humility, compassion and tolerance, and patience with everyone whether or not we like them.
Putting principles before personalities teaches us to treat everyone equally
How do I become a member?
The only requirement for membership in CoDA is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. Tradition 3. Simply by attending CoDA meetings you become a member; there are no fees to pay. You do not need to register or sign up in advance.
Enmeshment / Detachment / Avoidance
In CoDA, detachment is a conscious act of self-care. We choose to disengage emotionally from people and/or leave situations that could harm us. Avoidance is often an unconscious, dysfunctional coping mechanism that allows us to avoid self-accountability, ignore people or situations, hide from the truth, or run away from our responsibilities. Avoidance is often driven by our fear of experiencing rejection, anger, disappointment or shame.CoDA Australia – Sponsorship – Day 12
What is healthy communication?
Healthy communication is clear, concise, and honest. To improve our communication, we first need to know our hearts and minds clearly.
Codependents continually need to ask:
“What do I think, feel, and need?”
Parenting / re-parenting / inner child
Parenting or re-parenting ourselves means recognising we are capable human beings who are choosing to become fully-functioning, emotionally healthy adults. Growing up in dysfunctional families left us with many unmet needs and we may not have felt valued or loved by our parents. As adults in recovery we become aware of our childhood wounds and we have the opportunity to fill those childhood voids.CoDA Australia – Sponsorship – Day 13 CoDA Member Shares – “Inner Child”
How do I order literature?
If your enquiry is about how to order literature, please contact the approved literature supplier here: https://www.codaliterature.co.uk/
How is CoDA different from other 12 step programmes such as AA and Al-Anon?
Other 12 Step groups support people or friends of people, who have addictions such as alcohol. CoDA supports people to create healthy relationships starting with themselves, whether or not addictions exist in their lives.Am I Co-Dependent?
Does CoDA provide counselling?
CoDA is a 12 Step Fellowship and peer support group. It aims to create a safe environment for those wishing for recovery from dysfunctional relationships, providing anonymity and freedom from judgement or feedback.
In CoDA we share our own experience, strength, and hope. We do not give advice.Establishing Boundaries CoDA Australia – Day 6
CoDA Members – may arrange OUTREACH calls
What is the difference between CoDA, Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA/ACoA)?
Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics are Fellowships for those who are spouses, family members or significant others of alcoholics. CoDA is a Fellowship for those who have difficulty in maintaining healthy, functional relationships with others, regardless of whether those others have alcohol, drug or other problems. Members of CoDA may also be members of these other Twelve Step Fellowships.Am I Co-Dependent?
How much does it cost to attend?
There is no charge for attendance. CoDA meetings are self supporting. Contribute as you are able.
My situation is….
Regardless of your situation, your first step is to go to a meeting. Go to at least 6 meetings before you decide whether you can get what you need in CoDA. Meetings are like people, they have different personalities. Try different meetings to find one with which you can relate. Read CoDA literature and Keep Coming Back.
I’ve heard mention of free CoDA leaflets: what are they and where can I find them?
CoDA offers a set of free leaflets covering newcomers, those working the steps, sponsorshop and beyond. Download below:
Am I Codependent?
Communication and Recovery
Establishing Boundaries in Recovery
Patterns of Recovery
Recovery from Codependence – An Introduction
Sponsorship in CoDA
Using the Twelve Traditions
Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous
What is CoDA?
Your First Meeting
CoDA Australia – First 14 Days
CoDA Canada – Newcomers Package
What is a CoDA meeting?
A CoDA meeting is a group of people who come together around their shared desire for healthy and loving relationships.
Four foundational documents form the structure of every meeting: Welcome, Preamble, 12 Steps, 12 Traditions.
These documents are read at every meeting to promote CoDA unity. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity. Tradition 1
Why do we practice positive affirmations?
Positive affirmations are a powerful tool in the Recovery process.
Codependence is a condition caused by growing up in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest society which teaches us false beliefs about the nature and purpose of life.A selection of positive affirmations
Where do I begin?
Recovery is a process that has no right or wrong starting point. Simply begin where you are and let the information come to you. This answer is often frustrating to newcomers, but each person is an individual with a unique life and set of circumstances, so a single answer is not realistic. The guidance offered here is to take it slowly, read literature, attend meetings, share your journey and take a deep breath.
I hear people talk about the tools of recovery, what are they?
Find out a little about just a few ways in which you can practice new habitsCoDA Canada – Tools of Recovery
Why no advice?
In CoDA, we have a strong focus on not giving advice. Not asking for advice and not giving advice can let us see how a safe, trustworthy and equal relationship feels.
Instead, we focus on sharing our own experience and hearing the experience of others.Codependency and Recovery – the differences CoDAUK – Sharing Guidelines
Meetings are a safe environment without crosstalk or feedback, created by guidelines which cross all CoDA meetings.
Each person speaking is listened to without interruption or comment, and is not given advice.
For some of us this can be the first time in our lives that we are listened to without being interrupted, misinterpreted, or criticized. There is never any requirement to speak if we do not wish to.Patterns of Recovery Guidelines for sharing – overview CoDA Ireland, CoDA Canada, CoDA Australasia CoDAUK – Sharing Guidelines
Could you send me details of meetings in my area?
Please refer to the full list of active meetings for the most up-to-date information we hold, which includes online meetings you can attend from anywhere in the world: CoDA Meetings
Are there meetings outside the UK which I can attend? How do I find out more?
For meetings in Ireland and other countries around the world, please see:
– links to CoDA websites – across the globe.
– Coda.org – online meetings– listing meetings running around the clock – across continents
Sometimes a newcomer or CoDA member may come to a meeting that is conducted in a language that is not their primary language. While it is our primary purpose to carry the message, it may seem unlikely that we can help when we do not speak the same language.
Please see overview of CoDA’s primary literature – from around the globe:Farsi French
Portugese – CoDA Brazil
Spanish – CoDA Columbia
Spanish – CoDA Mexica
Spanish – CoDA Spain
Is < insert name > meeting on tonight/still running?
All meetings are autonomous, please ask the contact directly. You can see the date their information was last updated on the meeting entry. CoDA Meetings
How do I list a new CoDA meeting?
You can find details on: Meeting Details
- How do I start a CoDA meeting?
You can find details on: How to start a meeting
- Tradition 7 – CoDA Donations
If your enquiry is about how to send your meeting’s Seventh Tradition contributions to CoDA UK, please click here and follow the instructions.
My meeting don’t hold literature / we run online – where can I find CoDA literature?
CoDA Conference Approved Literature is available within the UK and for the European Union from: CoDA Literature
Amazon stocks a couple of introductions to core literature here:
- Can we use outside literature at our meeting?
It is strongly suggested that CoDA groups use CoDA Conference Approved and Board approved literature.
However, the group can be informed by group conscience to choose to use outside literature.
- CoDA Approval – What is it?
CoDA Approval is a suggested requirement to ensure that the Traditions are being adhered to and so that any outside event is in line with the founding CoDA principlesSee more – on “About CoDA”
My venue has asked if CoDA have a “Safeguarding Policy”. What is it? What is its purpose?
CoDA UK prepared a document for all meetings. It offers guidance on meetings, sponsorship and protecting individuals safely within CoDA.CoDA UK Safeguarding Policy
What is crosstalk?
Crosstalk can be: giving unsolicited feedback, advice-giving, answering, making you and we statements, interrogating, debating, criticising, controlling or dominating. It may also include: minimising another person’s feeling or experiences, physical contact or touch, body movements, such as nodding one’s head, calling another person present by name, or verbal sounds and noises.Guide to Crosstalk
What is the 13th step / 13th stepping?
13th stepping in CoDA can be clarified and addressed openly, with no shame or blame. 13th Stepping is sometimes referred to as “hitting on newcomers.” It can also simply be defined as making inappropriate romantic and/or sexual advances to members, under the guise of helping with recovery.
13th stepping could include attending only to find dates. It also could include sexual innuendos and joking to control or embarrass someone else in the program.
Dealing with disagreements – what is the thirty second rule?
“Occasionally, a member(s) may engage in unsafe behaviour by not respecting the boundaries of others, or someone may perceive that to happen. In such a situation, any member may call for a “time out” or “thirty seconds”.
During a time out or thirty seconds, everyone ceases talking and spends time seeking guidance from Higher Power. At the end of the thirty seconds, someone calls “time” and members may choose to say the Serenity Prayer before resuming the meeting.” – Disagreement, Mediation, and Resolution, page 1.
Dealing with Disagreements
What is a group inventory?
Twelve Step groups take an inventory of themselves from time-to-time. This tool can give the group perspective on how the meeting is doing. It helps to show both strengths and weaknesses. This process can keep us on the road toward being an ever-safer group. It helps us to carry the CoDA message of recovery. CoDA.org – Group Inventory Guidelines.
Sharing, no crosstalk
After the opening of meetings, there is usually a time of sharing where the group divides up into smaller groups of about 6-10 to tell smaller pieces of their individual recovery stories. There is only one paramount Guideline in sharing: “No crosstalk”. We make no comments about other people’s sharing and do not give advice.Healthy MeetingsCrosstalk guidelinesFor Safety Sake – GuidelinesCommunication & Recovery CoDAUK – Sharing Guidelines
Does CoDA UK have an umbrella insurance policy that would cover our meeting for free?
No. CoDA does not have an umbrella insurance policy that covers individual meetings. Intergroups or meetings may organize and purchase their own insurance.
Does my meeting need Public Liability Insurance?
In 2019, CoDA UK contacted all groups requesting they check if the rent they pay for their rooms includes Public Liability Insurance. Many groups discovered they were not covered which could lead to the person signing the lease being personally liable to meet costs in the event of a claim. This led to CoDA UK purchasing a group policy for those groups who wanted to be covered.
If your group would like to purchase cover and be included in the CoDA group insurance (minimum suggested donation for 2022-23 is £20 per group or more if your meeting can afford it) or if you have any questions regarding the policy, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whats the role of a group conscience in a healthy CoDA meeting?
Guidance for CoDA groups, and ceremoneis which unify CoDA can be found in this piece of free CoDA literature: Healthy Meetings Matter
I can’t find a sponsor.
We do not keep records of volunteers willing to sponsor at this moment. If you are unable to find a sponsor at your home meeting, some people will attend as many different meetings as they can and ask individuals directly if they would be willing to sponsor them. Some meetings pass around a form where members write down if they are willing to sponsor.
You could reach out to the member networks to join a CoDA Step Group Online Find out more
Start your own Step Workgroup
Or you could attend a sponsorship workshop
What’s co-sponsoring and can I try it?
Co-sponsoring occurs when two CoDA members sponsor each other. Co-sponsors meet or call regularly to share what they are learning about the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Co-sponsors may choose to have another CoDA member guide them, especially through difficult situations or when they get stuck.
CoDA UK members have setup numerous WhatsApp groups to offer support to CoDA members looking to start working the steps. Find out more
What is a step group and how can I join one?
Another option to working the steps is to start a step group with members of your home group which is a great way to start working the steps together. Find out more
CoDA UK members have setup numerous WhatsApp groups to offer support to CoDA members looking to start working the steps. Find out more
What is a virtual Sponsorship workshop?
We have held a number of Zoom Sponsorship Workshops. Let us know if you want to be on the mailing list for future workshops by emailing: email@example.com
Listen to excerpts from CoDA Canada Sponsorship Workshop
Can you tell me more about how to run a sponsorship workshop ?
Here is a written script that any CoDA member can use to lead a sponsorship workshop: Find out more
I’d like to sponsor but I’m not sure I have enough recovery
A number of member networks have been set up including ‘CoDA Sponsor Support’ where more experienced sponsors are happy to speak to those thinking about sponsoring. Head over to Member Networks to find out moreResources for Sponsors:12 Tips for Sponsors CoDA – 30 Questions The First 14 Days
I’m not sure I’m ready to start the steps yet but I’d like to share with another CoDA Member
A number of member networks have been set up including ‘CoDA Outreach Group’ where you can arrange an outreach call with another CoDA member. Head over to Member Networks to find out more
How to Find a Sponsor
If you’re looking for a sponsor, reading the list of suggested Sponsor Characteristics in the handbook Sponsorship: What’s In It For Me? (pg 8 & 9) and looking for someone who has the recovery you want.
It can take time to get to know someone well enough to ask them to be your sponsor. Talking with them after the meeting can give you a deeper understanding of the person. If you find someone that resonates with you, you can ask them how they sponsor and share what you are looking for before deciding to work together.Sponsorship in CoDA
Information for Professionals
Can a facility host a CoDA meeting?
Hospitals and Treatment centres can provide space for CoDA meetings to meet.
There is literature available on the website that can be downloaded and copied for use with co-dependents as long as there are no fees associated with their use and Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc.’s copyright information is included on the copy.
In the US, CoDA sessions are regularly run within institutions/by institutions and local groups. The team have prepped a range of documents to support this activity.
Can a therapist start/facilitate a CoDA meeting?
We ask that therapists, life coaches, mental health professionals, and all paid professionals start meetings or participate in meetings only as an individual recovering codependent and never in a professional capacity.
In “Building CoDA Community: Healthy Meetings Matter” page 17 states:
In CoDA, no one is paid to share experience, strength, and hope, whether at meetings, as sponsors, or in any other Twelve Step related activity.
Professionals attending CoDA meetings do so as members only, and do not use the Fellowship to further their business interests.
May I, as a professional, attend a CoDA meeting?
You are welcome to attend any “open” meeting. Identify yourself by first name only, not as a professional. You are not required to share.
Please do not give advice; sharing is about our own experiences.
There are no dues or fees; we are self supporting through our own contributions.
May I share CoDA materials with my clients?
You can find pamphlets, book samples, online, and other service documents, as well as meetings, by going to the CoDA (US) website. An Introductory brochure is located on the US website. Information for Professionals
Email the CoDA UK Public Information team for more details.
How do I know if service work is right for me?
Helping people because someone helped you is a way of saying thank you. It helps you stay focused on the road of recovery and stay connected with others. Almost every person at meetings can provide some type of service, even if it is just sharing a bit of their story, or preparing the coffee or tea. Giving back what you have been given. Twelve step programmes cannot function without the services provided by members.
How do I find out about events and retreats?
CoDA UK meeting GSRs, meeting contacts and individual members may join the CoDA UK mailing list, to receive CoDA UK communications on topics such as upcoming workshops, retreats, CoDA committee meetings and study sessions and other key information.
– Please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to the mailing list. By doing so, you agree to opt in to receive communications from CoDA UK. You can remove your name from this mailing list at any time by emailing email@example.com.
– Check online CoDA UK – News and Events page online
– Or subscribe to CoDA UK Noticeboard – whatsapp channel
How do I maintain healthy boundaries when using social media as part of my recovery?
Anonymity and Social Media
The principle of anonymity is essential in the Codependents Anonymous fellowship at all levels. As the spiritual foundation of all traditions, the respect for anonymity is paramount for CoDA members to uphold. Types of communications, especially social media, can easily result in breaches in anonymity.
How do I get involved in service?
Service includes setting up for a meeting, leading meetings, starting a new meeting and representing your group at the local community, group or Voting Entity.
If you are a writer, please submit a recovery story to be added to CoDA Shares.
Take a look at the different committees listed on the website and follow up with one that seems interesting or has an opening. As at the group level, each service position has a term limit to ensure healthy rotation of service in CoDA.
I’ve heard about CoDA workshops but never been to one. I’m not sure what to expect?
CoDA events and workshops come in all shapes and sizes. There’s no need to actively participate in sessions unless you feel comfortable.
Events are written, prepared and presented by a range of recovering codependents.
CoDA Arizona Events CoDA Canada – Workshop recordings CoDA Shares – event recordings 2007 to date CoDA Tucson workshop recordings (audio plays on open) Desert CoDA – recordings and Events Recovery SpeakersSoCal CoDA – event recordings
Ive heard there are free leaflets about the STEPS – where can I find them?
Shared with thanks to CoDA Canada, and the original holders of copyright CoDA Inc.
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