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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Good v Bad Sponsor
Author: Fraser Trevor
Rating 5 of 5 Des:
Good v Bad Sponsor AA is designed to mold people to its idea of The Truth. Nevertheless there are some exceptional people in the rooms wh...
Good v Bad Sponsor
AA is designed to mold people to its idea of The Truth. Nevertheless there are some exceptional people in the rooms who understand the importance of human dignity, and are willing to swim against the tide in order to truly help the suffering souls who arrive at the doors of AA.
Encourages sponsee to follow his/her heart.Encourages sponsees to follow the rules (thinly veiled as suggestions)
Encourages sponsee to gradually develop self-control in all areas of his/her life, and encourages him/her to establish a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle so s/he will no longer wish to abuse substances, food, money, sex, etc.Tows the party line that immersing oneself in the recovery subculture (meetings, service etc.) is the only answer, and that the sponsee has no self-control and never will have it. Exercises control through fear, threats or by shaming. Alternatingly uses loving kindness and emotional abuse as a form of control.
Dispenses advice AFTER listening to specifics. (takes thorough "patient" history)Dispenses advice based on tradition, without really listening to the sponsee. e.g. "We've all thrown ourselves into service when our loved ones have died." or "Everyone needs a moral inventory."
Creates warm non-shaming environment when listening to sponsees talk about difficult life events. Does not pressure sponsee to expose self if s/he is not yet comfortable doing so.Listens to "confession" or draws "secrets" out of the sponsee in a way that makes him/her feel uncomfortable or exposed.
Practices what s/he preaches. Does not claim to be perfect or to have perfect knowledge of The Program.Does not practice what s/he preaches. Likes to create illusion that s/he works a perfect program but exhibits hypocritical behavior e.g. speaks of spirituality, yet engages in sexual relations with newcomers or minors.
Encourages sponsee to find, develop and heed inner voice as being God's will.Enjoys interpreting God's will for sponsees. In effect, playing God.
Has a wide range of human emotions which are used in a healthy way. e.g. crying when sad, laughing when happyHas a shallow range of emotions, or displays twisted use of emotions. e.g. laughs at pain felt by self or others, happy when someone relapses (because it proves The Program right)
Encourages questions, and if they choose, suggests that sponsees go outside of The Program to find answers which are right for them.Approaches recovery in a totalist fashion. "The Program has all the answers" "Everything we need to know is in the Big Book" "We have the monopoly on truth"
Cares about helping people.Cares about the status earned by accumulating a high number of sponsees
Accepts criticism of AA as a sign of progress and healthy social change. Finds merit in the work of authors who have criticized AA for the purposes of improving alcoholism/addiction treatment modalities.Dismisses with the wave of a hand, all criticism of The Program as being the work of sick, diseased, resentful or angry people, without examining it for merit, logic and possible benefit to group members.
Exhibits verifiable qualifications for sponsorship: e.g. has overcome major life obstacles, has repaired relationships with family, friends, is a respected member of the larger community which exists outside of the rooms, respects and nurtures his/her own physical, mental and emotional health.Purpots special knowledge or makes grand claims in the immeasurables: e.g. spirituality, enlightenment, certain knowledge. Such claims are impossible to verify, anyone can claim to be "spiritually enlightened".
Responds "It's your choice" to the question "What color underwear should I wear to keep me sober today?"Responds "Blue... and I'll check it later to make sure it's blue" to the same question.
Encourages sponsee to find an interpretation of The Program which s/he is comfortable with.Interprets The Program for the sponsee, often in self-serving or self-validating ways.
Does not object to sponsee's ideas of dissent from the group, if sponsee is following his/her inner voice and feels positive about the decision. e.g. "I feel finished with my time in AA, thank you, I'd like to move on."Plants the seed of doom and failure upon hearing sponsee's desire for dissent. "You willdrink!" "Many have died!" "I've never seen anyone make it!"
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