What is sponsorship?

Sponsorship is a fundamental and vital component of Step Twelve: it is carrying the message of recovery in the most immediate, direct and meaningful way possible. 
In EDA, a sponsor helps sponsees work the Twelve Steps. 

If we have been patient and persistent in working all Twelve Steps, we will have experienced a transformation that enables us to live at peace with ourselves and the world around us. We happily share our experience, strength, and hope with those who suffer with eating disorders as we once did, glad that even our worst experiences can now serve some good purpose. Carrying the message of recovery reinforces gratitude, solidifies new habits of thought and action, and fills us with purpose and joy.

A sponsor’s experience, strength and hope can provide the insight and inspiration needed to successfully work a Twelve Step program of recovery. 

For more information about sponsorship, please see New to 12-Step Programs and Sponsorship in EDA.

In EDA, a sponsor:
Takes others through the process of working the Twelve Steps


Shares their personal experience, strength and hope

Provides honest, positive feedback

Avoids offering unsolicited advice on matters unrelated to working the program

If you have worked the Twelve Steps of EDA and have found a significant measure of peace and freedom with yourself, with food, with your body, and with others, your recovery will flourish as you help others grapple with their impediments. We encourage you to take on the service of sponsoring others as they start to work the Steps.
Please contact sponsors@eatingdisordersanonymous.org if you are able to sponsor someone working the Steps of EDA. 

In EDA, a sponsee:
Commits to working the Steps

Maintains regular, frequent contact with a Sponsor

Is open to honest, positive feedback

Asks for guidance

Takes responsibility for their own decisions and actions

Although sponsees often develop strong and durable bonds with their sponsors, the relationship is not one that should be expected to extend beyond the context of working the Steps. Each sponsee should work to build his or her own network of friends in recovery. We encourage everyone who has made it through Step Three to consciously practice reliance on their Higher Power or higher purpose, rather than depending too heavily on individual people to see them through life challenges. Each sponsee is responsible for his or her own recovery. Switching sponsors is allowed, however, it is important to accept and work with what life presents to us as best we can, searching for positives. We take what we can use and leave the rest.

A sponsor-sponsee relationship is no substitute for professional therapy. We earnestly encourage everyone to work with qualified, trained counselors and other experienced medical professionals as needed. 

We hope everyone new to EDA who wants to work the Steps of EDA will find a sponsor at a face-to-face EDA meeting. 

If you want to work the Steps but are not situated where face-to-face meetings are held, we hope you can find a sponsor via EDA phone or online meetings.

If you are unable to find a sponsor at any EDA meeting and want to work the Steps of EDA, contact sponsors@eatingdisordersanonymous.org to get on a first-come, first-served waiting list.