Basic Meeting Format

This meeting format is included as a guideline. The style of program your meeting wishes to use (whether Speaker, Sharing, Topic, or Step) can be a group conscience decision made by the members of your group.  The leader's parts to be read aloud are in bold print.

[Opening Section]

Good evening (morning, afternoon), and welcome to the meeting of Co-Dependents Anonymous. My name is and I am a codependent. I am your meeting leader tonight (today).

 

CoDA asks those with cell phones and pagers to please turn them off or to silent ringing for the duration of the meeting so we can keep our focus on the meeting without interruptions.

 

Please mute yourself in this Zoom Chat Room except when you are speaking and please turn off your video to avoid distracting the participants if you must move around during our meeting.

 

Please help me open this meeting with a moment of silence followed by the:

The CoDA Opening Prayer ©

In the spirit of love and truth,
we ask our Higher Power
to guide us as we share our experience, strength, and hope.
We open our hearts to the light of wisdom,

the warmth of love, and the joy of acceptance.

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

and Wisdom to know the difference

Would someone volunteer to read the Preamble?

The Preamble of Co-Dependents Anonymous

Co-Dependents Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.

 

We gather together to support and share with each other in a journey of self-discovery -- learning to love the self. Living the program allows each of us to become increasingly honest with ourselves about our personal histories and our own codependent behaviors.

 

We rely upon the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions for knowledge and wisdom. These are the principles of our program and guides to developing honest and fulfilling relationships with ourselves and others. In CoDA, we each learn to build a bridge to a Higher Power of our own understanding, and we allow others the same privilege.

 

This renewal process is a gift of healing for us. By actively working the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous, we can each realize a new joy, acceptance and serenity in our lives.

Would someone volunteer to read the Welcome?

The Welcome of Co-Dependents Anonymous

We welcome you to Co-Dependents Anonymous, a program of recovery from codependence, where each of us may share our experience, strength, and hope in our efforts to find freedom where there has been bondage and peace where there has been turmoil in our relationships with others and ourselves.

Most of us have been searching for ways to overcome the dilemmas of the conflicts in our relationships and our childhoods. Many of us were raised in families where addictions existed - some of us were not. In either case, we have found in each of our lives that codependence is a most deeply rooted compulsive behavior and that it is born out of our sometimes moderately, sometimes extremely dysfunctional families and other systems. We have each experienced in our own ways the painful trauma of the emptiness of our childhood and relationships throughout our lives.

We attempted to use others - our mates, friends, and even our children, as our sole source of identity, value and well being, and as a way of trying to restore within us the emotional losses from our childhoods. Our histories may include other powerful addictions which at times we have used to cope with our codependence.

We have all learned to survive life, but in CoDA we are learning to live life. Through applying the Twelve Steps and principles found in CoDA to our daily life and relationships ­ both present and past - we can experience a new freedom from our self defeating lifestyles. It is an individual growth process. Each of us is growing at our own pace and will continue to do so as we remain open to God's will for us on a daily basis. Our sharing is our way of identification and helps us to free the emotional bonds of our past and the compulsive control of our present.

No matter how traumatic your past or despairing your present may seem, there is hope for a new day in the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous. No longer do you need to rely on others as a power greater than yourself. May you instead find here a new strength within to be that which God intended - Precious and Free.

CoDA's Twelve Steps are the spiritual guidelines for our individual recovery. Will the person with the Twelve Steps please read them?

 

Optional- some groups prefer to pass the Twelve Steps around and share the reading of them.

The 12 Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous*

 

  1. We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.

  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

  3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.

  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other co-dependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

CoDA's Twelve Traditions are the guiding spiritual principles of our meetings. Will the person with the Twelve Traditions please read them?

Optional- some groups prefer to pass the Twelve Traditions around and share the reading of them. 12 Traditions

The ​​12 Traditions of Co-Dependents Anonymous*

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity. 

  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority -- a loving higher power as expressed to our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

  3. The only requirement for membership in CoDA is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.

  4. Each group should remain autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or CoDA as a whole.

  5. Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry its message to other codependents who still suffer.

  6. A CoDA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the CoDA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim.

  7. A CoDA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

  8. CoDependents Anonymous should remain forever non--professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

  9. CoDA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

  10. CoDA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the CoDA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions; ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Are there any CoDA announcements?

 
CoDA Guide to Sharing


As we pursue our recovery, it is important for each of us to speak, as we are able. Many of us find speaking among others, especially strangers, a very difficult task. We encourage people to begin slowly and carefully. It is the intention of every CoDA member and group not to ridicule or embarrass anyone. Nothing that is shared is unimportant or stupid. The sharing of our experiences is best done with “I” statements. “Crosstalk” and “feedback” are discouraged.

 

What is “Crosstalk”?


Crosstalk can be: giving unsolicited feedback, advice-giving, answering, making you and we statements, interrogating, debating, criticizing, controlling or dominating. It may also include: minimizing 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."


In our meetings and this Zoom Chat Room, we speak about our own experience, and we listen without comment to what others share. We work toward taking responsibility in our own lives, rather than giving advice to others. Crosstalk guidelines help keep our meeting a safe place.

Let me introduce the first speaker…

[Closing Section]

Our Seventh Tradition reminds us that we are self-supporting through our own contributions. We ask that you donate as you can. Seventh Traditions donations are used to support meeting expenses, and to support CoDA at the community and national levels.

 

As we bring this meeting to a close, I would like to remind you that CoDA is an anonymous program. We ask that you respect the anonymity and confidentiality of each person in this meeting. We ask that what you see here, what is said here, when you leave here, let it stay here.

 Will someone volunteer to read  Twelve Promises of Co-Dependents Anonymous? 

The ​12 Promises of Co-Dependents Anonymous

I can expect a miraculous change in my life by working the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous. As I make an honest effort to work the Twelve Steps and follow the Twelve Traditions... 

  1. I know a new sense of belonging. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness will disappear.

  2. I am no longer controlled by my fears. I overcome my fears and act with courage, integrity and dignity.

  3. I know a new freedom.

  4. I release myself from worry, guilt, and regret about my past and present. I am aware enough not to repeat it.

  5. I know a new love and acceptance of myself and others. I feel genuinely lovable, loving and loved.

  6. I learn to see myself as equal to others. My new and renewed relationships are all with equal partners.

  7. I am capable of developing and maintaining healthy and loving relationships. The need to control and manipulate others will disappear as I learn to trust those who are trustworthy.

  8. I learn that it is possible to mend - to become more loving, intimate and supportive. I have the choice of communicating with my family in a way which is safe for me and respectful of them.

  9. I acknowledge that I am a unique and precious creation.

  10. I no longer need to rely solely on others to provide my sense of worth.

  11. I trust the guidance I receive from my higher power and come to believe in my own capabilities.

  12. I gradually experience serenity, strength, and spiritual growth in my daily life. 

Thanks to our speaker(s)." (If this is a speaker meeting)

Thank you to those who read and who do service at this meeting.

Are there any suggestions for a topic for next week?

Would anyone like to speak next week or at another time?

Optional-Affirmations: Starting with the leader or a volunteer each person, in turn, gives a positive affirmation such as: “I know a new freedom” or they may pass.

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the Serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can, 

and Wisdom to know the difference

The CoDA Closing Prayer ©

 

We thank our Higher Power

for all that we have received from the meeting.

As we close, may we take with us

the wisdom, love, acceptance, and hope of recovery.

Content re-published from the book Co-Dependents Anonymous,  ISBN: 0-9647105-0-1 with the permission of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Incorporated

©1995 - Co-Dependents Anonymous, Incorporated - Library of Congress Catalog Number 95-6915

*The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt this material does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after AA, but which address other problems, does not imply otherwise.

© New England CoDA 2018

These pages may not have been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by Co-Dependents Anonymous Inc.