About CoDA Meetings
Information and Purpose
The sense of community and belonging, which are the gifts of our program, begin at the group meeting level. The CoDA community uses the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, which are the foundation for our program, and are guides to our personal behavior and attitudes. They teach us to be respectful and honorable with one another.
A CoDA meeting is much more than a place to sit and tell your troubles, it is a place to meet people like yourself and to learn from those who are different from you; a place to interact with people focused on learning to have healthy and loving relationships.
A CoDA meeting is a group of people who come together around their shared desire for healthy and loving relationships. The meeting uses the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Co-Dependents Anonymous as the basis for working toward recovery. It is a place to find sponsorship and fellowship as well as the sharing of experience, strength, and hope. A strong sense of acceptance and community makes a meeting attractive both to the newcomer and old timer.
CoDA meetings remain strong and have the ongoing participation of long-term members when they demonstrate the qualities of acceptance and community. Members are encouraged to carry on fellowship outside of the meeting by going to coffee afterwards or working with a community committee to plan community events such as picnics, potlucks, campouts, or other events.
What happens at a CoDA meeting?
- 90 minutes long and including readings, announcements and open sharing
- No dues or fees but small donations are accepted by not required
- Sit and face each other and each get a chance to share for 2-4 minutes
- No judgment or interruptions
- While we use the terms “God” and “Higher Power”, CoDA has no religious affiliation
Types of Meetings
Speaker Meeting: This type of meeting features a personal story of recovery shared by one individual. Speakers share their personal experience, strength, and hope in the program. The meeting may or may not include open sharing after the speaker, depending on the length of story shared.
Open Share Meeting: This type of meeting often has no topic or individual speaker, giving members an opportunity to share their experience, strength, and hope on their recovery as they wish.
Topic Share Meeting: This type of meeting opens with the facilitator or a member of the group suggesting a specific topic, i.e., the Steps, setting boundaries, sponsorship, etc. The facilitator will usually begin the sharing.
Step or Tradition Study Meeting: In this style of meeting, the group uses our Conference Endorsed CoDA literature and/or the CoDA Book as a foundation for study, discussion, or sharing related to CoDA's Steps and /or Traditions. For example: the group may elect to read a portion of this material out loud and then have an open sharing session.
In our meetings, we speak about our own experience, and we listen without comment to what others share. We work toward taking responsibility for our own lives, rather than giving advice to others. This is why crosstalk is strongly discouraged during our meetings. Crosstalk guidelines help keep our meetings a safe place. For more information, please refer to the Newcomer’s Handbook. Examples of crosstalk may include, but are not limited to:
- Giving unsolicited feedback
- Making "you" and "we" statements
- Minimizing another person’s feeling or experiences
- Physical contact / touch
- Body movements such as nodding one’s head or other gestures
- Verbal sounds / noises
- Referring to someone present by name
Content re-published with the permission of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Incorporated (www.coda.org).