Some Frequently Asked Questions.
Click on the link to purchase the Sponsorship Pamphlet
There is a wide variety of relevant literature now available that has been developed by people in CoDA. Some examples are the Newcomer's Handbook, the Twelve Step Handbook, the CoDA Book, the Twelve Step and Twelve Tradition Workbooks, as well as numerous pamphlets on such issues as Sponsorship, Boundaries, and Communications. Although many people find non-CoDA literature to be personally helpful, CoDA suggests the use of CoDA literature in meetings for the following reasons.
In the CoDA pamphlet, "Why is CoDA Conference Endorsed Literature Vital?" (CoDA, 1998) it states,
"Conference Endorsed literature benefits the Fellowship by making our collective experience, strength and hope available to our members. By using endorsed literature, our recovery is not diverted by any particular perspective, personality or plan. We can rely on the fact that what we are reading is the experience, strength and hope of recovering members like ourselves. Even when we attend meetings distant from our home, we can feel at home, because the literature and message are the same at CoDA meetings all over. Hence, we have CoDA unity."
There are many of us who have found a variety of non-CoDA literature out there that has touched our lives and enhanced our recovery, and each of us is free to choose and read as much of it as we want to on our own. If there is something that really touches us that we would like to share at the meeting, we can share our experience of what we read as it has become part of our own recovery. Each of us finds our own personal path to recovery, but what we share in common at CoDA meetings is the CoDA program. We have time and freedom to explore and share many different facets of our recovery before and after meetings, but our time in a CoDA meeting is our time to focus on the principles of CoDA
All it takes to start a meeting is a place, a time, and a few people willing to commit to the meeting for the first 6 months. The reason for a few people is that healthy service is shared. The best way to start a meeting with a real sense of community is to have a group for group conscience from the beginning. It is wise to choose a time that is convenient to a large number of people.
Meetings can be held almost anywhere. Try area churches, synagogues, counseling centers, hospitals or places where other groups are held. Though each group is autonomous, for reasons of safety and anonymity, CoDA cautions about holding meetings in individual homes. When choosing a meeting place, please keep in mind personal safety.
Meeting Starter Packet
CoDA has a New Meeting Starter Packet, which includes a meeting format that can be adapted to individual meeting needs. CoDA recommends that every meeting have a copy of this packet. It contains the basic documents that support CoDA unity and can be downloaded for free from the CoDA website, www.coda.org. The CoDA Literature Order Form, also available on CoDA's web site, can be used to order the Meeting Starter Packet as well.
Then register your meeting. By registering your meeting you insure you are connected with CoDA as a whole. That way you become aware of CoDA groups in your vicinity, seminars, workshops, retreats, conferences and conventions...all of which are opportunities to learn. Your meeting will also be included in the list of meeting available on this website.
The New Meeting Contacts list is also a way to connect with other people interested in starting a meeting in a specific Country/State/area.
To update a meeting go to the Find a Meeting page. Enter the meeting number in the field labeled "Meeting ID" and click Start Search. Or search for the meeting using any of the other fields. When the correct meeting is found, click on the meeting number in the search results. Under the map on the right side there is an Update This Meeting link. Click on the link and the Update Page will open. Update the field(s) and enter your email address and title at the bottom of the page. Our Fellowship Service Worker will review your changes. Please allow up to one week for changes to appear on the website.
The CoDA Tax ID Number, also known as the Employer Identification Number (EIN) is not for use by any other level of CoDA except the corporate level.
The Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. EIN is specific to the corporation of CoDA, a US corporation. Having an “umbrella” tax status would require that each group submit all the identifying information of their officers, to CoDA for the official record. In addition, CoDA would be responsible for the groups’ financial reporting and financial activity. We would have to establish a system of controls over the finances of each CoDA group, intergroup/community, and Voting Entity or regional service board. We would somehow have to ensure the use of all income solely for CoDA purposes and require regular reports to some central CoDA organization which would account to tax authorities for the activities of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. All of this conflicts with our Traditions of anonymity, group autonomy and our service structure. For this reason we recommend that each meeting group, intergroup/community, or Voting Entity organization assess its own need for a Tax ID # /EIN and if necessary, apply for its own.
CoDA does not have an umbrella insurance policy that covers individual meetings. Intergroups or meetings may organize and purchase their own insurance.
Options that have worked:
- Asking the requesting facility if their insurance company could provide the needed coverage for an added fee or for free
- Moving the meeting to a facility that doesn’t request additional insurance. County health and human service agencies have had such facilities.
- Forming an Intergroup, association or consortium to purchase a policy from a broker who writes binders for new meetings. The geographic area covered depends upon the resources of the broker involved.
- Signing waivers in lieu of insurance. This might lead to personal liability for group members. Outside legal advice about such matters is recommended.
Part of our Twelfth Step is to try to carry the message of recovery to other codependents.
First you may want to share your own experience, strength and hope. Share your story about what your codependency was like and how CoDA has helped.
Second, you may want to share information about what is CoDA and where to find a meeting. You can refer the person to this website or give them a copy of the pamphlet “Am I Codependent?” or “What is CoDA?” or even offer to take them to your CoDA meeting so they can see what it’s like.
Third, after you have shared your story and offered information, then let it go. Our First Step reminds us that we are powerless over others. We can’t make someone else try CoDA no matter how badly they may seem to us to need it. If you find that your sense of serenity and well-being is shaken, that you are obsessed with this other person’s codependency, then your own codependency is being triggered and that won’t be fixed by trying to get someone else into CoDA. Try working Steps One through Four on the situation then call your sponsor or someone you trust in the program and do a Step Five. You may find your own recovery growing deeper through all this, and that is the greatest Twelfth Step message we can have.
Giving advice or on-line support is not the purpose of the website or any of the volunteers whose emails or phone numbers appear on the website. Maybe you could go back to the Meeting Resource Center and find a meeting near you and go to it. Then you can begin to work the program, which may be your solution.
Working the program has given us in CoDA tools to handle difficult situations. Maybe working the program will lead you to the same tools.
Regardless of your situation:
Your first step is to go to a meeting.
Go to at least 6 meetings before you decide if you can get what you need in CoDA. Know that meetings are like people, they have different personalities. Try different meetings to find one with which you can relate. Read CoDA literature.
Keep Coming Back.
We are a Twelve Step support group there for those who suffer. Our purpose is to carry the message of recovery from codependency but we do not specifically support research projects.
You might try reading the CoDA Book and you will read the experience, strength and hope of many. You could also read our other literature. Just go back to the Buy Literature Page of this website. There you will be able to find information on ordering that literature.
Good luck with your research.
- Board = AKA CoDA Board of Trustees, the elected trusted servants that handle CoDA business between Conferences. CCC = CoDA Convention Committee. Responsible for planning and conducting Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. (CoDA) Conventions.
- CLC = The CoDA Literature Committee writes and edits literature.
- CoRe = CoDA Resource Publishing. Publishes and distributes CoDA literature.
- CSC = The CoDA Service Conference is the annual business meeting of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc.
- FS = Fellowship Services includes mail handling and meeting updates by an independent contractor.
- IMC = The Issues Mediation Committee resolves issues that may occur between CoDA groups or people, and tracks Voting Entity Issues.
- ITI = This term is now obsolete. Issues, Teens, Institutions Committee for issue resolution at CSC; also covers CoDA Teen and Institution outreach. The 3 committees have separated into IMC – Issues Mediation Committee; Teens - CoDA Teens Committee (disbanded at CSC 2007); and H&I – Hospitals and Institutions Committee.
- NLC = This term is now obsolete and has been replaced by CLC.
- NSC = National Service Conference. Term is now obsolete and has been replaced by CSC, CoDA Service Conference. The Annual business meeting of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc.
- QSR = CoDA Quarterly Service Report. Includes Board and Committee reports to the fellowship.
- SSC = The Service Structure Committee determines the implications of motions to modify, alter, or amend the CoDA Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, CoDA Fellowship Service Manual, Twelve Steps, and Twelve Traditions, Twelve Service Concepts, or other foundation documents.
- TMC = Translation Management Committee. Responsible for coordinating and managing the various language translations.
- WSO = This term is now obsolete. World Service Organization or Co-Dependents Anonymous World Service (CoDA-WS) activities and responsibilities have been re-absorbed into Co-Dependent Anonymous, Inc.
- WSAG = This term is now obsolete. Web Support Advisory Group. Provided expertise and advised the Board on issues concerning the Web Site.