Your First Meeting at CoDAteen
What to Expect

Who it’s for:

Thirteen to eighteen-year-old teens (As decided by each meeting)

Who will be there to help:

Two adult hosts who are members of CoDA to oversee and guide the CoDAteen group – they introduce the format and support the teens in recovery. Teens conduct the meeting.

Before the meeting:

The teen leader (usually decided at the last meeting) finds volunteers to read the CoDAteen Foundational Documents (Preamble, Welcome, Steps, and Traditions) and someone to be a timekeeper for the shares. Chairs are arranged in a circle, if possible.

The leader is also the secretary for the meeting. Ideally, meeting leadership rotates weekly so others can be allowed the opportunity to experience service. (Providing service an important aspect of recovery…)

The volunteer meeting leader opens the meeting.

Hi, I’m (first name). I’m codependent and I am your leader of this meeting for today. If you’re willing, please join me in the Serenity Prayer:

God, please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I’ve asked several of you to read our Foundational Documents. Would whoever has the CoDAteen Preamble printout please read it.

Thank you… and the CoDAteen Welcome is next…

Thank you… and the CoDAteen Twelve Steps is next…

Thank you… and the CoDAteen Twelve Traditions is last…

These Foundational documents will form the basis of your CoDAteen recovery.

The leader initiates an opportunity that goes around the room for everyone to share their Feelings:

Hi, I’m (first name). I’m feeling a little uncomfortable (or I’m feeling sad, upset, happy, or interested, etc.). One or two words is enough. Or you can simply pass if you want to…

The leader continues: Because this is week (1, 2, 3…) of the month, our topic today is (See examples below). I will read it and then we will begin sharing on this topic (or any other subject that might be on your mind today).

But before we begin sharing, I’ll remind you of the CoDA For Safety Sake Guidelines:

  • We use “I” statements when sharing. (I feel; I believe.)
  • We share our own experience, strength, and hope—no one else’s.
  • We do not comment on what others share.
  • “We are aware of the time available for shares.” OR “We share three to five minutes, keeping the focus on ourselves.”
  • We help ourselves and others by being emotionally present and honest.
  • We let others experience their own feelings.
  • We keep advice to ourselves.

As codependents we are learning to set boundaries and recognize that they are vital to recovery. This is why we discourage feedback, crosstalk and advice giving. We need to learn to keep the focus on our own recovery rather than rescuing or controlling others. If you think that these guidelines have been violated, please ask me to read them again at the end of a particular share.

The leader reminds the timer to be ready when the shares begin. The meeting is then open for sharing and people begin sharing.

The leader begins closure of the meeting

Ten minutes prior to the scheduled closure time, the leader will ask for;

  • a volunteer to lead the meeting for next week’s meeting.
  • Encourage time for affirmations statements (1 or 2) to be spoken by those that wish to.
  • The CoDA Promises are read by passing around the printout.
  • The leader reads:
    Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program. Let what is said here, who you see here, when you leave here, let it stay here. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, which means we don’t gossip or talk about what goes on in these meetings.
  • Everyone reads aloud the Closing Prayer:

    We thank our Higher Power, for all that we have received from this meeting. As we close, may we take with us the wisdom, love, acceptance, and hope of recovery.

  • Everyone reads aloud the long version of 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. Grant me patience with the changes that take time, Appreciation of all that I have, Tolerance of those with different struggles, And the strength to get up and try again, One day at a time.

  • Everyone says:

    Keep Coming Back, it works if you work it so work it –You are worth it!!

Meeting Topic Suggestions

Many meetings rotate the meeting topic depending on what meeting of the month it is. For example:

  1. 1st Meeting: The CoDAteen Step of the month
  2. 2nd Meeting: Read a CoDA-conference endorsed piece of literature.
  3. 3rd Meeting: “Codependency & Recovery. The Differences” or “Recovery Patterns of Codependence” or at Is Codateen for me?
  4. 4th Meeting: The CoDAteen Tradition of the month
  5. 5th Meeting: Ask It Basket – Pass a basket where people can anonymously propose topics for discussion.

See the CoDAteen Meeting Handbook for additional meeting insights and information.

What is CoDAteen?

CoDAteen, part of Co-Dependents Anonymous, is a community of young people whose common purpose is to develop healthy and loving relationships. In general, CoDAteen is for “teenagers”, ages 13 to 18 years. Each group can decide through their group conscience on the acceptable age range of attendees.

CoDAteen Meetings

The basic purpose of a CoDAteen meeting is to allow young people to discover a healthy and loving relationship with their Higher Power, themselves, and others. This happens according to their experience with Step work, sponsorship, and, most importantly, the identification with others in the group. Seeing others with similar feelings and problems find a common solution is the key to trusting in a Higher Power of our own understanding.

Meeting Structure

Each CoDAteen meeting must have a sponsoring CoDA group which holds business meetings with adult hosts/sponsors to help oversee the CoDAteen group. Likewise, the group can help with transport, finances, hosts/sponsors recruitment, alternate hosts/ sponsors, and with special events. The sponsoring group would also be responsible for assuring that the hosts/sponsors and any other adult CoDA member working with minors meets the Minimum Behavioral and Safety Requirements for CoDAteen as well as any other local requirements for working with teens. The CoDAteen sponsoring group is key to Tradition Four; “Each group should remain autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or CoDA as a whole”. Local, regional, Intergroups and Voting Entities maintain adult responsibility for the youth. Without the adult sponsoring group, the ‘autonomy’ would be impossible to establish.

The Role of Adults

The role of the CoDAteen host/sponsor is to provide a safe place for teens to share with each other, and to support and encourage the group as a whole. Adult hosts/sponsors do not serve as personal sponsors to individual CoDAteens. They address inappropriate or problematic behavior if necessary.

Training Resources for Adult Hosts/Sponsors

The group adopts a process for training adult hosts/sponsors by using recommendations and resources from the CoDAteen Meeting Handbook. The host groups can offer workshops, retreats and/or reading materials, etc. Section 3 of the CoDAteen Meeting Handbook offers recommended resources approved by the CoDA Service Conference.

Behavior and Safety Requirements

Every adult CoDA member or host/sponsor involved with CoDAteen must:

  • Be a CoDA member who regularly attends CoDA meetings, who has a sponsor and is working on the CoDA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions according to the CoDA program of recovery.
  • Be at least 25 years old with a minimum of 3 years of recovery in CoDA and have participated in CoDA service work.
  • Not have been convicted of a felony.
  • Not have been charged with any form of child abuse.
  • Not have been charged or demonstrated any inappropriate sexual behavior or be named on any sexual offender list.
  • Demonstrate emotional stability and sobriety.
  • Remain free from mind altering substances during meetings and service work.
  • Not have demonstrated violent tendencies or coercive abuse that could harm a CoDAteen member.
  • There must be two adult hosts/sponsors at every CoDAteen meeting, but if this is not possible, one adult host/sponsor who is approved and sponsored by a CoDA group and meets all other requirements may be acceptable.
  • The group requirements must prohibit overt or covert sexual interaction between any adult and CoDAteen member.
  • The group requirements must prohibit conduct contrary to applicable laws.
  • Research your local area for requirements according to the law.
  • The group requirements must contain procedures which include parental permission and medical care for the teen when necessary. In some circumstances, it might be possible to accept a referral from a counselor, teacher, or doctor. (See the example of the Parental Permission Letter in section 5 – Service forms in the CoDAteen Manual).
  • Adopt a process for training adult hosts/ sponsors using recommendations and resources from CoDAteen at
  • Adopt a process for addressing problematic behaviors within the group, using recommendations and resources from

Contact Information

You can communicate with CoDAteen or general information or you can communicate with the CoDAteen host/sponsoring group for specific questions regarding group operations.

CoDAteen Committee:
[email protected]

©, All Rights Reserved.

Recent Comments