What are 12 Step Groups for Sex Addiction?
Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexual Recovery Anonymous, and Sexual Compulsives Anonymous are all 12 step support groups. Our Freedom Groups are 12 step working groups.
These various 12 step support groups were developed in different regions of America. They all have the idea of giving hope and encouragement to those who struggle with sexual addiction so that they can recover. Each 12 step group has slightly different materials or traditions they use to help their members to recover from sexual addiction.
We strongly encourage anyone struggling with a sex addiction to attend a Freedom working group or any 12 step support group.
Join A Freedom Group!
Sex addiction support groups are essential to breaking free, establishing accountability and living free from sex addiction.
Each of these 12 step groups: Sexaholics Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous,Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Freedom Groups and Sexual Recovery Anonymous operate differently. They use different 12 step resources and also define terms differently. For example, each of these 12 step support/work groups define sobriety differently.
Conservative Definitions of Sobriety:
Liberal Definitions of Sobriety:
Finding the best group for you:
Healthy VS Unhealthy
12 Step Sex Recovery Groups
Not all 12 step groups for sexual addiction are healthy for you, help you mend your relationships and end sexual addiction in your life. Yes, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Sexual Recovery Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and Sexual Compulsives Anonymous are all 12 step support groups, but some are “healthy” and some are not.
You must attend and gauge local groups yourself to see if they are a good match for you and will help you in the long run. Many groups of the same 12 step fellowship will be extremely different depending on their members and location. You can tell if a 12 step group is health by assessing their sobriety, steps, sponsors and spouse influence.
#1 - Sobriety:
Sobriety will be the norm for members in healthier 12 step groups. If a group is really helping its members, it will be providing them with enough support and resources for them to not be constantly relapsing and falling back into old sex addiction patterns and behaviors. Consequently, in a healthy group, most of the members of the group are staying sober. In a really healthy group, relapses are infrequent. The more relapses the less healthy the group. If a group has normalized to the point most members are relapsing regularly the group is less than healthy.
Also with actual sobriety, the expectation of sobriety will also be a factor in how healthy a group is. If a group expects you to stay sober and make calls before you choose to relapse – this is a healthier group. If a group has no expectations of anyone “really” being sober or has no expectations of what you do before you relapse and you simply confess to group and keep relapsing, this group (regardless of 12 steps fellowship) is less healthy.
#2 - Steps:
The steps and how aggressive a group actively works the steps are significant factors in how healthy a 12 steps group is. In many Sex Recovery Support Groups, this is done with a sponsor. A healthy example is a Freedom Working Group where the members present their step to the group for feedback. A less health example is a group where most of the members in the group are not actively working a step.
You can get a feel for how healthy a group is just by attending a meeting and asking members what step they are on and for how long. The average of their answers will give you a sense of how healthy the group is for sexual addiction recovery.
#3 - Sponsors:
Sponsors are a significant part of groups, and having a sponsor is an expectation in a healthy 12 steps group. This is evident in all types of groups including – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous and Sexual Recovery Anonymous groups.
Sponsors are important because most of your step work and assignments come from your sponsor. In a healthier group, every member has a continuous relationship and is in contact with their sponsor frequently. In a less healthy group, the attitudes towards having a sponsor is more of an elective or optional thing.
Determining a group’s outlook on sponsors is easy to figure out. Once again, you can simply ask members in the group who their sponsor is and how often they are in contact with them.
The spouse principle is a little harder to define that the other three. However if you are in a group long enough, you can discern the group’s attitude toward their spouses. Healthy groups will honor spouses’ pain, address spouse bashing and complaining. Healthy groups also encourage honesty with spouses including encouraging polygraphs.Unhealthy groups lean toward keeping secrets from wives, criticizing spouses for the way they express pain and do not validate or honor the fact that the spouse is the hero in the marriage.
Working Groups vs Support Groups
What is a working group?
Working groups are 12 step groups that provide support for sex addicts, establish measurable accountability, help addicts work through the steps and enable members to live free from sex addiction without frequent relapses.
What is a support group?
Support groups are 12 step groups that provide support for sex addicts when they relapse or are between relapse episodes. These groups focus more on relapse support and often do not have a solid foundation to avoid future relapses.
#1 - Check-Ins
In a working group, the check-ins usually happen during the first part of the group session. Each member checks in on how many calls they made, exercises completed in workbook, step progress and if they had any boundary violations. The work group is more focused on the actual recovery work you have moved through in a week and not just if you are sober or not.
Support groups vary significantly on check-ins. This depends on the type and interaction of the support group. These check-ins may take the form of members saying a sobriety date, if they have relapsed, their feelings for the day or no individual check in at all. This is very specific to each group.
In a working group, phone calls to other members of the group is expected on a daily basis. This frequency of calls is usually part of the check in for the group. Calls are preventative barrier before relapsing and part of truly acknowledging a “we” program. Members are expected to call before relapsing.
Calls in a support group vary significantly from group to group. They range from never talked about or expressed to calling your sponsor regularly to a similar setup to a working group. The call reason and frequency will be unique to the local group culture.
#3 - The 5 C's:
In a working group, members in early recovery are expected to follow the 5 commandments (aka the 5 C’s): pray, read, call, meetings, pray. These are behaviors the addict can measure to assess if they are being proactive in recovery or headed rapidly toward a relapse.
In support groups, the sponsor may create a regime for members to follow or the group may have spoken or unspoken expectations.
In a working group, the members establish consequences early in recovery if they complete any behavior which is defined as “acting out.” The consequences are self-created and self-enforced. Members report report any completed consequences to the group if a relapse occurs.
Support groups generally have no expectations or consequences for their members.
#5 - The Steps
In a working group, members check in weekly with the step they are on. This keeps the group structured so members can tell if they are making advancements and keep track of progress or tell if they are stuck in their step work. Members also present a completed step to the entire group during group time. The other members give the presenting member feedback on the step. If the other members conclude that the addict completed the step, the addict can move on to the next step. If the group believes there is more work to be done, the addict presents the same step again in the future to the group.
In support groups, generally all step work is done with a sponsor.
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