ResourcesNote: These attachments and links contain materials COSA members have found to be helpful. The ISO of COSA neither endorses nor opposes the contents of these links. These resources reflect the individual experience, strength, and hope of the COSAs who created them. Please visit the COSA Store for conference-approved literature on the COSA program, including Step booklets, as well as other great mp3s.
This printable newcomer’s packet is perfect for promoting your local meetings, as well as helping to orient first-timers and newbies.
Arizona Step Study
These are the resource materials from the Arizona Step Study group. In 2013 and 2014, COSAs from Mesa and Tucson AZ met by teleconference. They worked through the steps and topics below using the COSA Step Booklets. They recorded the sessions in order to share their experience, strength and hope with other COSAs.
COSA Sponsorship & Co-Sponsorship
(2015 Panel Workshop)
Sponsorship Help Email Resource
Are you having some difficulty with sponsoring, being sponsored, or sponsorship in general?
As part of our determination to make sponsorship and working the Steps more accessible to COSAs, the Board of the International Service Organization of COSA set up an e-mail address so COSAs can e-mail questions and get a sponsor’s experience, strength, and hope on sponsorship. Not advice, just experience, strength, and hope.
There are some things you can do to help yourself:
- Ask your sponsor, if you have one.
- Read COSA’s Sponsorship Booklet. This booklet was revised in 2013 and it contains 20 pages of great information on sponsorship. Find it at the COSA Store:
- Get phone numbers in your local meeting and reach out for help.
If these ideas don’t work for you for whatever reason, e-mail SponsorshipHelp@cosa-recovery.org.
It’s sort of like seeing what a Twelve Step “no-advice columnist” has to say. You’ll never hear advice, but you’ll always hear what worked, and what didn’t work, for others.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
Sponsorship Help Team
International Service Organization of COSA
Additional COSA Recovery Tools
These have been found helpful in our individual recoveries. Whether or not the addicts in our lives choose recover, these tools help us achieve sanity and serenity.
COSA members gathering in a program of recovery; COSA Step Study group meetings; other Twelve Step group meetings may be useful to increase frequency. Members give and receive support, work the Steps, and share experience, strength, and hope in a safe environment.
The Twelve Steps of COSA
Working the Twelve Steps is the foundation of recovery in COSA. They are a set of spiritual practices COSA members use for personal growth and recovery. (Based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.)
The Twelve Traditions of COSA
The Twelve Traditions of COSA are a set of guidelines that suggest how COSA groups conduct themselves. Studying the Twelve Traditions and applying them to interpersonal relationships, COSA groups, and COSA as a whole promotes our own growth. (Based on the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.)
COSA has produced a number of booklets (some with worksheets), pamphlets, a newcomer’s packet, mp3s and audio CDs with recordings of presentations from past COSA conventions, and other literature that can be ordered from COSA’s online web store.
ISO of COSA Literature is written by COSA members and has gone through a literature-approval process. For more information on this approval process, please download the COSA Guidelines for Submitting Literature
Participating in activities that support the COSA group or COSA as a whole, including leading meetings, sponsoring, reaching out to newcomers, telling your story, serving as treasurer, writing an article for the newsletter, or volunteering for the COSA International Service Organization.
A guide through the Twelve Step process; someone in COSA who has something you want from recovery and is willing to share her/his own recovery experience with you; offering regular encouragement and support.
Communicating with other COSA members between meetings, either by phone, the Internet or in-person; asking for support when needed; corresponding with other COSA members if there are no meetings you can attend. Best cultivated in non-crisis times.
Quick references to important Twelve Step program concepts, including: • One Day at a Time • Live and Let Live • Easy Does It • Progress, Not Perfection • First Things First • Keep It Simple • Let Go and Let God • HOW (How our program works: Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness) • HALT (Not allowing ourselves to become too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired) • Higher Power—A source of strength greater than ourselves, such as a positive Energy or Spirit, a religious idea, nature, or the COSA group.
Prayer and meditation
Spiritual practices that help us connect with our Higher Power; used on a regular basis to seek guidance and strength; turning things over to our Higher Power. To some, prayer is talking to our Higher Power and meditation is listening to our Higher Power.
Striving to eliminate denial, half-truths, white lies, partial truths, and overt dishonesty with ourselves and others.
Recording our thoughts, feelings, and insights; also any reflective writing and Step work.
Anonymity and confidentiality
Guarding each other’s safety by not repeating what is heard in a meeting or other confidential setting; valuing yourself and others by practicing “principles before personalities.” By using first names only, we guarantee that everyone will feel safe to share, and we place everyone on an equal footing.
Defining our sobriety and bottom-line/acting out/inner circle behaviors
For so long we focused on what was wrong with the sex addict and what he or she should do to change. In COSA, we learn that the only person we can change is our self. We discover that many of our reactions to the sexual addiction and the sex addict were not healthy. In fact, many of our responses made the situation worse. In defining our own sobriety, we make a list of those behaviors we engaged in that made us, and the situation, worse. We choose, one day and one situation at a time, not to engage in those behaviors. (For example, covering up for the sex addict’s behaviors, looking for clues to the acting out, and trying to use sex to control the addict.)
Some individuals may agree with their partners on a temporary period of no sexual contact, which can be a useful choice in the process of achieving abstinence in COSA. It provides a safe time to work on sexual issues, and it can help couples to work on communication and intimacy.
Personal boundaries become blurred or even nonexistent when we react to sexual addiction. Part of our recovery is identifying appropriate self-protective boundaries or limits with respect to people, places, and activities. For example, we might choose to set a boundary regarding unprotected sex with the sex addict in order to protect ourselves from sexually transmitted diseases. Many of us have determined that we will no longer accept unacceptable behavior from ourselves or others, such as emotional abuse or physical battering. We may choose to separate our finances from those of the sex addict to protect our own credit. Such boundaries are personal choices, and no one in COSA will decide what your boundaries need to be.
Recovery tools from other resources
COSA’s Traditions state, “COSA has no opinion on outside issues, hence the COSA name ought never be drawn into public controversy,” and COSA does not “endorse, finance, or lend the COSA name to any … outside enterprise.” However, COSA does not represent itself as the only path to recovery for families and friends of sex addicts. COSA is not intended to replace professional therapy, religious organizations, or other self-help groups. Each member must determine for himself or herself whether there is a personal need for assistance outside the COSA program.
Additionally, there is a great deal of information in various publications that can inform and enlighten COSA members about sexual addiction and sexual co-addiction. Libraries and bookstores are resources for this information.