Step Study Group

Step Study groups are groups of codependents working through the Twelve Steps (and often the Twelve Traditions) in a structured format. Although having a sponsor is the traditional model for working through the Twelve Steps, a  Step Study group provides an additional way to work the process, ideally while being sponsored. Following an established schedule helps fight the tendency to procrastinate that sometimes happens when working at one’s own pace.

Members who participate in Step Study groups often find them beneficial to their own recovery and supportive of newcomers. However, although Step Study groups follow CoDA principles and many find the process helps them foster healthy meetings in general, these groups are not CoDA meetings.

Step Study groups differ from CoDA meetings in several ways:

  • The groups may be regularly facilitated by a Step Study group member.  There may be co-facilitators or rotating facilitators, too. (See Facilitator Information and Resources in Sample #1 below)
  • Unlike CoDA meetings, the groups are usually closed to new members after a certain amount of time.
  • The format differs from CoDA meetings, often containing weekly assignments for Step work.  See a sample Reading Schedule below.
  • Although use of CoDA materials is highly recommended, especially The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Workbook and the Co-Dependents Anonymous text (a.k.a. “CoDA Big Book”), groups may also choose to use non–Conference approved materials.
  • Step Study groups may differ from CoDA meetings in other ways, determined by the group.  The Step Study group may choose to still utilize many of the Twelve Traditions, including the group conscience process.

CoDA members have found that, through a Step Study group,

  • We commit to our recovery and support other still suffering codependents.
  • We share our newly fortified experience, strength, and hope with our Study Study group. We are not alone. We have support and are committed to our recovery, growing and transforming together. We remember this is a “we” program.
  • Support and encouragement of others helps us push through the most challenging areas of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

Having a sponsor or co-sponsor is ideal in this process.  Please see the booklet “Sponsorship: What’s in It for Me?” (link in CoDA Literature below) or click on Sponsorship for more information.

Many members from CoDA groups around the world have formed Step Study groups to guide and support their stepwork.  The formats and materials vary widely.  Step Study groups may be done in person, by telephone or by utilizing alternative methods.  We offer several samples of materials below and invite further submission of materials. Members may reproduce the sample materials but please always indicate that these are not CoDA Conference approved materials.

RESOURCES:  Please click on the following areas for additional resources and materials, if available:

CoDA literature available through CoRE


Samples and templates:


STEP STUDY SAMPLE #1:  10 Month Step & Tradition Study Model- The following is sample information from a Step Study group, based on the CoDA Twelve Steps.  It is presented as a 10 month model for working through the steps. (Thank you to the San Diego CoDA members who shared this example):


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