December 2, 2015

About Meetings

What is a CoDA Meeting?
Attending meetings is necessary for recovery in the CoDA program. A codependent attends meetings for his/her personal recovery, and this attendance benefits everyone, its what creates the group. At meetings, we share our experience, strength, and hope in our program of recovery. 

Where Do I Find A Meeting? 
We maintain an updated list of meetings across Canada. Visit our “Find Meetings” page to find a list of meetings in your area. This page also gives information on who to contact for meetings outside Canada.

What Happens at a CoDA Meeting?
Meeting Opening:  CoDA meetings usually start with a moment of silence followed by a prayer of the group’s choice. Following the opening prayer, almost all CoDA meetings read a selection of the foundational documents listed in the Conference guidelines. There is usually a short time allowed for announcements or group conscience.

After the opening, there is usually a time of sharing where the group divides up into smaller groups of about 6-10 to tell smaller pieces of their individual recovery stories. There is only one paramount rule in sharing: “No crosstalk”. We make no comments about other people’s sharing and do not give advice.

As part of the closing, a prepared statement is often recited, “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program. Who you see here, what is said here, when you leave here, let it stay here”. A closing prayer is usually said and the slogan “Keep Coming Back – It Works If You Work It!”.

Types of Meetings as listed in the CoDA “Meeting Handbook”:

  • Speaker Meeting: This type of meeting features a personal story of recovery shared by one individual. Speakers share their personal experience, strength, and hope in the program. The meeting may or may not include open sharing after the speaker, depending on the length of story shared.
  • Open Share Meeting: This type of meeting often has no topic or individual speaker, giving members an opportunity to share their experience, strength, and hope on their recovery as they wish.
  • Topic Share Meeting: This type of meeting opens with the facilitator or a member of the group suggesting a specific topic, i.e., The Steps, Boundaries, Sponsorship, etc. The facilitator will usually begin the sharing.
  • Step or Tradition Study Meeting: In this style of meeting, the group uses our Conference Endorsed CoDA literature, such as the CoDA Blue Book and CoDA Workbook, as a foundation for study, discussion, or sharing related to CoDA’s Steps and Traditions. For example, the group may elect to read a portion of this material out loud and then have an open sharing session.

Alternative Meetings:

  • Phone Meetings
  • Online Meetings

Business Meeting Format:

The Fellowship Service Manual has information regarding roles and responsibilities of different group member’s service roles.