Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) is a set of informal self-help groups made up of men and women with a common interest in working through the problems that co-dependency has caused in their lives. CoDA is based on AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and uses an adapted version of their Twelve Steps and Traditions as a central part of its suggested programme of recovery.
To attend CoDA meetings, all you need is the willingness to work at having healthy relationships. This means that all kinds of people attend meetings. Individual members can and do have differing political, religious and other affiliations, but since these are not relevant to the business of recovery from co-dependency, no comment is made about them. Meetings are around one hour in length. You don’t have to pre-arrange to attend, just turn up. The number of people at each meeting varies from week to week.
All meetings begin with an introduction which usually includes the Twelve Steps and Traditions, a welcome to newcomers, and an explanation of the format the meeting will take. There may be a speaker, or a reading of a Step or a topic. The meeting is then open for people to share their experiences, feelings and recovery with the group.
There is no obligation to share if you do not wish to, whether you are a newcomer or a long-established member. Each meeting usually incorporates a collection to cover the expenses of the group (eg hire of the meeting room) but CoDA is non-profit making. The meeting will end with a special prayer, called the Serenity Prayer. After the meeting, newcomers who would like more information can use this time to have their questions answered by more established members.
If you are new to CoDA, please read through all the information on this website. The best way to get started is to choose a meeting from the list here, and simply go along. It is suggested, if you are new, that you go to at least six meetings to find out if CoDA is right for you. You do not need to ‘join’ formally – if you decide CoDA is for you, simply attending meetings makes you a member.