Welcome to the Adult Children of Sex Addicts COSA Meeting
My name is _____________, and I am __________ and your secretary (or doing service) for this meeting.
The only requirement for COSA membership is that our lives have been affected by compulsive sexual behavior. People of any gender, race, background, religion, economic status, and sexual orientation, as well as members who may also belong to other Twelve Step programs or support groups, are welcome in this meeting.
Let’s begin with a moment of silence for the person who still suffers followed by (leader chooses “me” or “we”) the Serenity Prayer:
Serenity Prayer (“me” version)
God, Grant me the Serenity
To Accept the Things I Cannot Change,
The Courage to Change the Things I Can,
And the Wisdom to Know the Difference.
Serenity Prayer (“we” version)
God, Grant us the Serenity
To Accept the Things We Cannot Change,
The Courage to Change the Things We Can,
And the Wisdom to Know the Difference.
Please mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
Woud someone please read the Welcome?
We welcome you to the COSA Adult Children of Sex Addicts meeting.
We offer a safe space to talk about how the compulsive sexual behavior of trusted adults in our lives may have wounded us as young children and teens, when we were emotionally,spiritually, intellectually, sexually, and physically incapable of understanding our situations.
We may have developed coping behaviors that were a ‘“functional reaction to a dysfunctional situation.” Yet, strategies that helped us survive our childhood and youth may no longer serve us.
In this meeting, we welcome both our adult selves and our child selves to join a healing circle of fellowship and extend to you our support and friendship.
COSA is a Twelve Step recovery program for spiritual development, no matter what our religious or philosophical beliefs. Through working the Twelve Steps, we seek to achieve serenity, one day at a time. The only requirement for COSA membership is to have been affected by compulsive sexual behavior.
When dealing with the effects of this behavior, many of us experience profound trauma, pain, powerlessness, and unmanageability. Often we turn to unhealthy behaviors of our own to manage our pain or try to control the behaviors of others.
In the long run, our efforts fail. The consequences leave us in despair: our self-esteem, personal boundaries, and values are seriously compromised. Our health and our lives are at risk, and we may feel our identity has been lost. We realize our need to reach out for help.
COSA offers hope, whether or not there is a sexually addicted person currently in our lives. In COSA, we begin to experience relief from our isolation in the safety of an anonymous gathering with others who share our stories.
Everything that is said in the group meetings and between members must be held in confidence. This promotes open and honest sharing of our experience, strength, and hope, creating a trust level that many of us have never before experienced.
By working the Twelve Steps in COSA, we gain a new perspective on ourselves and our lives. The loving interchange of help among members and daily use of program tools make us ready to receive the priceless gifts of serenity and freedom.
12 Steps of COSA
- We admitted we were powerless over compulsive sexual behavior — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.
Would someone please read the Tradition that corresponds with the current month?
The 12 Traditions of COSA
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon COSA unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for COSA membership is that our lives have been affected by
compulsive sexual behavior. The members may call themselves a COSA group, provided
that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or COSA as a
- Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to those who still suffer.
We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps ourselves.
- A COSA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the COSA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every COSA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- COSA should remain forever non- professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- COSA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- COSA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the COSA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and other public media of communication. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all Program members.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place
principles before personalities.
Now is the time for introductions. Introduce yourself with your first name. If you are new to COSA, please let us know so we can welcome you. If you have questions about COSA or this meeting we encourage you to stay after the meeting has closed so we can offer support.
[ Introduce yourself first and let others introduce themselves as they are ready. ]
In this meeting we share our personal experience, strength and hope in recovery as adults who, as children, may have been affected by compulsive sexual behavior in a parent, caretaker or significant adult.
Our Meeting format is as follows:
● Week 1: Speaker Meeting.
● Week 2: Step of the Month.
● Week 3: Tradition of the Month.
● Week 4: Topic Meeting.
● Week 5: Question & Response Meeting.
Would someone please read the Guidelines for Sharing?
Guidelines for Sharing
Please honor the COSA tradition of anonymity. Everything that is said in the meetings and between members must be held in confidence.
● To give everyone a chance to share, please respect the time keeper and wait until all who wish to speak have done so before sharing again.
● Please mute your microphone when you are not speaking and be mindful to display your first name and last initial.
● We would love to see you on video and do understand if you are unable to show video. In this meeting, there is no need to explain in the chat.
● One person speaks at a time without comment, judgment or interruptions. Please refrain from cross-talking, which includes: giving unsolicited feedback, responding or referring to another person’s share, making “you” or “we” statements, minimizing or judging another person’s feelings or experiences. Instead, please share in “I” terms only.
● When you share you may inform the group if you would like feedback regarding your situation; however, feedback is only given after the meeting has closed. We have found feedback is most helpful when focused on using the Twelve Steps, and sharing one’s experience, strength and hope, rather than giving advice.
● Please avoid mentioning specific therapists, treatment centers, non-COSA approved literature and other fellowships by name.
● In order to keep everyone safe, we avoid sexually explicit details in our shares.
● If you feel triggered during the meeting, please use appropriate self care. For example, you can step away from the meeting until you feel ready to join, stay to talk to fellow COSAs or make a program call.
Can someone please be of service as our timer for the meeting?
[ Week 1 ]
Our speaker, ________, will now share for 7-10 minutes about “What it was like, what happened, and how it is today in COSA recovery.”
[ Week 2 ]
Our speaker/reader will now share or read about the _____ Step [corresponds to current month] for 7-10 minutes.
[ Week 3 ]
Our speaker/reader will now share or read about the _____ Tradition [corresponds to current month] for 5 minutes.
[ Week 4 ]
Today’s topic is ________ [ Ideally ask someone to select a topic related to how we may have been affected as children by compulsive sexual behavior in our families of origin. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for possible topics.]
[ Week 5 ]
Tonight’s meeting format is Question and Response. Anyone can pose a question related to COSA recovery by raising a virtual hand. After the question is posed, up to three volunteers may offer a response. We ask that volunteers respond by sharing their own Experience, Strength and Hope. Questions and Responses are timed at 3 minutes each. [Note: if there is time left after questions and responses, the meeting can be opened up for general shares.]
[ For all meetings: After the opening speaker has shared…}
Now is the time for sharing. Our intention is to create a safe space for people to share uninterrupted in a supportive and nonjudgmental environment. We listen to others with quiet compassion.
As we share, we offer our own experience, strength and hope in “I” terms only.
We avoid cross-talking, which means offering feedback, advice or appraisal of another’s share. Crosstalk includes referring to another person by name.
[Only if there is a speaker: “It is okay to thank our speaker if we had one for their service.]
We encourage you to share – and you are free to pass. The 3-minute time limit allows as many people as possible to have the opportunity to share.
If you would like to share please raise your virtual hand and I will call on you. We will also have a time in the meeting for people on phones or unable to use the raise-hand button.
[ At 20 minutes before the hour, or earlier if there is a pause in sharing… ]
We’ve set aside time for newcomers to share, and for people on phones or unable to use the raise-hand button. Please unmute yourself if you’d like to share.
[ At 10 minutes to the concluding hour …]
That is all the time we have for sharing. If you didn’t get a chance to share or are feeling triggered please stay for fellowship after the meeting. Anyone willing to receive program calls, please leave your number in the chat box.
Now it is time to honor the Seventh Tradition which states that “every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” It is the group conscience of this meeting to make Seventh Tradition donations directly to the COSA ZOOM ROOM INTERGROUP, which in turn donates to COSA as a whole
Our Group Conscience or Business Meeting is held the third Tuesday of each month, for the last 15 minutes of our regular meeting. All COSA members are welcome to attend. If you have anything you want to put on the agenda for the next business meeting, please speak with me after the meeting.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”
I Put My Hand in Yours
I put my hand in yours, and together we can do what we could never do alone. No longer is there a sense of hopelessness, no longer must we each depend upon our own unsteady willpower. We are all together now, reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours, and as we join hands, we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams.
You are welcome to stay for 15 minutes of fellowship. Now is a good time to ask questions or share, if you didn’t get a chance to share on the call. You are also welcome to leave at any time.
- Difficulty staying present, dissociation, “losing time”
- Compulsive or addictive behaviors with alcohol, drugs, sex, food, shopping, gambling, etc.
- Despair, depression, hopelessness, “rock bottom”
- Age-inappropriate sexual behaviors, images, language or events
- Self esteem
- Boundaries – emotional, physical, sexual, energetic
- Sexuality in society/triggers
- Fantasy and reality
- Negative self-talk
- Control, perfectionism and rule-following
- Sexual anorexia and avoidance
- Old patterns & coping behaviors
- Sex vs intimacy
- Emotional incest and covert sexual abuse. For example a parent inappropriately using a child to meet their emotional or sexual needs
- Moving towards healthy sexuality
- Overwhelm, confusion and ambivalence
- Healing from sexual trauma/abuse
- Prayer & Meditation
- Freedom & growth
- Respectful communication