12 Step session format

12 Steps Facilitation


9- 12 Step Session Format


This page provides facilitators with a sample format on how to conduct an hour and a half long 12 Step group session.


Preliminaries (10 minutes)

Attendance facilitator

  • Takes record of group member attendees
  • If any participant has missed more than 2 previous sessions in a row, the attendance facilitator should wait until the end of the session to remind that person that regular attendance is an expected part of their continued participation in the 12 Step group.


Finance facilitator

  • At the beginning of each month the Finance facilitator collects each participant’s share for the rent. This can also include other expenses made on behalf of the group such as cost of photocopying hand outs, etc.
  • After the session has ended, the facilitator should remind anyone who is behind in contributing their share of the rent.


Main Facilitators

  • Welcome the 12 Step group and call for two minutes silence to remind all in attendance of their purpose in meeting, and to invite their Higher Power to guide them in their efforts.
  • Ask a group member to read the Group Rules.
  • Ask if everyone has completed the week’s homework, and encourage anyone who has not completed the assignments to do so by the following week as not to slow the group’s progress.
  • Describe what will be covered at the session
  • Ask if everyone is willing to make a commitment to work the Step covered in tonight’s session.


Down to Business (50 minutes)

Main facilitator

  • Main facilitator asks group members to take turns reading the designated Step passages, using the selected Fellowship book or workbook.
  • At the end of each paragraph the main facilitator indicates places of significance and asks group participants to highlight or underline them in their own book or workbook copies.
  • The main facilitator then explains these significant passages and shares his or experiences around them. The co-facilitators also have the option to share their experiences of these significant passages.
  • After the reading for the week is completed, the main facilitator explains the homework for the following week to group participants. This can be:

1) To reread the passages studied at the session and to write their own interpretation and understanding of it.


2) To answer the relevant questions at the end of the chapter. Most Fellowship workbooks have a series of questions at the end of each chapter or you may devise your own questions in relation to the passages being studied.


3) To write what the Step being studied means to them in relation to it acting as a tool for recovery from the disease of addiction.


Group Participation Time (30 minutes)

  • Providing the allocated readings for the session is done, the last 30 minutes is an opportunity for group participants to ask questions and make whatever comments or observations they may have only regarding the material covered during the session — or on the following week’s homework. The main facilitator can call on co-facilitators for support if he or she is unable to speak from experience in response to a question.
  • Main facilitator suggests to group participants:

1) Each group member to buddy up with another for the duration of the Step group. This is especially beneficial for those members who do not have a sponsor and who can use each other’s support to work through the Steps.


2) To meet as small groups during the week in order to share your experiences of the homework and the Steps being studied.


3) Not to leave your homework until the last minute but allow a couple of hours each night to work and process them.


4) Not to break neither each other confidentiality nor bonds of trust.


5) Not to replace the Step Study Group with your Fellowship meeting. Fellowship meetings are a vital and necessary component of our recovery.


  • Session ends at the allocated time and is closed by everyone reciting the Serenity Prayer.
  • Main facilitator invites everyone to go for a coffee afterwards. As discussion during the meeting is not allowed this is a great opportunity for group members to share their experience or queries with one another or with the facilitators.


  • For the Word version of this 12 Step group session format, which you can adapt according to your criteria and preferences, please refer to: 12 Step Group Worksheets

Question or Comment

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