Policy Regarding Outside Literature at CoDA Meetings

This policy was approved by the 1990 Fourth International Service Conference of Co-Dependents Anonymous and revised at the 2018 CoDA Service Conference.

It is strongly suggested that CoDA groups use CoDA Conference Approved and Board approved literature. However, if a group by informed group conscience chooses to use outside literature, in order to be an informed group conscience, that group must weigh their decision against the Twelve Traditions to ascertain if a responsible decision has been made. Some points to consider are:
  • Tradition One: Using CoDA literature supports the growth of CoDA and offers unity and continuity of message.
  • Tradition Four: Will the decision reached by the group affect neighboring groups or CoDA as a whole? What might a newcomers’ first impression of CoDA be, based on the literature chosen? What is a group’s responsibility to newcomers?
  • Tradition Five: Is the decision about literature – or, for that matter, any decision made by the group – in line with CoDA’s primary purpose?
  • Tradition Six: Is the use of outside literature an endorsement of a particular author? By making the work of a particular author the focus of a meeting, is that a CoDA meeting or a book study session?
  • Tradition Eight: Use of outside literature may border on therapy. CoDA is a self-help group and uses the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions as a basis for recovery.
  • Tradition Ten: Use of copyrighted materials not owned by CoDA may lead to problems in the future and ought to be considered in the decision making process. CoDA will not define codependency, but will describe it. Does the use of outside literature support a particular definition?

If, after considering the above points, a group chooses to use outside literature, an announcement ought to be made at the beginning and end of the reading of said literature.