How Step Study Groups Benefit Our Recovery

The Shaughnessy Meeting in Vancouver is forming a new Step Study group to start in mid to late September. They will be using the new OA Step Study Guide. The date and time is to be determined. They will likely meet at the Fairview United Church at 1708 West 16th Avenue (near Burrard). If you are interested, please contact Robert S at by early September.

After the Intergroup renewal workshop, six of us in the same home group decided to start a step study group In March, using the Twelve Step Workshop and Study Guide which is new OA literature. Our breakout group decided we would share the benefits of being in a step group to hopefully reach all newcomers and those that may be struggling with their recovery.

Our step study involves reading, reflecting, writing, discussion and, of course, action! In addition, participants are expected to also attend their regular OA meetings, make outreach calls and work with their sponsors. We have taken turns in leading in order for each of us to have an opportunity to give service.

As we are all from the same OA home group, we knew each other fairly well but because of this Step study we now find ourselves very much closer to each other and all have a renewed commitment to our recoveries. The support to each other has been wonderful and we have all had lots of ‘Aha’ moments and broken through some barriers and resistance.

There are lots of available Step study guides. Our particular group met before the first session and mutually decided which guide to use. In a Step Study, we work the Steps rather than just study or read them. As a result, we can grow and change and become more and more willing to recover. We learn that only the first half of Step One has anything to do with food and compulsive eating. The rest of the Steps all deal with living.

For us, working the steps has been our path to recovery and given each of us truly fabulous partners in recovery. I know for myself that I always ate to feel better but ALWAYS felt worse. I learned that any permission giving or justifying is my disease talking. One bite of an addictive substance is suicide for me. Working and living the Steps along with walking hand in hand with my Higher Power has been the solution for me. First, I had to have complete acceptance that I am a compulsive overeater and then surrender to a new way of life.

Are you interested in starting or joining a step-study? A good way to get started is to speak during a meeting’s “any announcements” time. State you are either looking to join a step study or interested in helping start a step study. Consider inviting newcomers personally after the meeting and explaining what a step-study is. Find a location that allows privacy. Set a time to have your initial meeting to mutually decide which step- study material to use, time/day and duration of the sessions. Currently our group has six members meeting twice a month on Sunday afternoon from 4-6 pm with the location of the meetings alternating between two members’ homes. We are covering two steps per month (step 4 was six weeks) and will meet until the early fall.

If you are interested in knowing more about how to start or join a step-study, please ask within your home group as many people have been involved in them and would be happy to share their experiences. -MJ and LC

Editor’s Note: if you are starting a new step study group, please let us know at so we can put a note in the newsletter and other interested fellows can join you.

12StepGuideThe OA Step Study Guide is designed to be used with the Big Book, OA 12 & 12, the daily readers, etc. and includes a leader’s script for each session as well as pages to be photocopied for all group members for “homework” between sessions. Copies can be purchased through Intergroup. There is also a popular OA Big Book Step Study by Lawrie C, available for free online at