How to do a step 5 in a 12 step program?

  1. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human
    being the exact nature of our wrongs.

I have been thinking about this recently. I am in a 12-step program (NA). I was wondering how I do my step 5. Is the part in this step, “admitted to another person” my sponsor (she’s non religious), Priest or both? If anybody has some experience to share on this, I would be very grateful.

Thank you and God Bless:)

How about to a priest in Confession? Wouldn’t that count for all three at once?



Any other person would be ok, but it is best if it is a trusted person. If your sponsor is non-religious, what does she consider to be her “higher power”? You might consider switching to a Catholic sponsor, because a non Catholic may give you the wrong answer to spiritual questions. I would choose confession to a priest if I did not want to risk the info being gossiped about.

The Sacrament of Reconcilliation counts for this. There are also alot of priests that are experienced with the 12-step programs and can help you with this. This is probably an appointment confession and not a walk-in situation though.

its the Rite of Reconciliation , nothing more ,nothing less.and the Rite can’t be anything more than what it is ,the Sacraments are our experience of Logos ,Alpha and Omega.a Priest doesn’t need experience with 12-step programs to forgive sin in Persona Christi ,he is a spiritual professional .ones sins committed under the influence do not call for special handling.

Step 5 goes into far more detail than you would normally in confession. A step 5 can last for 3 hours.

Some retreat houses have AA/NA retreats and their retreat directors would hear Fifth Steps.

When I was a prison chaplain I would hear 5th steps. It’s important for the person to tell every negative detail, because at the end of it they need to know that they are loved despite whatever bad stuff they’ve done in their life.

If you were to go to confession and start, A. The priest may have no idea what you mean by a 5th Step; and/or B. will probably NOT have the time for you to do it properly.

Many diocesan and religious priests will know about AA’s 5th step. Perhaps you could phone the diocese and ask.

Thank you everyone that has replied :slight_smile:
Triumphguy you are correct.:thumbsup: This has given me an idea. I will speak to my Priest,but you have just reminded me that we do indeed have a retreat that is part of our Church. I will make enquiries:)

You need to go to confession for forgiveness, and a sponser for accountability. I think it is good to do a fith with your sponser because they can get a better understanding on how to help you when you start your amends. Do not be disappointed if you feel horrible after your fith step, some people don’t feel real relief and peace until they the 8th step. (just in case you fall into that category)

I am supposing you have a 12 Step Sponsor, as you need to have a sponsor in order to be working the Steps.

Check with your sponsor and do what he/she suggests.

I’ve been clean many years. NA saved my life.

Talk to your sponsor and take his/her direction.

I was court ordered in a rehab almost 4 years ago. It was hardcore 12 step philosophy and approach to everything. I had to get a sponsor and work some steps although I did not make it through all the steps. I am not a 12 stepper, in fact, I never really was. I did not like the program for several reasons. Actually I was hostile towards AA and the 12 Steps (and by extension, NA) for quite some time. I am still not really a fan, but I am no longer outright hostile to twelve steppers.

The thing about the 5th step is every sponsor is different. Some don’t want to hear every little detail of everything wrong you did in the past. My first sponsor was like that. He just gave me a packet to go over with some questions I had to answer. I did not really tell him anything I did not mind telling.

My second sponsor (while still in the rehab) Wanted a actual list of all my resentments and I think pretty much everything I could remember when I did something wrong to someone else. He even admitted some whoppers of his own to me. It was more info than I really wanted to know, honestly :shrug:

Keep this in mind. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that If you don’t confess every little detail, you are more likely to go back to using drugs. Go ahead and confess your wrongs to your sponsor if you think it will make you feel better. Keep in mind though… a “sponsor” has not sworn to keep your confessions a secret on the same level that a Priest has. I would rather confess to a priest.

Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs

It doesn’t have top be a sponsor, and it can be a priest in a general confession/5th step.

I would suggest that for Catholics they find a priest who does 5th steps, and then they can get absolution too.

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