What is S-Ateen?

The S-Ateen Fellowship welcomes young people, ages 12 to 19, who have been affected by the sexual behavior of a relative or friend. Our meetings follow S-Ateen’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.  They are conducted separately from those of S-Anon, and are guided by certified, adult S-Ateen Group Sponsors.  S-Ateen meetings are available at International and Regional Conventions, local recovery events, local S-Ateen groups, and via the S-Ateen Online Community.

S-Ateen Is…

  • S-Ateen is a fellowship of young people who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of sexaholism in a relative or friend. The term sexaholism covers a variety of behaviors that stem from someone’s powerlessness over lust. Sexaholism is an addiction, similar to alcoholism. Sexaholism is a family disease because it affects all the members of the family emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes physically. Growing up with sexaholism, you may experience feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and anger. Many of us don’t know what to expect on a dayto-day
    basis when we are around people who have the disease of sexaholism. In S-Ateen we find hope and help, and we are no longer facing our problems alone
  • S-Ateen is for you and about you. S-Ateen is not a program to help you fix your parents, siblings, or friends. S-Ateen is for young people, ages twelve to nineteen, who have been affected by someone’s inappropriate sexual behavior. This may involve inappropriate activity on the
    Internet, or inappropriate relationships with other people. S-Ateen will help you understand the family disease of sexaholism and help you find healthy ways to cope with your problems.
  • S-Ateen is a program where you can learn about healthy relationships. Even if you think you are not affected by the problems in your home, many of the choices you make in friendships and dating relationships are influenced by living within a family that is spiritually and emotionally ill. Perhaps you have been affected by someone’s sexual behavior outside of your home. The sexaholic in your life may be a family member, classmate, friend, teacher, coach, pastor, or other authority figure.
  • S-Ateen meetings are led by S-Ateen members. There are two adult S-Anon members in each S-Ateen meeting. These adults are there as S-Ateen group sponsors. The S-Ateen group sponsors serve as guides for the meetings; but not as therapists or parent substitutes. If the meeting is new, the S-Ateen group sponsors may lead the first few meetings, but after that the teens lead the meetings themselves. The group sponsors do not
    give advice or tell S-Ateen members what to do. They share on the meeting topic from their own point of view and from their experiences when they were teenagers.
  • S-Ateen uses the S-Ateen Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, which are suggested for our recovery. Working the S-Ateen program is not easy, but it has rich rewards. You can find serenity and even happiness, whether or not the sexaholic or other family members are in recovery.
  • S-Ateen is an anonymous program. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program. This means we keep in confidence everything that is said in meetings as well as who we see at meetings. Anonymity also means we are all equals in S-Ateen; no one is a boss or an expert. This principle of anonymity helps everyone feel safe in the meetings.


S-Ateen Is Not…

  • S-Ateen is not a program for young people seeking recovery from sexaholism themselves.
  • S-Ateen is not a religious program. S-Ateen does not discuss or support any particular religion, so we refrain from making references to specific faiths. S-Ateen is a spiritual program which follows spiritual principles to help us recover, whether or not we practice a religion. You may hear the term Higher Power or God used, to refer to a power greater than ourselves.
  • S-Ateen groups are not counseling or therapy groups. We do not give advice. The S-Ateen group sponsors at meetings are not professional counselors. They are S-Anon members working their own recovery program, who offer guidance and support, as the S-Ateen members learn to support each other. S-Ateen members may also seek out the assistance of professional helpers like therapists, clergy, or doctors to help deal
    with crisis situations or to focus in depth on personal issues.
  • S-Ateen meetings are not a place to complain, gossip, criticize, or stay stuck in our problems. Each S-Ateen member is given time to share in the meetings. You will have the support of other S-Ateen members, as you learn to focus on the solution, rather than the problem.