Workaholics Anonymous

Hard work is considered to be a good thing by most people, but when work becomes a compulsion it ceases to be something positive. Workaholics Anonymous offers help to people who are compulsive workers.

Workaholics Anonymous Overview

Workaholics Anonymous is a self-help group for people who are in the throes of an obsession with work. The group describes this obsession as being "cunning and powerful." Members of the group share their experiences with each other, including what led them to seek help and their journey to recovery.


Workaholics get their sense of self-worth from completing tasks that are assigned to them or that they feel they have to complete. They may appear to be capable people to the outside world, but inside they may be resentful of the demands being placed on them. They hurt inside.

By attending meetings, getting support from other Workaholics Anonymous members, and learning how to pace themselves, members develop the skills needed to lead a more balanced life. They pace themselves better in their work, take time to play, and get help from their Higher Power to live in the moment.

Traditions, Steps, and Process

Workaholics Anonymous is a 12-step program that incorporates a set of steps adapted from the one used by Alcoholics Anonymous. Following the steps, starting with turning one's life over to a Higher Power, is the key to achieving a more balanced life.

Workaholism is a disease that is progressive, and it is fatal if not dealt with. Members learn how to recognize when they are using work as a way to avoid dealing with their feelings of inadequacy. Workaholics are made to understand that no amount of work is going to give them control over their lives in the way they are hoping for.

Unlike giving up an addictive substance, abstinence from work is not an option for Workaholics Anonymous members. Instead, they learn to identify when they are using work in an unhealthy manner. At that point, they can stop and call on a fellow member for help.

Effectiveness: Does Workaholics Anonymous Work?

Workaholics Anonymous claims that if its members work through the steps, they can deal with their addiction and move into recovery. The organization's policy of anonymity for members means that it doesn't keep track of or publish names of participants or success rates for the program.

Getting a Sponsor

Sponsors in the Workaholics Anonymous program are people who have been working the 12 steps and who are committed to abstinence from compulsive working. Sponsors offer guidance to the members they work with. A member of Workaholics Anonymous can have more than one sponsor at a time or change sponsors whenever they want to. Choosing a sponsor involves finding someone who has achieved what the newcomer wants and asking them for help in doing the same.

Find a Workaholics Anonymous Meeting Near You

Workaholics Anonymous holds in-person meetings, as well as by phone and online. To find meetings in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries, visit the Workaholics Anonymous web site.