Co-Responsible Partners Promote Change

A co-responsible partner can be really positive in promoting change in certain aspects of the life of the person they're helping.
Co-Responsible Partners Promote Change
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 19 February, 2023

Co-responsible partners can be great allies when we want to make major changes. These figures have their origins in the sponsors of Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help groups. Indeed, in these settings, someone acting as a support can make all the difference.

Curiously, not many people naturally seek this type of alliance. Those that do usually do so spontaneously, without explicitly defining the role of the other person and without demanding any commitment.

However, having solid support in situations where uncertainty prevails can make all the difference. In fact, the value of help from a third party at these times can be invaluable for achieving change in specific aspects.

“He who does not know by which way he will reach the sea, must look on the river as a companion.”

-John Ray-

brothers talking
The co-responsible partner is usually a close friend or relative of the person requesting help.

Co-responsible partners

Co-responsible partners are individuals who are willing to respond in many ways to another person. They’re not coaches in the strict sense of the word. However, they do play supporting roles. Their main function is to accompany and supervise.

Ideally, the co-responsible partner should have experience in the field of the kind of help required. They don’t have to be a specialist, but it’s important that they at least have a sufficient level of training.

For example, if the plan is for them to help improve someone’s financial situation, it’ll be useful if they possess some knowledge in this field. If they don’t, maybe, together, the two of them can find someone who does.

The co-responsible partner doesn’t ‘adopt’ or take responsibility for the other individual. They accompany them in a timely manner and offer concrete support to them in specific aspects of their life. They’re not responsible for the actions of the individual they’re supporting.

The modalities of co-responsibility

For any objective that you set yourself, you might request the help of a co-responsible partner. Organizations use these figures to accompany and guide new workers. In this case, their role is to familiarize the new recruit with the way the company works, the other employees, and everything that relates to the job.

Something similar can be done in other areas of life. For example, when an individual is in a similar situation to the new employee, in that they’re not entirely clear on what to do or how to do it. For instance:

  • Getting a job.
  • Paying debts.
  • Dieting.
  • Integrating physical activity into their routine.
  • Quitting a bad habit.
  • Managing their time better.
  • Maintaining discipline in a specific aspect, such as carrying out training or a course.
  • Catching up on pending tasks.

As a rule, the help of a co-responsible partner can be useful in the kinds of activities that involve problems that need to be solved or difficulties that need to be overcome that aren’t particularly complex.

coworkers talking
The co-responsible partner’s help is temporary and limited to a specific area or objective.

Co-responsible partners

If the problematic situation is extremely serious or contains in-depth aspects, the best thing to do is to seek professional help. Indeed, co-responsible partners are only responsible for promoting specific changes that the individual has been unable to achieve themselves. Moreover, their help is temporary and limited to acting on one specific issue.

It’s the individual who requires help who must suggest who it is they want to be their co-responsible partner. They should tell them what they want them to do for them. For instance, to motivate them to persevere, support them with suggestions to achieve something specific, listen and provide certain guidance, accompany them in the process, etc.

As a rule, it’s a close friend or relative who’s willing to become a co-responsible partner. They have to agree on the times they’ll be available and set a deadline for the end of their support. It’s important that the co-responsible partner be offered some kind of compensation (ideally not monetary)  but perhaps the offer of some kind of service, in reciprocation.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Acuña San Martín, M. (2013). El principio de corresponsabilidad parental. Revista de derecho (Coquimbo), 20(2), 21-59.
  • Barra Almagia, E. (2012). Influencia de la autoestima y del apoyo social percibido sobre el bienestar psicológico de estudiantes universitarios chilenos. Diversitas: perspectivas en psicología, 8(1), 29-38.
  • Roales-Nieto, J. G. (2009). Cambio social y cambio personal. Estudio preliminar del cambio en valores en una muestra intergeneracional. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 9(3), 395.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.