Recovery Coach – A Very Meaningful Coach Specialty
Understand what a Recovery Coach does.
In today’s fast-paced world, people are struggling with addictions more than ever. Not just the usual alcohol or drug addictions, but an entire smorgasbord of substances and behaviors that create havoc in people’s lives. These could be gambling, TV, pornography, the internet, social media, texting, overwork, food, shopping, exercise, etc…. As people find life harder and more challenging to cope with, they sometimes find themselves trying to escape into numbing substances or behaviors. As with all addictions, when people use these substitutes for handling real issues, and to numb themselves from negative emotions, they also end up numbing the positive, life-affirming feelings.
There are a variety of supports for people who are going through recovery from addiction, such as therapists, sponsors, and clinics plus another very progressive type of support called a recovery coach.
An addiction recovery coach is someone who is trained in both coaching and addiction to offer a broad range of support to someone who is either active in addictions, or currently recovering from addiction. Often recovery coaches are drawn to the profession because they personally had struggled with addictions, so are very experienced in these challenges and struggles. Recovery coaches provide support by encouraging positive change, helping clients focus on solutions, and finding ways to achieve their life goals and enjoy their new life in a healthy way.
Many treatment centers are taking a proactive approach to hiring recovery coaches to work with clients before they leave treatment, to create a supportive environment. In the early stages of recovery, it is crucial to have a recovery coach (sober coach) as a support, because they keep motivation at a high level which decreases the chances of relapse. One big issue a recovery coach can help with is discovering helpful ways of communicating about their challenges with friends, family, or a boss at work.
A recovery coach is different than a therapist because a therapist often works on childhood issues in the past. Also, a recovery coach does not diagnose or give treatment. A professional recovery coach works with clients in the present moment and explores how they want to live their life going into the future.
The recovery coach focuses on the client’s strengths, which helps them progress through recovery and also contributes to pulling them out of a slump if that happens. They start by exploring the higher values a person has, what has greater meaning to them. By honoring these values, the recovering client discovers a greater level of meaning to create their lives from. These values, in turn, encourage behavior based on those values.
After creating this clarity around higher values, the recovery coach is ready to help the client create an action plan.
This action plan or goal setting plan will use a formula called SMART:
Specific Goal: Not “I will exercise” but “I will exercise at the gym four days this week.”
Measurable Goal: I will do 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes of weights
Attainable: Not “I will lose 30 pounds this week” but “I will lose 4 lbs. this week.”
Relevant: Does it pertain to the primary goal; is it part of the process?
Timely & Tangible: Is this the right time? Can you do it?
The recovery coach will also work with the client to set up an accountability process to help keep the client on track, which is critical for the person with an addiction. Regular contact via short laser coaching sessions or even email, keep the Recovery Coach and recovering client connected.
Not all addiction recovery coach clients work in treatment centers. Very often recovery coaches are hired privately to work with addicts. This relationship can often provide the necessary treatment to keep people out of treatment centers. However for those clients attending an addiction treatment center, when discharged a recovery coach can mean the difference between success and failure.
An Addiction Recovery Coach specialty is not for everyone. It takes a special coach with a lot of patience and personal boundaries to help a client, but not be swayed by the drama or ups and downs. Recovery from addictions generally involves a few steps forward and one back. Rarely is recovery a straight line. For many coaches, they can find this process frustrating and even a challenge especially when they make their self-worth as a coach tied to their client’s success.
Particularly in addiction recovery coaching, the coach must remember the core coaching concept of Self Leadership. That is to help the client to become the leader in their life. Whether the coach has received specialty training and received an addiction recovery coaching certification or as a general certified recovery life coach, a coach with patience and perseverance can be that support that a recovering addict needs to lead a healthy productive life.
For the Recovery Coach, there is no greater sense of accomplishment than to help and support someone to turn their life from addiction to success.