What is Recovery Coaching?* (for person in recovery or a family member)
Recovery Coaching is an ongoing professional relationship that helps folks who are in or who are considering recovery from addiction to produce extraordinary results in their lives, careers, businesses, or organizations-while advancing their recovery from addiction. Recovery Coaching also applies to the family member recovering from their habits and patterns of behavior that may contribute to the drinker drinking or user using.
Recovery Coaches affirm that there is innate health and wellness in each of our clients. We hold our clients creative and resourceful. We do not promote or endorse any single or particular way of achieving or maintaining sobriety, abstinence, or serenity or of reducing suffering from addiction. Our focus is on coaching our clients to create and sustain great and meaningful lives.
Through the process of Recovery Coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life. In each meeting, the client chooses the focus of conversation, while the coach listens and contributes observations and questions. This interaction creates clarity and moves the client toward action.
Recovery Coaching accelerates the client’s progress in recovery by providing greater focus and awareness of choices, actions, and responsibility. Coaching concentrates on where clients are now and what they are willing to do to enjoy a better tomorrow.
The Recovery Coaching process recognizes that results are a matter of the client’s intentions, choices, and actions taken toward building a strong foundation and creating a life worth staying healthy for, supported by the coach’s efforts and application of the coaching process.
*Adapted from ICF Definition of Coaching
Beliefs and Principles of Recovery Coaching
- Coaching assumes that there is innate health and wholeness in clients who seek to improve their life through coaching.
- Coaching uses a strengths-based approach. We help our clients find and utilize their values, assets, and strengths while we coach them to success.
- Coaching believes that clients who are clear about their life goals and values are better able to achieve and maintain a great life, healthy living and long term recovery.
- Coaching works not only for the addicted, but also for the family and friends of addicts.
- Coaches help people in recovery or their families succeed through normal effort. We promote the development of healthy lifestyle and balanced living.
- Coaching doesn’t explain why addictions occur nor identify causes.
- Coaching doesn’t address past issues or trauma.
- Coaching recognizes that it’s normal for recovering clients to have gaps in their skills or development, and we support our clients in recognizing and filling in gaps such as poor math skills or poor money-handling skills.
What’s the difference between sponsors, counselors, friends, and recovery coaching?
Sponsors come from 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, etc. Sponsors are not paid professionals; they benefit personally from the service they give you by staying clean and sober or abstinent themselves. A sponsor’s job is to help their sponsee stay clean, abstinent, or sober by working through the 12-steps and using the program and fellowship effectively to stop the addictive behavior. Sponsors have a single lens – the 12-steps. Often the focus is on cleaning up the past.
A recovery coach supports the client in recovery and living a great life. A coach isn’t limited by a single lens and can work with you on your dreams and plans and help you effectively find solutions to problems.
Counselors and therapists diagnosis and treat addiction, trauma, and mental health problems. Coaches neither assess nor offer diagnoses. A coach may ask that their client have a therapist as well as a coach. This is especially important if you have been diagnosed with a mental health problem or are seeking relief from emotional or psychological pain.
Where counseling is based on expert knowledge to provide solutions, coaching is based on partnership to support the client to think through their own solutions.
Personal helpers such as friends and family have a personal stake in the choices you make. They know your past, have a specific perception of you, and may use it to influence change. Family and friends are affected by what you say and do because of your history together.
Where family and friends are affected by your past, coaches are not. This means that a coach can be more objective, unbiased and impartial. Coaches take you as you are right now and help you find out how you’d like to be different in your life. And then we coach you to achieve it.
Scope and Limits of Recovery Coaching
The recovery coach WILL:
- Do just what other professional coaches do but serve those who are in recovery, seeking recovery from addiction or their family members.
- Help the client explore their wants, needs, and choices.
- Help the client explore options.
- Help the client become ready and willing to take their next step.
- Help them get clarity and move into action.
The recovery coach WILL NOT:
- Diagnose any addiction.
- Treat addiction per se.
- Dictate what recovery will look like for my clients.
- Tell the client what to do or how to do it.
You may be wondering what specifically Recovery Coaching with Jeff would be like for you.
From week to week, the content of the session may follow a linear plan you have for yourself, or a more non linear one addressing immediate concerns along the path. At any rate, you set the agenda.
I learn your stage in the process, style of learning, needs, wants, and desires. As you describe what is most important to you and your goals, I ask provocative questions that assist you in focusing on your priorities, offer feedback about what I hear you saying and what I see you doing, all the while holding you whole, resourceful, and capable of choosing what is best for you at this time. I won’t tell you what to do. I will ask you to look ahead at what you want, and to figure out what actions will get you there.
I’ll help you brainstorm ideas, figure out your priorities, role-play talking to family, friends, co-workers-whatever is appropriate in your situation. I’ll give an opinion if you ask for it, or ask permission if I believe sharing my opinion will assist you moving forward to your goals. But you always make the final decisions. I support you as you move through the journey of recovery and hold you responsible for your choices and your actions.
Still not sure if this is for you?
To get a better understanding if our working together is a fit for you, as well as a fit for me, the first session is at no charge. I’d like you to check this out and see the value for yourself. If you think Recovery Coaching may support you in your goals, email me to set a time, we’ll chat and see if there’s a fit on both ends.