A recovery coach, or sober coach, is a broad title for an individual that wears many hats and covers many different roles. Recovery coaches work to remove barriers, obstacles, and provide support for recovering individuals seeking to overcome obsessive, compulsive, and destructive behaviors. These mentors spark an ongoing relationship to help people who are in recovery or seeking recovery from substance use disorders. A recovery coach’s goal is to help clients make positive choices, establish healthy coping skills, and guide the individual to not pick up a drink or drug. Hiring a recovery coach is like hiring a lifeguard to help keep your head above waters as you navigate your newfound sobriety.
Why Should I Use a Recovery Coach?
Thousands of recovering alcoholics and addicts attend an inpatient treatment center to receive treatment for their addiction every year. These programs provide a safeguarded, structured environment for education, therapy, developing healthy habits, healing, and ultimately adopt a sober, happy way of living. Inpatient substance abuse treatment is a beneficial method of combatting addiction. However, there is a common misconception about an individual being cured by attending treatment alone. Separation from abusing the substance is only the beginning. Addiction is a progressive and fatal disease that requires daily and lifelong maintenance of the disorder to ensure your sobriety.
The first 90 days after treatment can be the most challenging time for any newly sober individual. Upon leaving the confines of a protected environment and returning home to familiar triggers, stressors, job pressures, family dysfunction, and financial insecurities can be overwhelming. This especially vulnerable time is known for being the most common time for a newcomer to relapse. Many individuals are like wobbly newcomers when facing normal daily tasks in early sobriety. Education is essential, but self-knowledge is not the sole answer to treating alcoholism. Addicts and alcoholics have to practice what they learn out in the real world which beckons us from being disenchanted spectators to active and productive participants. This is when a recovery coach can be the most helpful.
What Does a Recovery Coach Do?
One of the most helpful aspects of a recovery coach is to help an individual identify and change addictive behaviors. In treatment, your therapist often works on discovering the root cause of your behaviors. Then, a recovery coach works with you on a daily basis to handle everyday tasks and challenges. A recovery coach will utilize plans and other strategies to help you navigate each day with continued abstinence. As you begin to recognize your addictive behaviors, your recovery will help you implement practical changes in behavior.
Recovery coaches are often individuals who are in recovery themselves. Here are some of the goals and areas a recovery coach can help you:
- Teaches the individual how to accomplish daily tasks, while maintaining sobriety
- Function as an advocate for the recovering individual, within and outside of the program
- Teach the recovering addict how to acquire needed resources ie. job, money, home, stable relationships
- Help plan and execute an intervention if the individual relapses
- Help the client find and utilize basic necessities
- Connect with the client using language based on common experiences
- Help the person find professional services from lawyers, doctors, psychologists, financial advisors
- Accompany the individual to work functions
- Provide on-site counseling services
- Provide transportation when needed
- Help an individual find appropriate twelve-step meetings
- Encourage the client to get involved in a gym, yoga studio, or other athletic activity groups
- Provide the individual with encouragement, support, and praise
- Help the client establish personal goals
- Maintain a role model relationship for positive recovery behaviors
Why Use a Recovery Coach When You Can Get a Sponsor for Free?
A professional recovery coach is not the same as a twelve-step fellowship sponsor. These two support systems possess many of the same characteristics but a recovery coach does much more. Assessing the client’s needs, a recovery coach is essentially like having a personal case manager that provides concierge aftercare services. Unlike a sponsor, your recovery coach works for you. This individual will be available to you 24/7 and will help you with individualized life coaching practices. Your recovery coach will help you construct a plan with daily goals, hold you accountable, and continually reassess your progress to make the necessary adjustments.
A sober coach should be nurturing and attentive, however, he or she will not hesitate to discuss apprehensions, signs of relapse, and be honest and upfront with you. In addition, sober companions will encourage your successes and help you to establish a firm foundation in your recovery as you continue to learn how to live as a sober individual.
Benefits of personalized recovery coaching include:
- A sober companion will encourage you to steer clear of isolation.
- Helps you identify triggers
- Establishes new, healthy coping skills that you can implement in the moment
- A sober coach ensures you have real-time addiction support when you need it most
- Be a constant point of contact to talk to about your addiction and other stressors
- Encourage you to get back on track if you experience a relapse
- Be the support you need if you experience a terrible relapse and stage a crisis intervention if needed
Finding a Recovery Coach
Most inpatient treatment centers can recommend a recovery coach when discussing your aftercare plan. A recovery coach is one aspect of addiction treatment. Your recovery coach cannot provide you with all of the therapy and support needed to overcome addiction. However, your recovery coach can help manage and implement the other services you need to maintain long term sobriety. It is always a good idea to get recommendations for a recovery coach from someone has utilized his/her services before. Organization is a key skill when considering hiring a recovery coach. Be sure you find a recovery coach that you feel you can personally connect with – compatibility and comfortability are key.
The Parallax Solution, in Thousand Oaks, California, specializes in providing guidance and tools to help people stay sober. Our clients build life skills and realistic mindsets. Parallax creates a safe space for you to see that you are a good person despite past behaviors which brought you negative consequences and hurt others. Contact us today to learn more about our approach to recovery coaching.