Recovery Coaching: An Antidote to Relapsing

(From: The Little Yellow Guide to Recovery Coaching; Louis D. Gonzales, Ph.D.) 

[blockquote align=”left”]If treatment is about getting sober, recovery is about learning how to stay sober.[/blockquote]
Someone in the helping professions once said, “New service roles seem to always sprout from the soil of unmet needs.” Today, that new service role is Recovery Coaching.

Treatment is an investment that can be very expensive. Completing a counseling or residential treatment program is costly not only in terms of the dollars involved, but also in loss of personal time, energy, and spirit. It has become increasingly critical to a recovering person’s sobriety journey that initial, periodic and affordable maintenance be provided through some form of aftercare support that is available in their own community and which goes beyond the traditional/spiritual models.  Prior to treatment, recovering clients have found themselves deeply enmeshed in a culture of addiction that is now going to require some form of sustained help disengaging from the old using culture and begin to enter a new culture of recovery.

Recovery coaching is designed to complement, not replace treatment. It offers additional recovery support and services during a clients most critical 12-month period after release from treatment. It is a logical, low-cost link to aftercare, and is designed to serve as a continuation in the process of change that was begun in treatment and now continues in the community.

Through treatment and counseling recovering persons have been made aware that their lives have been turned upside down, and have become deeply affected by the choices they have made. Now that they have become sober, they are beginning to discover the joy that sobriety brings. Psychologically, life is beginning to make sense once again, but as any recovering alcoholic or addict will tell you, “Some of us tend to mess up anything that is good.” Doubt and the failure of clients to believe they deserve anything good or decent, let alone experience any kind of success in recovery will begin to creep in within the first thirty days of recovery. This is where recovery coaching comes in.

Recovery coaching is person-centered and meets its clients at their starting point. It focuses on practical, solutions-based principles that help clients challenge their irrational beliefs and assumptions about life after addiction, and focuses on empowering clients to set solid goals for the future and find solutions and strategies in meeting those goals. Recovery coaching is unlike any traditional aftercare program in that it is not a one-size-fits-all.

In fact, recovery coaching isn’t even a program, but a paradigm shift. It does not proselytize or invoke any specific philosophical or spiritual principle. It’s only guiding principle is that there are several pathways to achieving and maintaining sobriety and uses several evidence-based, scientific principles that have proven effective. Recovery coaches communicate to their clients that although there is a lot of self-improvement that still needs doing, there is still great joy in being alive. This approach encourages clients to safely examine beliefs that, for a time, have been self-defeating or perhaps irrational, and they can once again find hope in discovering that a full and vibrant life is still possible while sober.

In short, recovery coaching is about empowerment and self-accountability. The recovery coaching process instills in clients the belief that everyone deserves happiness, and that every person has the power within to achieve it. The emerging role of the recovery coach is now becoming the central mechanism through which a sober-for-life culture can be delivered.

Need help staying sober? Our recovery coaches are ready to help you today! Contact Starting Point for more information about our sober coaching services.