If you are in treatment for substance use issues, you may have heard about recovery coaching. A recovery coach can help you achieve and maintain sobriety. He or she will support you through victories and setbacks.
In addition to providing emotional support, your recovery coach will offer practical assistance that could improve your day-to-day life. Overall, your coach will help you create positive changes in your life, including changes that may be beneficial for your career and relationships.
What is a recovery coach? What does a recovery coach do? If these questions are on your mind, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll explore recovery coaching in detail. You can use this guide to learn what to expect from your recovery coach. We’ll explain what you should know about the differences between a recovery coach and a 12-step sponsor, and we’ll cover the steps you can take to find a reliable coach.
What Is a Recovery Coach?
A recovery coach is a paid professional who monitors and supports individuals in recovery. When you have a recovery coach, he or she will help you remove obstacles that you may encounter on your journey to sobriety. Your coach will guide and mentor you throughout your journey.
Many recovery coaches have national or state certifications in this field. Some of the coaches have been through the journey to sobriety. This allows them to empathize with their clients.
Recovery coaches don’t provide clinical care, so they can’t diagnose or treat substance use issues. They cannot prescribe medication, and they are not psychologists or mental health therapists. Although recovery coaching isn’t mental health counseling, it can be used in conjunction with counseling. Your recovery coach will be empathetic, non-judgmental, and compassionate, and you can rely on him or her to help you stay accountable.
How Are Recovery Coaches Different From Sponsors?
Since recovery coaches are paid professionals, they provide much more accountability and support than sponsors. Unlike recovery coaches, sponsors provide peer support for free. In most cases, your sponsor will be someone who is enrolled in your 12-step program.
While sponsors are an important part of recovery for many individuals, recovery coaches are able to provide additional mentoring and practical support with recovery. For example, your sponsor may not be able to help you with finding housing or employment, but your recovery coach is trained to provide assistance with these needs. Your recovery coach can teach you a variety of coping skills that your sponsor may not have learned.
Could I Benefit From Recovery Coaching?
Recovery coaching is useful for people at all stages of recovery, and it may be particularly beneficial for members of certain groups. For example, if a person in recovery wants to go back to college, a recovery coach can support the client in achieving this goal. In addition, recovery coaching is a valuable source of assistance for clients who are dealing with legal issues or custody concerns.
Recovery coaches often work with individuals who are coping with employment difficulties. They are trained to provide support for people who have lost their medical or professional licenses. For clients who have been through multiple rounds of treatment, recovery coaches can be especially helpful with relapse prevention. If you’re looking for increased accountability in your recovery journey, recovery coaching could make a positive impact.
How Can My Recovery Coach Help Me With the Challenges of Early Sobriety?
Research suggests that recovery coaching has helped people in recovery increase their average drug and alcohol abstinence rates by up to 82%. When you choose to have a recovery coach in the earliest stages of sobriety, you’ll give yourself the best chance of making a full recovery.
When you’re in the first stages of sobriety, you may encounter some of these common challenges:
- Fear of relapse
- Difficulties with rebuilding your social networks
- The trouble with making the transition from residential treatment to life at home
These challenges have the potential to trigger a relapse. Your recovery coach is ready to help you with overcoming these issues. If you follow the advice of your coach, you may be able to prevent a relapse.
First, your coach will assist you with identifying and avoiding your triggers. In addition, your coach will teach you healthy coping strategies that are designed to help you maintain sobriety.
If you do experience a relapse, having the support of your recovery coach could enable you to shorten the length of your relapse. By continuing to work with your coach, you may be able to return to sobriety more quickly.
If you need assistance with finding housing or building new friendships in your community, your coach will support you with these tasks and with other practical needs. For support with depression, anxiety, insomnia, or other health concerns, your recovery coach can help you with finding physicians and mental health care providers.
What Types of Support Will I Receive From My Recovery Coach?
Your coach will offer these types of assistance:
Your coach will encourage you to reach your recovery goals. He or she will be a compassionate and empathetic mentor. You can talk with your coach about any struggles or concerns you may have. Your coach will celebrate your victories with you, and he or she will help you get back on track after setbacks.
Your recovery coach will connect you with resources that support your wellness and recovery. For example, your coach may refer you to a mental health professional, and he or she can help you connect with medical providers, social workers, and support groups.
This type of support helps you with the practical aspects of your recovery, including housing and employment. Your coach will support you in finding a safe place to live. He or she is ready to assist you with getting a job, addressing food insecurity, and coping with other day-to-day challenges.
What Are the Stages of Recovery Coaching?
When you participate in recovery coaching, your coach will guide you through these stages:
During the first stage of your coaching, you’ll receive training in practical tasks that will support your recovery. Your coach will help you build sober friendships and support networks, and he or she will provide referrals and resources to help you stay sober. You’ll work on managing your time and building healthy routines, and your coach will help you follow through with your commitments.
Your coach will help you keep learning to recognize obstacles that may be holding you back from a full recovery. For example, you’ll discuss your finances, employment, and social networks with your coach, and you can chat with him or her about any emotional or spiritual concerns you might have. Your coach will help you come up with plans to overcome any obstacles you may be facing.
As you transition to the final stage of coaching, your recovery coach will help you with setting additional goals. You’ll learn how to set realistic and measurable goals, and you’ll build an action plan that will enable you to reach your personal goals.
How Will My Recovery Coach Contact Me?
Phone support is the most common type of recovery coaching option. You can expect to have phone calls with your coach several times a week, and daily phone calls may be provided with some programs.
In addition to phone coaching, your recovery program might offer coaching through a mobile app, video chat, or texting. Your treatment center can give you more information about the recovery coaching services that are available to you.
How Can I Find a Recovery Coach?
If you’re in residential or outpatient treatment, ask your treatment providers for lists of recommended recovery coaches. For more suggestions, you may want to check with your physician or mental health professional. In addition, your sponsor or local support group might be able to connect you with recovery coaching.
While online searches can help you find recovery coaches, it’s important to verify any information you find. You should contact potential coaches by phone or video chat before you agree to work with them. Check the validity of any certificates or credentials they provide.
Is Recovery Coaching With Westwind Recovery® Right for Me?
At Westwind Recovery® in Los Angeles, our clinicians and staff members are dedicated to supporting you at each stage of your recovery. We offer substance use and mental health treatment, including dual diagnosis treatment.
We provide the following programs:
If you can’t get to our treatment facility for in-person sessions, you can take advantage of a virtual option for intensive outpatient care.
During your treatment with us, you can participate in dialectical behavior therapy, family therapy, trauma therapy, virtual reality therapy, and adventure therapy. When your treatment is finished, we will continue to support your recovery. We offer sober living homes for our clients, and we are happy to provide you with recovery coaches.
To find out more about our recovery coaching options and treatment services, contact us as soon as possible. Our Westwind Recovery® team members will be honored to assist you with any questions you may have.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.