James Haggerty Recovery
Intervention and Family Support

Why Hire a Recovery Coach?

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February 9, 2024
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Why Hire a Recovery Coach?

Accepting help for substance use disorder (SUD) can be a tall order, as individuals often feel embarrassed, ignored, or misunderstood. However, this is one of – if not the – most monumental steps you can take toward improving your overall life and health. Sometimes, an interventionist like myself may need to be brought in to help create a plan for seeking help, but this show of support can be beneficial to many people long before intervention is deemed necessary.

Similar to intervention, recovery coaching, also called sober coaching, is primarily about helping individuals navigate the path toward recovery while also consulting with their families to provide support, education, and more. This is different from being a sober companion, as a coach’s job is to assist you with beginning the recovery process, while a sober companion helps you adjust to life while you’re in recovery.

I’ve helped many individuals with SUD find healing and support as they begin to navigate the journey to recovery. In fact, I’ve witnessed directly how powerful recovery coaching can be for those who are struggling to begin sobriety. Let’s explore this unique approach to recovery.

What Is a Recovery Coach?

Recovery Coach

A recovery coach is an individual skilled in the recovery process as well as the support and treatment necessary to find long-term recovery; often, recovery coaches have experienced SUD themselves. Recovery coaches walk the path to recovery alongside the individual, working with both the individual in recovery and their loved ones to create a stable, healthy environment in which to heal. Recovery coaches are able to do so because they understand how long the recovery process can be and what is required to maintain recovery.

While every recovery coach is different – just as every individual with SUD is different – most will provide the following services for you and your loved ones.

Regular Guidance

Not every person with SUD needs the same types of support, but your recovery coach can provide regular guidance with the many roadblocks recovery can present – especially when you’re new to it. A recovery coach can explain what’s going on and how best to navigate issues as they present themselves. For example, coaches can help you determine what your triggers are, help you find tools to cope with them, help you navigate the steps necessary to find a job, help you understand what you recently discussed in counseling, and more. If you’re ever confused about what’s going on as you go through recovery, your coach can provide explanations and guidance as you proceed.

Frequent Chats

A major component of receiving regular guidance is being heard. Recovery coaches know it’s not a good idea to keep your thoughts and feelings bottled inside. Fortunately, people recovering from SUD can regularly chat with their coach about what they’re feeling. Some individuals experience withdrawals and don’t know how to deal with it, while others have trouble breaking their negative thought patterns. Talking about your issues with a trustworthy individual can be essential in your recovery journey, and your coach can listen to your concerns and help you find the resources necessary to address them.

Discussions With Family

People in recovery often worry that they are alone or that they won’t have the support they need to navigate recovery. A recovery coach can help both you and your family understand that SUD affects the whole family. Just as you may come to rely on the resources, support, advice, and information provided by your recovery coach, your loved ones need to know what to say and do now that their loved one has entered recovery.

For example, families who know as much information as possible about SUD and recovery from an individual who has experienced both are much better equipped to provide honest support to their loved one. A recovery coach works with the family to gain insight as to what may have contributed to SUD, how best to support that individual, and strategies for helping the individual get help and stay in recovery. In this way, a recovery coach functions much like an interventionist does in the days leading up to intervention.

Close Coordination With Licensed Therapists

As previously mentioned, the recovery coach will work directly with the person in recovery to provide a listening ear, guidance, and strategies. Recovery coaches also work with family members to provide strategies, answer questions, and provide support. However, it is essential to note that therapy provided by licensed clinical therapists is essential in the recovery process, both for the person in recovery and their family. While a recovery coach is not a substitute for such therapy – especially for family members – you can expect your recovery coach to coordinate closely with licensed therapists so they can continue providing support and advice as all involved continue to heal emotionally and psychologically.

Finding and Meeting Your Recovery Goals

Recovery doesn’t have a finish line, as this is a process that goes on for the rest of our lives. With recovery, the primary goal is to manage our emotions and impulses, and all other goals (like finding gainful employment, reconnecting with family, and so on) follow on its heels. It’s important to remember that recovery coaches don’t create recovery plans with an end date in mind. Instead, they help the individual create smaller goals so that they make progress every day.

As goals are created throughout the recovery process, a recovery coach can again suggest resources, provide information, and potentially even provide concrete support. Perhaps most importantly, the recovery coach is a critical source of empathy and emotional support as recovery solidifies. The journey toward recovery may have started with one giant step toward progress, but baby steps and smaller goals are often most conducive to moving forward.

Why Should I Hire a Recovery Coach?

Recovery coaches can provide many benefits that many don’t consider when contemplating recovery. Perhaps the most significant is that you don’t have to go through recovery by yourself – a recovery coach can be a critical means of support throughout the process. In addition, you won’t be the only one making a recovery journey, as a recovery coach can help provide healing for both you and your loved ones.

To that point, there are several questions a recovery coach asks themselves before meeting with an individual or their family:

  • How can the family change and adjust to this experience?
  • How can the family help their loved one as they recover?
  • What type of environment will the individual come back home to?
  • What can the family do while their loved one is in rehab?
  • Does the family need any specific help?
  • What does the person in recovery need?
Recovery coaches are experienced in both addiction and recovery and well-trained to answer these questions depending on the family’s unique needs. Then, they can assemble a custom toolkit of resources necessary to provide help and support to both individuals and families.

Once a recovery coach has learned as much as possible about the individual and their family, they can provide these benefits:

Customized Help

Some individuals initially refuse to attend treatment because they feel that it won’t help. In fact, many individuals who have experienced more than one stay in rehab believe they are an especially severe or special case who believes these tactics just won’t work for them. Recovery coaches can get to know individuals more personally while finding solutions and resources that mesh well with the individual and their unique circumstances.

Real World Connection

After you attend treatment, the thought of leaving a treatment center to go back to the real world can be intimidating. To make this transition easier, your recovery coach can help you prepare for leaving rehab and integrating with the real world. If you’re worried about going back to your old habits, your coach can help you incorporate new techniques to avoid relapse or help you create routines so you don’t feel as overwhelmed when it’s time to head home. Having no guidance when leaving rehab can be scary, but your recovery coach can step right back in after treatment to help you transition seamlessly.

Coaches Can Work Remotely

Some individuals may not have the means or headspace to visit a recovery coach in person. Thankfully, you don’t always have to. Hiring an online sober coach can still be effective, as they can remotely communicate, listen to your concerns, and provide you with resources. You might even find that a remote coach is even more accessible than your in-person recovery meetings.

Constant Progression

When I ask people with SUD about the nature of their goals in recovery, many express the desire to get rid of their issues as soon as possible. This may be tough to hear, and it was tough for me as well, but you cannot recover overnight. It takes time and effort to find recovery from SUD. After that, it’s important to understand that staying in recovery is a lifelong process.

After finding recovery myself, I’ve been working with people in recovery for decades. I’ve known people who originally met with me a decade ago, and they often tell me about the struggles they continued to face even after rehab was complete. This is completely normal, and this doesn’t mean you’ve failed in any way. Even today, I must find ways to progress and move forward in my life, and that’s what a recovery coach can help you understand. Recovery coaches can stay in contact with you long after you’ve left rehab and begun your new life in recovery, and if you do find yourself struggling with some type of setback, you can reach out to them for support.

Treating Your Overall Well-Being

Recovery coaching isn’t just about addressing substance use. It’s about helping the whole person get better, including their physical health, emotional well-being, mental state, relationships, habits, and more. For example, if you’re feeling stressed and are really struggling to refrain from harmful substances, your coach will address all aspects of you. They may help you consider what’s going on at work, the nature of your relationship with your family, any mental health symptoms that are emerging, your physical symptoms, and more.

Sober coaching can then help you take advantage of many different ways to deal with stressful situations, all of which are healthier and more fulfilling than turning to substances.

Relapse

Of course, your recovery coach doesn’t want you to relapse after seeking help and attending rehab. However, this does happen from time to time, such that relapse is considered a part of the recovery journey. SUD stays with you throughout your lifetime, and we are taught how to manage it, not cure it. To do so while continuing to pursue recovery, your recovery coach can help you get back on track and learn skills to prevent the next relapse.

Relapse does occur, and if this does happen to you, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: you aren’t a failure. Relapse doesn’t mean you can’t be helped. In fact, recovery coaches are prepared to help those who have relapsed. If you’re unsure what to do or how to bounce back after a relapse, your coach can help.

Providing Accountability in Addiction Recovery

Providing Accountability in Addiction Recovery

Making the decision to seek help from SUD is rarely easy for anyone, yet it’s the most vital step to take. People with SUD are generally lonelier than those who do not have the condition, and if you feel isolated from the support system necessary to help you along your journey, you may think recovery isn’t possible. However, a recovery coach can help ensure you and your loved ones know what to expect, feel heard, and have the necessary information about recovery from the beginning. If you can find a sober coach who is committed to healing both you and your loved ones, you won’t be seeking recovery alone.

Recovery coaches provide unique services that other professionals in this field may not. Most importantly, these professionals are dedicated to building relationships that last far into the future, when recovery has truly become lasting recovery. I still speak with people I worked with years ago, and seeing them continue to thrive in their new lives is a major reason I believe in sober coaching.

Whether you are an individual looking for sober companionship or the family looking for addiction recovery coaching and ongoing support, we are here for you. Our team has over 60 years of experience in the field of substance use recovery. Contact us to book a time to discuss your needs or give us a call at 310-450-6627 to connect with us now.

Everyone deserves the chance to heal.

Stay strong,

Jim


Resources :

  1. Gottlieb, B. H., & Bergen, A. E. (2001). Social support concepts and measures. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 51(6), 843-852. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272735801001027
  2. Uchino, B. N. (2015). Social Support and Physical Health: Understanding the Health Consequences of Relationships. Yale University Press. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295122/
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JIM HAGGERTY

A Time to Heal: Family Interventions offers personalized SUD Interventions, Addiction Recovery Planning, Case Management, Sober Companionship and Family Support. Call 310-450-6627 to connect with us.

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