Recovery Coaching is an important approach in addiction treatment

I love the role of recovery coach. Recovery coaching works over the phone, so it’s available for people literally all over the world. It works in conjunction with – not in competition with – therapy, recovery groups, workshops, and in-patient treatment. In fact, I beleive it should be required as part of the aftercare for workshop attendees and in-patient treatment centers. The experience of “re-entry” from the intensive, supportive, and relatively artificial environments of workshops and treatment centers is jarring and unsettling. Rates of relapse can be drastically reduced if people have access to expert coaching to help them navigate the transitions and shifts required for successful recovery.  

Here’s an article from William White in Counselor Magazine that describes recovery coaching. It shows how recovery coaching fits into treatment strategies, but it obviously comes from one who seems to only grudingly grant recovery coaching a place at the table.

I would add two thoughts of my own to what White has to say:

(1) People who are trained and experienced in coaching are experts in helping people strategize, stay focused, and build supportive environments around them that will help them reach their goals. This is exactly what many addicts need, and coaches are better equipped for this than therapists, who are trained to diagnose mental disorders and help people work through past trauma. This again highlights how these specialties work hand in hand. Most addicts have issues from their past that they need to work through as part of their recovery. Trauma work is for therapists, but coaching and strategizing are best done with a coach.

(2) Recovery coaching is a greater need in the sex addiction field, because many addicts are living in areas without access to local resources knowledgeable in this field.
So if someone goes home from a workshop or treatment center to Smalltown, Kansas … where is he or she going to go for ongoing care? Will they fly once a week to Minneapolis or Nashville? By breaking down the distance barrier, recovery coaching makes quality care available to anybody with a phone and computer (or fax machine).

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