To really understand the value of recovery coaching, we need to understand peer recovery coaching. Recovery coaching is strengths-based support for people with addictions—alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. It’s action-driven with an emphasis on improving present life and reaching goals for the future. Recovery coaches can help clients find resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, and local or online support groups. Recovery coaches can even help a client create a change plan to recover on their own.

Traditionally, people have been told in rehab that, in order to recover, they must attend 90 meetings in 90 days and tell all their life issues to someone they do not know. Then, they are sent back into the addictive world they came from alone. This scary approach leads to a very high recurrence of the disease.

Recovery coaches work with the recovering person and show them that there is a good life outside of addiction. How do we do this? We reflect on how the coach stays clean/sober and walks side by side with them. Coaches, through action-planning, help guide the recovering person to set personal goals, both short and long-term. Generally, each week, we follow up with this person, reviewing how well they are implementing each goal into their new life’s journey. Also, we follow-up weekly to see if their goals allow them to accomplish improvement in a significant way.

Recovery Coaching’s objective is to be the go-to person when an individual needs help staying free from addiction and living life on life’s terms. Coaches accomplish this through mutual honesty and respect.  This approach allows us to help them with all life issues, not just addiction. Sometimes, people who struggle with addiction have never had to take care of the simple life’s responsibilities we take for granted, such as checking accounts, bank accounts, alarm clocks, and many more everyday skills.

The true value of a recovery coach for the recovering addict is they now have someone with similar life experiences walking with them on their new recovery journey. Not just a doctor or therapist—someone with empathy who truly understands the addictive pain. Generally, their coach is the first person they can be honest with and will treat them with respect, and a coach does not judge them. The main goal is to demonstrate that a full, meaningful life in recovery is possible and worth working hard for.

As a recovery coach myself, I’ve seen how successful this model can be in creating long-lasting contented recovery. The bottom line is, walking hand in hand with someone as a recovery coach creates great results.