Prime Situations for a Recovery Coach or Life Coach
There are many situations in life, both addiction and non-addiction related, that are often best handled with the help of a life coach or recovery/sober coach.
(This article has been provided by an anonymous guest author)
The fact of the matter is that the majority of the population will never in their lifetimes seek the help of a recovery/sober coach or life coach. There is no question that these personal coaching professionals operate within a relatively narrow niche that much of society never even thinks of during times of strife, which would likely be handled and persevered through more successfully with the help of such a professional.
Take, for instance, acupuncturists. A person is struggling with recurring pain in their sciatica, back, elbow, or whatever. Their first thought is to consult the family doctor and then go see a neurologist or orthopedist, for instance. Maybe it’s bad enough to where they need a pain management clinic. They consider the possibility of physical therapy or maybe hiring a personal trainer that can help them strengthen the muscles in the area of concern. Rarely, however, does the idea of acupuncture cross their mind.
We’ve all heard numerous acupuncture success stories throughout our lives. I’ve personally heard experiences with acupuncture where it was the miracle cure for a particular condition that no other doctor or specialist could figure out. Yet the idea of getting acupuncture treatments for a condition rarely crosses people’s minds. When it does, it’s almost always a last or near last case effort at overcoming a condition after other mainstream approaches have been exhausted.
Why is this case with acupuncture? Because, like sober coaching and life coaching, it is a mysterious service to most people. It’s unknown; it isn’t mainstream like drug rehab is. People gravitate to familiarity and comfort, and acupuncture, just like recovery and life coaching is not familiar, and lack of familiarity is often a cause for discomfort. Meanwhile, think of how many people live in discomfort and resign themselves to a life in pain, having not even once considered trying a few sessions of acupuncture. And some big health insurance companies have even started covering the cost of acupuncture, which says a lot because insurance companies never pay for something they don’t regard as legitimate. So if they’re paying for it, that’s a pretty compelling statement on its legitimacy and efficacy.
All that aside, it is essential to understand that there are instances in life that are prime scenarios for seeking the help of this type of personal coach. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that addressing and persevering through these instances with the help of a life or recovery coach is likely to offer a substantially higher likelihood of success than any other mainstream approach. Keep in mind, that I say that with the assumption that it is the right coach for the right person.
ON A SIDE NOTE: In my experience, a recovery/sober coach, in general, is a life coach to some degree that also specializes in addiction recovery, as well as how to juggle and intermingle the issues of addiction & recovery with everyday life issues. So, in essence, you take two identical twins facing the same life issues. Make one of them an addict and the other a non-addict. The addict would optimally work with a sober coach while the non-addict would work with a life coach.
ON ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: No two life coaches or recovery coaches are the same. Likewise, each coach, or even coaching service, has its areas of expertise. While one may specialize in family and relationship matters, another may focus on issues relating to career, education, and life-planning. However, any coach that claims to specialize in all relevant life matters should be scrutinized, in my humble opinion. I’m not saying that a life coach or recovery with a broad skill set is bad or suspicious. Still, you can’t claim to specialize in everything, no matter which profession you are in.
So how does one know when they’re facing a situation that would present the most optimal opportunity to work with one of these coaches? Here are a few general scenarios to consider.
- If you have been through numerous drug rehab programs and continue to struggle with relapse, intense cravings, and other matters keeping you stuck within your addiction while trying to live your life.
- Suppose you face a unique set of hurdles in life that necessitate the help and guidance of someone who has been through this type of scenario. And who has also successfully coached others like yourself in this unique set of issues.
- You are new in recovery and having difficulty integrating your new sober lifestyle within life’s common hurdles, i.e., work, school, family, relationships, financial matters, etc.
- If you’re having difficulty with any of the following: Planning and mapping out your near & distant future goals
- Establishing a sensible and realistic game plan for your life
- Finding balance in life so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor rather than worrying & stressing over what could’ve been, what should’ve been, and so forth
- If you’re having difficulty with relationships and need the intuitiveness of an experienced outsider to guide you in terms of which ones are toxic, which ones may seem as toxic but actually aren’t, which ones should genuinely be invested in, which ones may be beneficial but don’t present as such, etc.
There are certainly more scenarios out there, but these are among the more common ones.
Consider another scenario, a common one. You have someone in his or her early 20’s that is halfway through their junior year in college. They were introduced to methamphetamine (or other amphetamine pills) as a study tool during finals weeks of their sophomore year. It so happens that it worked exceptionally well, aside from the fact they enjoyed the physical effects from taking it. Hence, they continued using it and are now totally hooked.
You’re basically faced with three options. One, try outpatient treatment sessions in the evenings, weekends or days that have a light class load. In my experience, outpatient treatment rarely works as a substitute to residential rehab. It’s best utilized as a transitioning-back-into-life tool following completion of a residential program. Two, pull them out of school and check into residential treatment for at least 30 days. Optimally, it would be 60-90 days, but that means putting their junior year of college on hold, which can create a number of related issues. And then consider that in order to better solidify the new way of life he or she was introduced to while in treatment, it is always recommended to transition directly from rehab into at least a semi-structured sober living/recovery home for at least 90 days. Option three, hire an experienced sober coach.
By working privately with a sober coach, he or she would be introduced and guided in a customized way through the early recovery process. Moreover, it would be done in a manner that takes all of his or her’s specifics into account: family relations, education/schooling, any personal co-occurring mental health issues, etc. At times, the coach can even act as a liason between the student and school in trying to work out a custom game plan between the two, given the fact that the coach may hold more credibility with the administration than does the drug addicted student. In other scenarios, the recovery coach might be a liason between the court, DA and defendant, or between an employer and the drug addicted employee.
The coach would guide them in managing all of these moving parts within their new sober lifestyle while instilling the reality that their sobriety must remain a priority if every other life aspect is to pan out successfully. This may sound like a linear process to the layperson, but in fact, it is anything but linear. Imagine trying to recreate the list of life’s priorities in your head (and actions) after 20+ years of being conditioned to think otherwise. Remember, these are their college years. They’re critical, and they will impact the rest of their professional lives. If ever there were to be the worst possible time for relapse, this would be it! And the recovery coach would be by their side every single day if needed, and even nights if that’s what it takes for them to succeed.
I can say this much for a fact: I have personally been through residential drug rehab a number of times, and in my experience, the percentage of those that remain sober over the long haul after completing the program is not very high. I would guess maybe 40%. And keep in mind that, as a generality, the younger a patient is, the less likely they are to attain long-term sobriety.
So what is the downfall with hiring a recovery coach? Well, they’re not cheap. While a 30-day stay in treatment may cost 15k-20k and up without insurance, an experienced and highly regarded recovery coach could be as much as 30k for the month. However, this is an experience that will impact the rest of the client’s life. Just like college can put someone in debt upwards of 150k dollars, they still do it because of its lifelong impact. This is the same thing.
In conclusion, my point here is not that choosing the path of residential addiction treatment is bad, not at all. However, there are a number of instances in life where hiring a sober coach will more likely result in a better outcome.
There are no guarantees no matter which direction the family chooses. Overcoming addiction is about commitment and playing the best odds. Anybody can achieve sobriety in any scenario, but there will always be specific approaches to recovery that present the best odds for success.