Recovery coaching is an effective way to aid patients in continuing their recovery process with little or minimal relapse after treatment for eating disorders and/or drug and alcohol dependence. A recovery coach creates a relationship with the patient with the goal of assisting that patient in remaining focused on their recovery goals as they re-integrate into their day-to-day life in business, at home and socially. Creating a meaningful life in recovery is essential to maintaining the principles of treatment for the long term – and life coaching can help the patient to accomplish that through regular sessions that
address every obstacle as it arises.
What Are the Goals of Recovery Coaching?
The primary goal in recovery coaching is to help the patient create an extraordinary life as he or she practices the principles of healthful living. This can manifest in a number of different ways depending upon the specifics of the patient’s schedule, their challenges in recovery, and their goals for their future. It can mean that the recovery coach provides the patient assistance in doing things like:
- Attending academic courses to improve employment options or increase skills
- Socializing in settings where drugs, alcohol or relapse triggers may be present
- Trying new things that feel dangerous or uncomfortable
- Making necessary changes to protect ongoing recovery (e.g., finding a new place to live or interviewing for a new job)
Identifying obstacles to a smooth recovery and addressing those obstacles is a large part of recovery coaching.
How Does the Recovery Coaching Relationship Work?
According to Recovery Coaches International, every meeting with a recovery coach is directed by the patient and focuses on the issues with which he or she requires assistance. Optimum recovery coaching happens when:
- The recovery coach is knowledgeable about the problems associated with active eating disorders and substance abuse as well as recovery.
- The recovery coach is up to date with the latest treatment protocols and trends in recovery.
- The recovery coach is familiar with the different issues that occur during different stages of change in recovery.
- The focus is on helping the patient to build a strong foundation with a healthy community of support.
- The recovery coach works with other mental health treatment professionals who are also providing support to the patient.
- The recovery coach can help the patient access other resources in the community for issues outside of recovery like education, housing, employment, legal help and more.
How Does the Relationship Between the Recovery Coach and the Patient Develop?
Just like the relationship between the therapist and patient, it is important for the patient to feel comfortable with the recovery coach and to develop a feeling of trust over time. The more the recovery coach learns about the patient’s life and challenges, the more effective the experience will be, but it is also important to maintain therapeutic boundaries. These can be established up front by addressing certain issues:
- Logistics like regular session times, established lengths of sessions, confidentiality agreements, when or if to include others in sessions
- Outline primary goals that the patient would like to accomplish through recovery coaching and a rough plan for achieving those goals
- Clarification of what is and is not included in recovery coaching
Recovery coaching is not appropriate for those new to recovery, but during the later stages of treatment and the transition back home, it can be a highly effective tool in helping to solidify a foundation in sobriety and healthful living. Call us at Futures now and talk to us about your choices in recovery.