What is Addiction Life Coaching?

The value of the people and the team make all the difference.
–Steven J. Drzewoszewski, MSW, LCADC, LSW – Director of Blake Recovery Center™

Addiction life coaching, also known as recovery coaching, is a form of strength-based behavioral health support for someone who has a substance use disorder or is in recovery. It’s a way to change a person’s life by altering their thought process. Professional recovery coaches help an addict to make better life decisions and spend less time struggling. They can assist in many different facets of recovery, such as detox, harm reduction, addiction treatment, and gaining the support of family members and loved ones.

The main purpose of addiction life coaching is to improve life and reach for goals. Together, the coach and the client will come up with a recovery plan and a specific set of objectives. Traditional therapy sessions, as well as sponsorship (AA, NA, or other self-help or support groups), typically deal with a person’s past and feelings, while Addiction Life Coaches are non-clinical and do not diagnose or specifically treat addiction or mental health issues. This method of recovery support instead works under the assumption that enjoying life in recovery will usually lead to maintaining long-term recovery.

The main goal of an addiction life coach is to form solid recovery groundwork. Addiction recovery coaches help clients recognize their strengths—like resourcefulness, creativity, and resilience—so they can use them to overcome challenges. They try to make sure the addict has things they want to achieve in life in order to assure them that recovery is worth the hard work.

Addiction Life Coaches discuss what the client wants to talk about. This type of coaching focuses mostly on “doing” and living in the here and now, rather than “feeling” or focusing on the past for people who are seeking treatment or are already in treatment. This helps an addict feel less alone and have someone to talk to at any time. The coach acts as a guide to staying sober and on the right path by implementing new decision-making skills.

  • “Should I tell my boss I’m in recovery?”
  • “How do I improve my everyday relationships with family members?”
  • “Should I attend 12-step groups while on vacation?”
  • “How can I save money so I can afford a new car?”
  •  “Will a new hobby add value or only stress to my life?”

These are the types of questions recovering people may ask themselves about everyday life. Addiction Life Coaches are partners in finding the solutions from within, and clearly defining one’s own recovery journey.

Types of Addiction Life Coaching

Addiction life coaches deal with alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers, sex addicts, kleptomaniacs, and any number of other types of addictive behaviors. They also work with people who have just left jail and need help adjusting to life outside while overcoming their criminal addiction. Recently divorced people or over spenders benefit from addiction life coaching, by gaining the skills to recover financially and fix their credit.

What Happens Through Recovery Coaching?

Addiction life coaching touches many aspects of an addict’s life. Discussing important issues with someone whose opinions are completely unbiased can impart a new outlook and provide perspective into what really matters. People who have worked with addiction life coaches report gaining a whole new awareness of the world around them. They are amazed that suddenly, everything they do seems charged with purpose. They know what they will and will not tolerate, and begin making choices that lead to greater mental health and happiness. They also begin to realize that life should be taken seriously and bad decisions have consequences. With these new skills, recovery can mean being able to enjoy life more fully.

If you are in treatment or recovery from substance abuse, talk to your health care provider to determine if addiction life coaching is right for you and for a referral to a certified recovery coach. You can also search online for qualified Addiction Life or Recovery Coaches in your area. Recovery Coaches International is a great recovery community for both coaches and those looking for a coach.

How to Become an Addiction Life Coach

If you are interested in becoming an addiction life coach here are some organizations which offer recovery coaching training programs:

Recovery Coach Training

Addiction Recovery Training

The Addiction Academy

International Coach Federation

In Need of Addiction Treatment?

Carrier Clinic is a Central Jersey behavioral health treatment center. We offer a variety of services including inpatient treatment for mental illness, alcohol and drug outpatient treatment (IOP), ECT treatment program, adolescent services, and detox and addiction recovery programs. Our rehab center takes phone calls through our Access Center 24×7, or you can contact us through our website.

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Related Topic
If you found this topic interesting or helpful, read our related resource on addiction recovery options.


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