Magazine article Addiction Professional

Recovery Coaching Signals Paradigm Shift

Magazine article Addiction Professional

Recovery Coaching Signals Paradigm Shift

Article excerpt

One of the innovative techniques used in the substance use disorder treatment field is recovery coaching. A recovery coach helps support the many pathways to recovery. 1 his constitutes just one component of a growing armamentarium of new, innovative, multimodal and holistic techniques available to those in the recovery process and to those who provide services. This form of assistance fills a vital role in the recovery process, as it deals directly with those in recovery and is not constrained by other forms of help such as psychology, psychiatry, counseling and sponsorship in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-Step programs.

Recovery coaches operate in the here and now: the present. Although the past can influence the present, it cannot be changed. It is better that the recovering person understand his/her past, but not become a prisoner to it. Recovery coach training differs from training in traditional counseling and therapy in this respect.

Trained recovery coaches are sometimes paid and sometimes function as volunteers, and are available to those in recovery on a basis varying from daily to as-needed. They serve in a sense as mentors for those in recovery, performing in a role of advising, suggesting, guiding and encouraging those on the recovery path. They do not impose their views on the recovering individual, but place him/her in charge of the recovery-the recovering individual is responsible for his/her choices.

It is a technique that has been used with individuals from many different backgrounds. Notably, it has been used successfully with many in the entertainment field, as well as with physicians and professional athletes.

A recovery coach works with a person in recovery using a wellness plan (reachable goals and objectives related to selfcare). The wellness plan is the recovering individual's plan, not the coach's plan. The recovering person writes and maintains the plan, and the recovery coach supports this process. Also, the recovering person and the coach work with a "recovery capital plan," identifying deficits in areas such as housing, recovery support, etc., that are present as a result of the active addiction. The recovery capital plan also offers the ability to see what was not lost and what supports remain in the recovering person's life.

Recovery coaches apply an adult learning theory approach that shows respect. They acknowledge that adults are internally motivated and self-directed. They know that the recovering person comes to the coaching relationship with life's learning experiences, and is acknowledged for that. The recovering person is treated with dignity and respect. This is basically an assets model. The recovery coach looks at what is right with the person, not what is wrong.

The unconditional support for recovery is vital to the recovering person in moving beyond the acute phase of treatment, as is getting family and community buy-in for the person's recovery.

Family engagement

It is almost a truism that the person in recovery, especially long-term recovery, has made positive life changes. He/she no longer uses alcohol or drugs, has sometimes changed jobs for the better, views rhe world differently, has changed behavior, has changed beliefs, and has more supportive and understanding friends.

However, this does not mean that the recovering person's family members or significant others have changed. …

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