The terms recovery coach and sober coach are interchangeable. The role of a sober coach is to assist someone in early recovery with 1:1 concrete transitional accountability and support that may not be provided in formal groups, such as 12-step or intensive outpatient programs.
Clients who complete residential treatment at DARA have demonstrated the desire to continue the investment that they have made in their new life of recovery. In fact, DARA has an average program completion rate of 92%. Therapeutic relationships developed between the client and therapist at DARA can continue through a recovery coach relationship via the internet. We are also pleased to arrange sober coach options for clients who would prefer to have a local resource. Initial sober coaching activities are included as part of the preparatory work for discharge from DARA residential rehab.
Understanding the Purpose of a Recovery Coach
Sober coaches (recovery coaches) work with those in early recovery in a close and active manner. The relationship between the recovery coach and client is a highly collaborative one, and not authoritative or adversarial. Many sober coaches know exactly what those in recovery transition are experiencing first hand, and have successfully negotiated multiple years of recovery.
A recovery coach isn’t necessarily a certified therapist, but they are highly experienced in providing sober coaching services. Sober coaches work closely with those in the recovery from substance abuse remain focused on the present, while making positive goals for the near and longer term future. The client’s sobriety and well-being are starting places for all solutions and activities.
Initial sober coaching is implemented as part of the residential aftercare planning process at DARA, helping clients take a hard look at what their aftercare life will look like. Clients, with the help of their recovery coach, make specific plans about how daily life will be led, and what specific activities will used to maintain sobriety. Clients create a detailed calendar of plans and structure for the post-discharge period. This calendar will help guide the newly recovered addict or alcoholic into the first few weeks.
The Sober Coach-Client Relationship
It isn’t always easy for those in early recovery to fill their days with enough activities and structure to fend of doubts and temptation. A sober coach can help with this. Sober coaches are also an extremely important addition to the aftercare period for those who have been resistant to treatment in the past, and need more hands-on assistance unrelated to formal therapy. A recovery coach does not focus on the past.
In addition, a recovery coach will:
- Provide motivation
- Help clients become their own rescuers, by developing solutions to current issues
- Help clients identify issues that prevent well-being and continued sobriety, such a housing, work, social, transportation, and even nutritional problems
- Collaborate with the client to develop an action plan to address these issues
- Self-empowerment is an on-going goal
- Recognizes that there are many ways to sobriety, and that the client must choose the path that is personally appropriate
- Help clients increase or learn necessary life skills that support sobriety and well-being
- Help clients connect with important community resources, and help navigate each one
- Encourages and foster self-awareness
- Emphasizes the importance of finding multiple solutions to any issue, and moving beyond black and white thinking
- Talking issues out, learning to question faulty thinking patterns that lead to poor decisions
- Creating realistic life plans
- Provide sober companion services for clients who are required to have them due to legal, medical or contractual requirements
The sober coach is on-call 24 hours a day for the client by phone. Face-to-face meetings are arranged to the degree and intensity necessary for the progress of the client, and are adjusted according to the client’s needs.
Have a recovery coach to contact at any time, day or night, can help prevent relapses during periods of crisis during transitional recovery. Many clients who have had significant trouble staying in recovery previously opt to maintain a sober coach long-term, or during times of significant personal or work stress.