Recovery Coaching: Powerful Sober Role Models in Addiction Treatment

Published on March 18, 2019
Mountainside Canaan Aerial Shot

Canaan, CT – Mountainside’s Recovery Coaching has delivered sober companionship and strengths-based support to individuals battling addiction since the program began in 2016. Recovery Coaching at Mountainside gives clients a model for moving past self-limiting beliefs and other obstacles, motivating them to achieve growth in recovery and beyond.

Because every client’s recovery journey is different, Recovery Coaching at Mountainside provides guidance and resources that are tailored to each person’s distinct needs. Recovery Coaching clients receive this individualized support through a recovery coach, whose background, skills, and experiences most closely align with their own. Coaches draw from their areas of expertise – and often, from their own lived experiences in recovery – to help clients navigate hurdles to sobriety in real time and aid them in fulfilling their personal goals.

Through close partnership with a coach, individuals are better prepared to reach their recovery milestones. By sharing their experiences with a peer coach who understands the challenges of sobriety firsthand, clients feel comfortable and self-assured rather than judged for their alcohol or drug use. This atmosphere of camaraderie and trust reminds clients of their strengths and shows them that a sober, rewarding lifestyle is within their grasp.

“Clients tend to have trouble believing in their own capabilities when they first enter the program. Many of them doubt their self-worth based on their past experiences with addiction,” says Bill Blaber, Mountainside’s Director of Recovery Coaching. “Our goal is to connect with clients and meet them where they are in their recovery. When they talk through their experiences with a coach, they recognize that they aren’t alone and feel empowered to confront their fears.”

Recovery coaches – sometimes called sober coaches – use evidence-based practices, including Motivational Interviewing, to remind clients of their potential and guide them on their path to sobriety. According to a 2016 publication from the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, individuals who were enrolled in recovery monitoring programs had lower relapse rates and were less likely to drink to intoxication than those who did not participate.

Individuals’ chances of success in recovery similarly increase when they participate in both a recovery coaching program and clinical treatment. A 2018 journal article from World Psychiatry revealed that while clinicians and peer mentors were both effective at preventing relapse and rehospitalization, peer mentors were especially adept at encouraging clients to feel confident, hopeful, and engaged in their recovery.

At Mountainside, Recovery Coaching clients have the freedom to identify their goals and create a wellness plan that suits their lifestyle. A recovery coach evaluates clients’ nutrition, sleep, and exercise habits to help clients build this plan, which is later segmented into actionable, step-by-step tasks. As a result, clients are able to cultivate self-assurance and the life skills needed to fulfill their goals.

With assistance from a recovery coach, clients learn about personal responsibility and become more resourceful. Recovery coaches stay in touch with clients via daily texts, phone calls, and in-person meetings, allowing them to closely monitor clients’ growth and anticipate early signs of relapse. A sober coach will also maintain contact with the client’s family members to respond to concerns as they arise and keep them informed about their loved one’s progress.

Additionally, sober coaches at Mountainside collaborate with each Recovery Coaching client’s Connected Care Network – their current team of treatment professionals – to best deliver effective care. Clients are also connected with peer and professional support groups, including psychiatrists, physicians, and legal experts.

Recovery coaches can likewise support individuals looking to pursue their education, find employment, or learn more about money management.

“Partnering with a coach not only helps clients become more self-sufficient but also gives them an advisor and an ally,” says Arsenault. “That type of assurance can be life-changing for people who feel that they are struggling on their own.”