When enlisting the services of a Recovery Coach or Sober Companion (or Sober Coach), make sure you ask if they have been trained and hold an OASAS approved certification or CCAR based training Certification (see www.sober-academy.com for European training based on these two training programs).
Recovery Coaching is a form of strength-based supports for persons in or seeking recovery from alcohol and other drugs, and other addictions. Similar to life and business coaching, Recovery Coaching (also known as peer mentoring) is a type of partnership where the person in or seeking recovery self directs his/her recovery while the coach provides expertise in supporting successful change. Recovery Coaching focuses on achieving any goals important to the individual. The coach asks questions and offers suggestions to help the person in recovery begin to take the lead in addressing his/her recovery needs. Recovery Coaching focuses on honoring values and making principle-based decisions, creating a clear plan of action, and using current strengths to reach future goals. The coach serves as an accountability partner to help the person sustain his/her recovery. The Recovery Coach helps the person access recovery, as well as access systems needed to support recovery such as benefits, health care, etc.
Recovery Coaches also:
- develop the recovery plan;
- help to initiate and sustain an individual/family in their recovery from substance use or addiction;
- promote recovery by removing barriers and obstacles to recovery;
- serve as a personal guide and mentor for people seeking, or already in recovery;
- help a client find resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, local or online support groups; or help a client create a change plan to recover on their own; and
- help individuals find ways to stop using (abstinence), or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviors.
Recovery Coaches support positive change by helping anyone including persons coming home from treatment or the criminal justice system to avoid relapse, build community support for recovery, or work on life goals such as relationships, work, education etc. Recovery Coaching is dissimilar from therapy because coaches do not address the past, do not address trauma, and there is little emphasis on feelings. Recovery Coaches are unlike licensed addiction counselors in that coaches are non-clinical and do not diagnose or treat addiction or any mental health issues. Coaches may assist the individual to access clinical services.
Recovery Coaching is a peer-based service that is developed and provided mainly by persons who are in recovery themselves and as a result have gained knowledge on how to attain and sustain recovery, and also by those involved in the recovery initiation of others.
Over the past ten years with the emergence of the body of knowledge around the development of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC), and the major role that peers play in this model of service delivery, there has been increased interest in peer services. One of the transformational changes that Federal health care reform is bringing is an increasing focus on peer services, funding mechanisms to support peer services; and credentialing of peer services.