Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for persons with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches work with persons with active addictions as well as persons already in recovery. Recovery coaches are helpful for making decisions about what to do with one's life and the part addiction or recovery plays in it. Recovery coaches help clients find ways to stop addiction (abstinence), or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches can 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.
Recovery coaches do not offer primary treatment for addiction, do not diagnose, and are not associated with any particular method or means of recovery. Recovery coaches support any positive change, helping persons coming home from treatment to avoid relapse, build community support for recovery, or work on life goals not related to addiction such as relationships, work, education etc. Recovery coaching is action oriented with an emphasis on improving present life and reaching goals for the future.
Recovery coaching is unlike most therapy because coaches do not address the past, do not work to heal 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.
Similar to life and business coaching, recovery coaching use a partnership model wherein the client is considered to be the expert on his or her life, the one who decides what is worth doing, and the coach provides expertise in supporting successful change. Recovery coaching focuses on achieving any goals important to the client—not just recovery-related goals. The coach asks questions and offers reflections to help the client reach clarity and decide what steps to take. Recovery coaching emphasizes honoring values and making principle-based decisions, creating a clear plan of action, and using current strengths to reach future goals. The coach provides accountability to help the client stay on track.