Coaching Through Addiction Recovery

Coaching Someone Through Addiction

Coaching Through Addiction Recovery

When learning to become a life coach, you might be wondering how to work with people who are recovering from addiction. Especially if you have never worked in addiction recovery, it can be a tricky thing to try to figure out. As a life coach, there are some important things to keep in mind when you are working with people in recovery.

Implement Accountability

One of the best things you can do for someone who is new to recovery is to set up structure and accountability for them. Of course you don’t need to nag your client or get down on them if they do slip. However, it can be great to have a check-in at the beggening of each session. All you need to do is ask how their recovery was that past week. Try to make it clear that it is ok for them to tell you if they have relapsed.

Creating accountability can help people recover because it makes them feel like they have one safe person who they can be honest with. It is hard to help someone with recovery if they aren’t being honest with you about their actual sobriety. In order to build this trust it is reccommended that you make it clear to your client that they will not disappoint you.

Recognize Your Limitations

Knowing your limits is a vital part of being a good life coach. You need to know when your client needs a higher level of care. If you are not able to offer them the care that they need, refer them to someone who can. This is crucial for people with addiction because they might need medical help detoxing from drugs or alcohol. If you have a client who needs to go to detox you can use this link to help them get a sense of what it will be like:

Drug detox and coachingProvide Social Services

Although life coaches are not social workers, you will need to provide some social services. Many people who are coping with addiction have few family memebers or friends to help them with logistics. This means you might need to help someone find a sober living, set up a bank account, or find a job. Getting these services in place will help people stay sober because they have even more support.

Educate Yourself

If you have a client who is in recovery, take some time to learn about addiction and recovery. There are tons of great trainings you can do. However, even if you don’t have the time or money to go to an official training you can educate yourself using free online resources.

One of the best ways to educate yourself is to try going to a recovery meeting and learning about different spiritual paths. Especially if you intend to refer your client to a recovery program, you should go see what it is like. We reccomend that you go to a few different meetings and a few different recovery programs. This way, when you tell your client to go you can speak to what it is like.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!

Sometimes when life coaches start working with a new group they are afraid to offend people. You might be holding onto a question or thought because you don’t want to seem ignorant or offensive. The best way to get insight into your client is to ask them. You can ask what their experience is like, how they feel about their addiction, and so much more.

It is often much more offensive to walk on eggshells with someone rather than just asking about their experience. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your client what they need. You cannot be expected to anticipate every need your client has. Instead, you learn this by asking them. One of the most helpful s questions you can use is: “what do you want or need from me?”

Set Boundaries

It is always important to set boundaries as a life coach. This becomes even more vital when you are working with people in recovery. One tool you can use is to ask your client to not use drugs or drink before sessions. We sometimes call this a sobriety clause. It is a way to show your client that you value your time and that the work cannot be effective if they are intoxicated.

Another boundary you might need to set is not enabling. We have unfortunately known life coaches who have agreed to have their clients stay with them or even given them money. When working with any client you need to set solid boundaries and know where your role ends.

Trust Your Client

Some people have preconceived notions of what addiction looks like. You might be unaware of some implicit bias against your idea of an “addict”. The best way to squash these is to trust your client. If you treat your client with trust and respect they will be more inclined to be honest with you. Our policy is trust people unless they give you good reason to distrust them.

Working with people in recovery can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You get the unique opportunity to see people change and grow in their sobriety. In order to be an effective life coach keep these things in mind and you will be great!

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