How To Find the Right Recovery Coach

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A recovery coach, also known as a sobriety or addiction coach, are trained professionals who provide personalized, ongoing support to clients who want to maintain their sobriety. Coaches help clients make positive lifestyle changes that can lead to better relationships, careers, education, or personal achievements. 

Many coaches draw upon their own experiences in long-term recovery to help clients to stay abstinent. They can help explain treatment options and provide customized support to suit their client’s needs.

What Does a Recovery Coach Do?

A recovery coach may provide check-ins or special appointments for stable clients who are meeting new challenges. Some also provide in-person support during social events that may threaten a client’s sobriety. 

Because the addiction coaching process demands much flexibility, recovery coaches and clients must clarify and mutually understand the scope of services provided and productively manage expectations together during recovery.

Recovery Coach

What Is the Difference Between a Recovery Coach and a Sponsor?

Recovery coaches and sponsors provide different kinds of support. Sponsors are volunteers who become peers to others in recovery. They follow methods provided by their own 12-step group support program. Since sponsors are not paid treatment professionals, they are not subject to any legal requirements or standards.

What is the Role of a Recovery Coach?

Recovery coaches train to become certified professionals who help former substance users live better, sober lives. Addiction coaching encourages positive future outcomes by helping clients define goals, create a plan to achieve them, and overcome barriers to recovery. 

Since the education and accreditation process for recovery and addiction coaching varies from state to state, their skill sets and expertise may vary. Addiction coaches do not diagnose traumas, provide clinical care, or focus on the past. Sometimes, a sobriety coach will recommend resources like therapy, 12-step meetings, or other well-suited programs to the client’s needs.

How Long Do You Have to Be Sober to Be a Recovery Coach?

Recovery coaches are not required to maintain sobriety for any particular time before opening a recovery coaching practice. A competent coach should be able to maintain a stable, sober life confidently.

What Are the Three Principles of Recovery?

Patience, balance, and growth are three principles that are essential to maintaining mental health during recovery.


Patience helps clients recognize that small, incremental changes made during recovery will lead to a better quality of life. Recovery sponsors can encourage their clients to believe that their positive actions will create a better future.


Maintaining emotional balance during difficult situations is part of recovery. Coaches teach clients to stay focused without reacting negatively during challenging times and work to help clients prevent impulsive actions that can have negative consequences.


Challenges are growth opportunities. As clients heal, they gain confidence as they learn to move past challenges.

What Are the Five Phases of Recovery?

Substance users typically pass through five phases during recovery that define their progress.

1. Pre-Contemplation

Pre-contemplation is characterized by a substance user’s belief that their behavior is harmless. When they use substances, they experience pleasant or beneficial effects that outweigh any negative consequences. Users believe they are in charge of their habits and will find ways to rationalize their consumption. The user will generally disagree with friends, family, and colleagues who perceive their substance use as being out of control and encourage them to consider making changes.

2. Awareness

A substance user who becomes aware of negative consequences related to their consumption may acknowledge an issue without characterizing their behavior as an addiction. They may discuss the consequences of their substance use with others but take no steps toward changing. If a breakup, layoff, health scare, or other problem causes a substance user to reevaluate their condition, they may consider moving toward sobriety.

3. Preparation

Preparation is the stage of recovery wherein a substance user considers seeking professional help and treatment options. They may continue using substances but reduce their intake quantity, frequency, or potency while they speak to healthcare professionals or schedule treatment. Substance users may set a future date to stop using as soon as they commit to action.

4. Action

A substance user who takes action to treat their addiction will detox to eliminate harmful substances from the body, attend individual or group therapy, and start a treatment program. Professionals will help their clients navigate the steps of recovery, teach them to prevent relapses, and address the underlying causes of addiction. They may also provide alternative therapies that promote holistic wellness and practical strategies to help clients manage stress and deal with triggers.

5. Maintenance and Relapse Prevention

After treatment ends, former substance users focus on maintaining sobriety and adapting to a healthier life. A customized aftercare plan may include support group meetings, sponsorship, therapy, or work with a recovery coach. Sponsors and professionals help clients see the benefits of sobriety and help them correct any negative circumstances that have followed them from their past. Since addiction can only be treated, not cured, former substance users and their supporters must prioritize continued healing and compassionately deal with any relapses that occur.

What Are the Four Dimensions of Recovery?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as a process of change through which individuals become healthy and independent as they work to reach their full potential. The four dimensions of this process include:

  1. Health: Overcoming or managing one’s diseases or symptoms and, for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support their physical and emotional well-being.
  2. Home: Having a stable and safe place to live.
  3. Purpose: Participating in meaningful daily activities such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative pursuits. It also means having independent income and resources to take part in society.
  4. Community: Engaging in relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

How Can Mind Body Optimization Help You Maintain a Sober Lifestyle?

Mind Body Optimization is an innovative outpatient facility in Franklin, TN that treats various addictions and mental health conditions. Our holistic approach supports successful recovery and whole-body healing by combining clinical modalities and alternative interventions.