Using a Recovery Coach in Recovery from Addiction
Why you need a recovery coach in recovery from addiction and alcoholism, and how a recovery coach differs from traditional sponsorship in the 12 step program.
Why a recovery coach instead of a sponsor? Most people in early recovery just use a sponsor and that is all the guidance they receive. But is there any benefit to seeking out coaching instead of relying on sponsorship only?
You bet there are. First of all, understand exactly what a 12 step sponsor is for in recovery. They are there to help you with the steps; nothing more. Their purpose is to give you spiritual guidance and assistance in applying the steps in your life.
A recovery coach, on the other hand, is going to help you define your goals in life, and then help you to work towards those goals. The process is more client-driven than sponsorship is because the coach is basing the instruction on the client's goals instead of basing it on his own agenda. Therefore recovery coaching is more goal-oriented and is more custom tailored to the clients needs.
Why is this important for recovery? I would argue that sponsorship is useful in early recovery, but recovery coaching becomes more important in long term recovery. As you stay clean and sober for longer and longer, it becomes more crucial for you to start working on your own goals and personal growth - much more so than it was in early recovery. This is because recovery is essentially split up into 2 stages: early recovery and long term recovery.
The period of early sobriety is all about relearning how to live everyday life. You have to relearn how to live in early recovery, so a sponsor is most helpful in giving you all sorts of help based on their own experience. It is a teaching-heavy period of growth. You must be geared into learning to succeed in early recovery.
After a while, in long term sobriety, learning is no longer the important focus because you will have a solid foundation of knowledge about how to manage in sobriety. Now the real enemy shows its face in long term sobriety and that enemy is complacency. If we stop growing or actively pursuing new growth experiences then we will eventually slide back into our old ways and thus run the risk of relapse. This is a problem in long term recovery after we have been sober for a year or two.
Given that, the idea of a recovery coach becomes very useful in maintaining long term sobriety. This is because a recovery coach is specifically trained in order to push people towards personal growth. The whole idea is to work with a client and get them to grow towards their own specified goals. This is an action-based approach to staying sober that is so much more effective than the path that many people take in long term sobriety. If you are working with a recovery coach and always setting new goals and constantly pushing yourself to grow then you are going to have a very strong recovery.
Sponsorship is still useful but it serves a different purpose - one that is more closely aligned with spiritual matters. This has it's place and can even be useful in long term recovery, but it is no replacement for purposeful, action-driven growth and development.
If you think you might need a slight push when it comes to your own personal growth and development in long term recovery, then you might look into getting a recovery coach who can help you with this.
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