Recovery Coaching: Your Complete Guide (2021)

Are you thinking about making a difference to the world? Do you want to leave behind a legacy?

Then, coaching is the right path for you.

If you are passionate about life and want to inspire others, coaching allows you the perfect balance between making a difference and becoming super successful! It is an extremely rewarding career.

There are many coaching niches available today and becoming a recovery coach is both lucrative and fulfilling!

In my article, I’ll list everything that you would need to know about the world of recovery coaching.

But, first, let’s figure out what a recovery coach does.

Introduction to Recovery Coaching

Recovery coaches deals with addiction.

We all know that addiction to alcohol, drugs can ruin someone’s life. This can be changed with gentle guidance and inspiring leadership.

That’s where a recovery coach steps in. A recovery coach assists in recovering from this debilitating addiction.

It is a challenging job. But I must say that many recovery coaches admit that it is the most satisfying one out there.

Before we proceed, there are certain things you should know about addiction recovery. It is imperative you understand this before anything else.

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Understanding Addiction

  • It requires ongoing care. Once you decide to help other stop abusing your body with substance, it becomes a life-long commitment.
  • Once you get sober, you need to make sure that you continue to live sober. It will require a strong will power and a lot of lifestyle changes.
  • You can’t look for another addiction. To get over alcohol or drugs, people try to distract themselves. They look for things to fill a void. Some get addicted to shopping, and others to gambling. It is limitless.
  • Actions are more important than intentions. Yes, intending to do something is the first step. But, if you truly want to recover, your actions will matter. You will have to act.
  • Quit smoking. Yes, really. Otherwise, it will just be another thing you get addicted to.
  • Gratitude is important. Be thankful and grateful for the life given to you.
  • Steer clear of things that might lead to a relapse. It also includes people.
  • Grieve. Take your own time. But then, once you are done, close the chapter forever.
  • Forgive yourself. Accept the choices you made and tell yourself that you are strong enough to deal with the consequences.

A coach to help you do all of the above. They will assist you in your journey of becoming and transformation.

If you are already prepared with this knowledge, I suggest you print this as a list and keep it with you.

It can serve many purposes and can be a handful guide to helping your clients. You can also read this article on Forbes for a better understanding of coaching.

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What is Recovery Coaching?

Coaching people with addictions is called recovery coaching. A recovery coach will help these people get rid of addictions.

It is a client-directed, partnership model, just like all other forms of coaching.

You need to ask your client what her/his expectations are from you before you engage in a long-term partnership. You also need to assess if you can cater to the expectations of the client.


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Recovery Coaching: Expectations

  • Tips to stay away from alcohol, drugs.
  • A long-term solution to avoid getting intoxicated.
  • Acknowledgment. People looking to recover want someone to talk to. They want someone to understand them.
  • Mindset change. Your client would want you to steer her/his thoughts in a more positive direction.
  • Steps to bring their life back on track.

Types of Recovery Coaching

There are various types of recovery coaches.

Let’s focus on the most important ones.

Recovery from alcohol.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease. A person becomes physically and emotionally dependent on alcohol. However, people looking to recover begin each day with a sense of guilt.

They understand the vicious cycle. They want to give it up. They just don’t know how to do it. This is where a recovery coach steps in.

Recovery from drugs.
There are a lot of stigmas associated with being a drug-addict. However, consuming drugs does not make one a good or bad person.

Addiction to drugs is a moral failing. When one seeks the help of a recovery coach to steer clear of drugs, she/he is already on the path to recovery. They just want to make sure they don’t suffer a relapse.

Recovery from too much travel.
Yes, there is such a thing as too much travel. And, I am not talking about jetlag, when I say recovery from travel. When travel becomes an addiction, we need to seek expert guidance.

It is more of a lifestyle issue that can lead to serious mental health problems. Further, if we don’t give our body enough rest, we are also risking other diseases.

Companion recovery.
This could qualify as another field altogether – that of breakup coaching. However, most people seek recovery post the end of a failed relationship/marriage.

A coach’s job is to guide so that the person doesn’t fall into the loop of substance abuse.

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What Does Recovery Coaching Involve?

A common myth is that a recovery coach deals with diagnosis and traumas. They do not. Recovery coaches are not medical professionals.

They work with people who have addictions. These people may or may not be in rehab.

They support positive change in the life of their client.

They focus on the present. They work for a better future for their clients.

They do so by creating plans and removing barriers that might hinder those plans.

Recovery coaching can be done both in-person and online.

You just need to figure out what works best for you.

How to Begin Your Journey in Recovery Coaching?

Coaches want to share their life experiences and change the world for the better. They want to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Once you have decided to enter this field, don’t second guess yourself. Answer your calling.

In this role, you will actively be able to promote self-care and human well-being. This should also motivate you. It will give you career satisfaction.

Now, let’s explore everything you need to do in order to be a top-shot recovery coach.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have listed them down, work on your skills. For clarity, I have also listed the essential skills required to be a recovery coach below.

Then, think about your target audience.

  • Is there a specific age-group of people you want to work with?
  • Do you only want to work with people who are trying to get sober?
  • Do you want to steer clear of drugs and alcohol and instead work with people facing withdrawal from travel?
  • You might also choose to take all sorts of clients for a wholesome understanding and better experience.

All these questions need to be answered before you begin your journey as a recovery coach.

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Essential Skills in Recovery Coaching

This brings me to my next topic which is the most essential skills required to become a successful recovery coach.

Here are a few of them:

Interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills include a wide range of qualities such as active listening, patience, flexibility, motivation, leadership, dependability, among others.

A good recovery coach possesses all of them. Interpersonal skills help the client to foster trust.

A good recovery coach shares the feelings of her/his clients. Empathy helps a recovery coach understand how the client feels and thinks.

A recovery coach has the ability to ask the right questions. They know how to allow the client to open up.

Being a Good listener.
When people look for a recovery coach, they want someone who listens to them. They want to have a constructive conversation with their coach.

A constructive conversation is a two-way street. You can only talk sense when you have heard your client properly.

Ability to ask the right questions.
The onus is on the recovery coach to ask the right questions and follow up on what her/his client is talking about. Nobody wants a coach who is just trying to smartly market the business.

Understand that the clients want to reach out to the best in the market. And your skills to ask the right questions will help them make that choice easily.

A recovery coach is open-minded and unbiased. She/he knows how to approach any situation with objectivity. They do not judge the clients for their life choices.

Ability to deal with stressful situations.
One needs to be able to deal with stress in order to be a good recovery coach. We need to make the right lifestyle choices, have a good understanding of life situations, and have a positive attitude in order to deal with stress.

Computer skills.
These include basics like Microsoft Office, Outlook. You should also know how to market your business online. You cannot escape from this in today’s world. Additionally, you should also be aware of recent coaching trends. You can read my article to learn more.

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Why Do People Reach Out for Recovery Coaching?

Now, you might be wondering why people hire a recovery coach when they can just enroll in a rehab program. Isn’t it simpler than finding the right recovery coach?

Well, a rehab program is quite different from recovery coaching.

Recovery coaches do not offer treatment for addiction. They are not doctors or medical professionals.

They cannot diagnose a disease. And neither do they address the past or work to heal trauma, as in a rehab program.

A recovery coach does many other things.

  • They offer support. They listen to their client without being judgmental. They don’t make assumptions and are calm and patient.
  • They encourage the client to get her/his life back on track. This might involve more than just getting sober.
  • They could work on the life goals of their client. This includes relationships, education, career. They will help them get back on track.
  • They seeks to transform the life of her/his client. They also closely monitor other activities in their client’s life. These activities can be varied—food habits, sleeping patterns, social setup or leisure activities.
  • They offer guidance and reassurance. They also validate the feelings of their clients.
  • They try their best to reduce the chances of a relapse. She/he is available for calls, texts, emails when clients experience a craving.

Difference Between a Recovery Coach and Sober Escort/Sober Companion
Recovery coaching is a form of strength-based support for people with various addictions. These include alcohol and drugs, primarily. People might also need to hire a recovery coach to seek recovery from travel, death of someone close, among other things.

Recovery coaching involves guiding the client on how to get her/his life back on track.

A recovery coach prepares an action plan for the recovery of the client and then makes sure that the client sticks to it.

On the other hand, a sober companion is essentially hired for emotional support.

A sober companion accompanies her/his client into social settings. Their presence serves as a reminder to the client to stay sober and healthy.

Meanwhile, a sober escort makes sure that their client arrives safely to her/his appointments. A sober escort takes care of the client while they travel. They keep the client away from personal triggers and provided immediate support.

Should You Enter the World of Recovery Coaching?

This brings me to the most important question in this blog. Should you continue on this path and strive to become a successful recovery coach?

Do you want a challenging yet fulfilling job? Do you want to build a positive world?

Does helping people get their life back on track interest you? Do you think you have what it takes to support people overcome addictions?

Do you?

Well, then don’t look back! Don’t let anything stop you.

Recovery coaching is amongst the most profitable life coaching niches.

There should be nothing that stops you from pursuing your one-true calling.

The market of coaching has a huge untapped potential. Many foresee it growing it the coming years. With the rise of substance abuse and technological shifts, addictions are a common affair.

People will need your help.

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Recovery Coaching: Salary

Recovery coaches bank upon their experience and reputation to earn a six-figure salary. The average coaching salary of a recovery coach ranges from $150 per hour to $300 per hour.

The annual income of a recovery coach can range anywhere from $60,000 to $700,000!

You too can earn a similar amount with the right guidance and training. The more high-ticket clients that you find, the more you can earn as a recovery coach.

When you start building your network, your worth as a recovery coach will improve.

Other factors that will determine your income are:

  1. Location of your business
  2. How much you charge per hour/per session
  3. How many clients you have

You need to set your fees as a priority when you start working as a recovery coach. Don’t charge too low as well, even if you don’t have any experience. You need to maintain a standard. Charging just the right amount will also help your clients take you seriously.

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Do You Need Coaching Certifications for Recovery Coaching?

Now that you know and understand what it takes to be a recovery coach, let us find out how you can go about it.

Your reputation as a recovery coach will be built on entirely your skills. You do not need any certifications to build your fantastic skills into a thriving business.

Many successful coaches continue to grow bigger without any certifications or diplomas.

However, if you are interested in getting a certification, there are plenty of options.

There are many recognized and well-researched training courses online. You can always explore them at your own pace and time. These courses can provide further knowledge to your expertise.

Meanwhile, a simple search online will show you several books and podcasts on becoming an excellent recovery coach. My peers have even recommended some to me.

As a recovery coach, you may want to look up some of these:

  • Recovery Coaching: A Guide to Coaching People in Recovery from Addictions by Melissa Killeen
  • The Recovery Coach Workbook: A Hands-On Companion to The Addictions Academy’s Renowned Courses Featuring Real World Examples and Exercises by Dr. Cali Estes PhD
  • The Peer Specialist’s pocket resource for mental health and substance use services second edition by Charles Drebing
  • Recovery & Life Coaching The Official Workbook For Coaches and Their Clients by Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin and Dr. Cali Estes PhD

Apart from traditional books and online in-depth courses, there are other fun ways to learn more about becoming a recovery coach. Today, there are many YouTube videos and podcasts on recovery coaching. You can find them here and here.

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