The transition from treatment back into the routines of everyday life can be daunting at best. Recovery resources such as 12-step meetings, personal support networks, and individual counseling or therapy can help buttress sobriety, but sometimes an individual (due to their personalized experience, responsibilities, lifestyle, and/or circumstances) finds that their struggle with sobriety is fraught with unavoidable triggers and influences which are incredibly difficult to face alone.  It is in these situations that a sober coach (sometimes also called a sober companion) can prove the vital variable between abstinence and relapse.

The definition of a Sober Coach is best explained as they are an experienced recovery specialist that is there to help an individual navigate recovery—whether they are dealing with substance abuse, mental health, or dual diagnosis issues—and to overcome obstacles and make healthier life changes or shifts in their lives and spend less time struggling. They are able to help keep the individual accountable and on-track while moving forward in accomplishing short and long-term goals.

Sober coaches usually work with people in the early stages of recovery, helping them avoid a relapse and navigate both the known (but potentially risky), and also the unknown (and thus unexpectedly dangerous) challenges of new sobriety. However, a sober coach can be put in place anywhere from a couple of times a week for one or two hours each time, to four or five shifts a week, 24-7’s, to continued maintenance, such as a few times a week for over the course of a year or more. Since every individual has different needs, the time a sober coach spends with the individual will greatly depend on what’s needed for them, which is “prescribed” by their doctor, therapist, psychiatrist (i.e. medical team). Or, if there is not a treatment team in place, which can happen, our seasoned case managers at Connections in Recovery New York can create a strategic plan of action for the individual with their family members/loved ones.

What are some of the objectives a Sober Coach can help an individual with? There are many things a Sober Coach can help with. Here are just a few:

  • Setting and achieving goals and objectives
  • Planning—business, career and life
  • Working through blocks and fears
  • Clearing clutter
  • Helping individual understand better financial security and independence
  • Balancing business and personal life
  • Making key decisions and designing strategies for success
  • Communicating powerfully and succinctly
  • Becoming a problem-free zone
  • Building powerful relationships
  • Helping them with their search to find work or if need career coaching
  • Helping them stay-on-track with their school work (i.e. high school, college/university)
  • Making an important life transition
  • Living an ideal, healthy life
  • Identifying core values and passions
  • Fulfilling personal and emotional needs
  • Getting organized

Connections in Recovery sober coaches are exceedingly trained recovery professionals who work with clients on a one-to-one basis.  Although carefully selected and individually matched with each client to ensure a positive alliance, sober companions do not provide treatment for addiction. Their role instead is to mentor and guide clients who are phasing out of initial treatment or detox environments back into the “real world,” support their successful and sustainable sober transition back into their new sober lives, help them establish and maintain culpability and accountability, and guide their self-creation of a strong recovery network support system and lifestyle.  A sober companion is also not intended to replace other components of aftercare services, but instead to complement them, while ensuring that responsibilities (both recovery and non-recovery based) are met ~ Dr. Don Grant, MA, MFA, CCDC, PhD

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

About Connections in Recovery:

Since 2011, Connections in Recovery (CiR), an international addiction and mental health treatment consulting company that offers expertise in mental health companions and mental health coaches, interventions, case management, recovery companions and coaching, and treatment placement, has been a vital resource to individuals across the country. Their mission then, and today, is to help connect families and individuals struggling with addiction and mental health disorders with the best providers, professionals, recovery companions and treatment resources to support long-term positive outcomes. CiR also provides professional referral services to physicians and clinicians worldwide.

Founded by Lauren Arborio and Patty Baret, CiR has devoted itself to helping individuals in need of addiction treatment and mental health recovery become vital community participants. In 2016, CiR opened its doors to New Yorkers, who were faced with mental illness and addiction, and created Connections in Recovery New York (CiRNY). The premier family service serves the metropolitan New York and Long Island communities. CiR’s other territories include Los Angeles and Europe. If you would like to know more about the organization, please visit the website www.connectionsinrecovery.com.