As you start traveling along the road of recovery, you quickly realize that the journey isn’t actually an individual one. In many ways, recovery is very much a team sport.

From the earliest days of the process, there’s an emphasis on not going it alone and leaning into the support of others. There are people involved in all aspects of recovery, from those closest to you that participate in the intervention through to inpatient and outpatient rehab and then aftercare and support groups.

A sense of team camaraderie permeates everything.

And what does every successful team have?

A coach.

Recovery Coaching Explained

What does that look like in the context of recovery though and, importantly, what is a recovery coach?

Just like a coach develops and implements strategy and lends support to lead a team to success, a recovery coach performs similar tasks for someone in recovery. They’re there to support you, promote continued recovery and are very much future-focused, whereas a therapist is concerned with the past and working through what caused your addiction in the first place.

A recovery coach works with you to set goals, create plans to reach them and offer motivation along the way while helping to remove barriers to recovery that might trip you up.

Again, as compared to a therapist which requires considerable schooling and accreditation, there aren’t any prerequisites to becoming a recovery coach or federal licensing guidelines. That said, there are thorough training programs so when seeking a coach, make sure whomever you’re considering received certification from an accredited organization.

Given that, it’s especially important to note that a recovery coach is not a replacement for therapy whatsoever and a coach could work in tandem with a therapist or begin once your rehab is already complete.

Additionally, a coach can sound a little bit similar to a sponsor at a 12 step program, but a couple of key things separate the two; first, a sponsor is tied to that particular group and second, they aren’t compensated. A sponsor is someone who has been in a 12 step program longer and can help you make the most of that by sharing their experiences. It’s nonetheless a wonderful tool but not as hands-on as a recovery coach, which is much more a true partnership.

Benefits of Having a Recovery Coach

Relapse Prevention

The prospect of relapsing is no doubt a scary one, but it doesn’t have to happen especially if you have a recovery coach. They can help you to stay mindful of triggers and identify behaviors that could lead to a relapse as well as get you through moments of weakness when cravings hit hard.


Just like accountability plays a big role in a relationship with a sponsor, it’s a critical part of having a coach too. You’ll be able to plan regular check-ins and won’t ever have to worry that you might be imposing or creating an inconvenience. A recovery coach is just as dedicated to the mission as you are.

Support and Development of Skills

Knowing that you have someone in your corner is already a relief but when that person is well equipped to support you and has a broad base of knowledge from which to pull, it’s all the more beneficial. Often a coach will have their own history with recovery so can pull from their experience in helping you. On top of that, they can help you identify barriers or obstacles to your success and work with you to get around them.

Can Be Anywhere

You might think that coaching is done purely in person but that certainly isn’t the case, particularly these days with the pandemic keeping people apart. You can find recovery coaches that offer online services and still get all the benefits of the real-life experience.

Find a Recovery Coach With Help From Footprints of Serenity 

At Footprints of Serenity, we’ve seen the value that a recovery coach can deliver firsthand. If you’re curious about if partnering with a coach is the right move for you, reach out to us and we’d be happy to talk it over with you. We also work with a network of treatment providers across the country so can even help you find the right coach for you.

Recommended Posts