Life Coaching for Persons in Recovery

 By: Jasmine Harris
The consequences of addiction include damaged health, damaged relationships and profound suffering. Lost jobs, lost hope, lost dreams are often the results of an addiction. Chemical dependency is a disease and should be treated as such by qualified professionals. The disease-concept model for the treatment of alcohol and other drug abuse has been utilized for years and has proven effective in the treatment of addictions (Jellinek, E. M. (1960) The Disease concept of Alcoholism).

Many alcoholics and addicts turn to 12-step programs, which can be found in every city and town in the country.

A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems. Originally proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a method of recovery from alcoholism, the Twelve Steps were first published in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous and have been used to help people overcome a variety of addictions and compulsions. As summarized by the American Psychological Association, the process involves the following:

Admitting that one cannot control one's addiction or compulsion;

Recognizing a greater power that can give strength;

Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member);

Making amends for these errors;

Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior;

Helping others that suffer from the same addictions or compulsions.

So, once a person has sought and been diagnosed by a substance abuse professional, has entered an informal outpatient treatment program and is an active member of a 12-step group, they are capable of living the productive, successful life they've always wanted, right? Not necessarily.

This is where a Life Coach can be the next, logical progression in the individuals return to emotional and Spiritual health and attain a fuller, richer life overall.

Sober clients, just because they are no longing using drugs have not necessarily gained a measure of personal and social stability. Remember, there were likely some self-management and personal responsibility issues that were present before the addiction which may still be there after they have begun the recovery process.

Life coaching may be the ideal next step in the recovery process. Much of what happens in therapy deals with the individual and the past; life coaching focuses on the person in the present and the future. Tapping into those unique strengths that each of us has and finding the pure, unmanifest potential to achieve their desires is what a life coach and the recovering coachee will do. The client in recovery benefits immensely from having someone who hears them, without judgment, and with the intention to help the client make course corrections. The life coach will help the client set reasonable goals and design a new life for himself or herself where alcohol and drugs simply do not fit. Clients in recovery, perhaps for the first time, will learn the power of their own thoughts to manifest their reality; whether that reality is positive or negative.

Once a a person has been diagnosed and treated by a professional or is in a 12-step program that helps them identify the antecedents and triggers related to their maladaptive behavior, life coaching could be the next best step in helping the recovering client achieve the rich and full life that they deserve.

To Your Success!

L. Jasmine Harris received her certification as an alcohol and other drug abuse counselor from the University of the Pacific, Stockton California. She specialized in treating women in recovery from addiction to Heroin.
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