In order to prepare for the real world, we spend years in school learning the fundamental skills that are needed to thrive intellectually. These years are crucial to our growth and development, and without this type of hands-on learning and trial and error, we wouldn’t be able to master pertinent, real-life skills. The same concept is true for recovering addicts as they learn how to transition back into the real world while living a life that is free of dependency.
For recovering addicts and their families, returning to society is a great challenge. Addicts must learn how to create healthy schedules, prevent boredom and build a new life that doesn’t include former behaviors and habits, such as using drugs or alcohol or hanging with old friends. Triggers are especially strong at this point since recovering addicts are easily reminded of their past life. Something as simple as driving past a hangout or friend’s house can be enough to trigger thoughts of drug or alcohol abuse.
Fortunately, we now understand that recovering addicts cannot just be tossed out into the real world and expected to succeed. We know that this is a delicate time in a person’s life, which is why a life coach can prove significant. Just as the school prepares us for the world ahead, life coaches teach addicts the skills that are needed to lead a life of sobriety. Life coaches are an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan; therapists teach addicts the psychological tools that can be used, while life coaches teach practical tools.
At The River Source, we believe that life coaching is critical to recovery and brings enlightening to life, especially when struggling addicts need a new, healthy direction.
What is Life Coaching?
Life coaching is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that is aimed at increasing human happiness. It involves mostly talking, but the communication is meaningful and helps clients to better understand why they were led down a path of addiction and what they can do to turn down a new path. What we love about life coaching is that it’s real. It’s down-to-earth, practical and necessary for living a life that is healthy, productive and full of opportunity.
With a life coach, you can discuss some of the unfortunate circumstances that brought you to this point in your life, but the goal is not to focus on past events or deep psychological issues (this is what therapy is for). Life coaching may have you untying some knots from your past to sort things out for the here-and-now, but ultimately, you’ll work with a life coach to answer these questions, “Where am I now? Where do I want to be?”
How Does Life Coaching Work?
Some clients are not big “talkers”, and we understand that they may not be as open to therapy and life coaching sessions. Yet life coaching comes more naturally for many people because it doesn’t involve delving into the past or bringing up powerful emotions. In fact, some of our clients find that the motivation they’ve been needing all along can be achieved through life coaching.
Life coaching is offered in sessions that are 30 to 60 minutes long on a weekly basis or as needed. Sessions can be held over the phone or Internet for your convenience. At The River Source, we offer life coaching as part of our treatment program. We do want to emphasize that life coaching is NOT a treatment for drug addiction, however. Instead, it’s part of a larger recovery program that involves detox, counseling, alternative therapies, and healthy lifestyle habits.
Does Life Coaching Really Work?
Starting addiction treatment can be scary, especially because you are being assured that the many therapies – individual, family, group – will be helpful to you. Since life coaching is still new, some people are unfamiliar with its goal. Every client is unique, which means everyone will respond differently to life coaching. There is no “set” number of sessions that will work, and some clients continue to need a life coach after leaving treatment.
With all that said, life coaching DOES work. Life coaches teach recovering addicts the concrete skills that are needed to succeed in life, fulfill goals and make healthy changes both today and tomorrow. Also, if you find that you need advice in specific areas such as finance, business management or law, a life coach can assist you in finding the professional help that you need.
A life coach is another person rooting for you on your journey, helping make long-term sobriety more than a dream, but a reality.