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What is a Recovery Coach?

A Recovery Coach helps people who are having a difficult time getting back on their feet after a period of hardship and challenges. The Recovery Coach adopts the role of a consultant, helping the person who is in recovery to:

  • Develop their own Recovery Plan;
  • Shift from a focus on problems to a focus on possibilities and opportunities;
  • Identify what resources they have available to them to support them in their recovery;
  • Accept that no one but the person themselves can actually do the work of recovery;
  • Formulate a number of recovery goals that are appropriate to their own particular situation;
  • Identify specific and practical objectives that align with the recovery goals that have been agreed upon;
  • Establish milestones that will show how they are adapting to their recovery in a clear and measurable way;
  • Create contingency plans for times when things don’t go as planned.
  • Develop new tools, strategies and skills to support long-term recovery.

Recovery Coaching isn’t therapy. The emphasis is neither on a person’s past nor does it delve into the depths of a person’s emotional life. Rather, coaching focuses on the pragmatic challenges of the present day and on the realistic possibilities for helpful action in the future. As such, a Recovery Coach differs from other roles that people might be familiar with.

A Recovery Coach is NOT a:

  • Counsellor
  • Social Worker
  • Judge
  • Psychologist
  • Lawyer
  • Pastor, Priest, Rabbi, Imam, or other spiritual adviser
  • Sponsor
  • Doctor
  • Case worker
  • Financial adviser
  • Loan officer
  • Marriage counsellor
  • Roommate
  • Landlord
  • Best friend

What is the Process?

Once a person agrees to avail of Recovery Coaching, we arrange an initial formal meeting at which the coaching process is discussed and a Recovery Coaching Agreement is signed by both the coach and the person in recovery. The Agreement is to ensure transparency about issues such as confidentiality, data protection, professional liability insurance, and the coaching code of ethics. It also provides some nuts-and-bolts information such as payment for sessions and rescheduling or cancellation protocols.

The second and most important task of the first session is a recovery-plan questionnaire. The purpose of this is to map the areas that a coaching relationship will cover. Recovery Coaching is quite different from a treatment-based approach in that it can take a person’s whole support system into consideration, including: self-care, family, friends, interests, community, employment, personal and professional skills development, education and learning, finances, intimate relationships, or spirituality. The questionnaire is quite long, but it does provide a very comprehensive mapping of what the recovery needs are, and what potential directions the coaching might take.

The third task of the first meeting is to schedule a weekly coaching appointment, with an initial commitment of 10 sessions, with the possibility of continuation. Weekly sessions cost £45 and are of 60-90 minutes duration.

To find out more about Recovery Coaching, please get in touch.

My Approach

I trust in the helpful transformations that take place when someone has a safe space and a listening ear to support their recovery, in their own time and at their own pace.

My own practice as a Recovery Coach is guided by the Recovery Coach Manual (Shinholser and Payne) of the McShin Foundation (mcshin.org), and by the Manual for Recovery Coaching and Personal Recovery Plan Development (Loveland and Boyle, 2005).

I am also a Visiting Senior Research Fellow with the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing of Canterbury Christ Church University. My coaching is informed by my own research in personal and organisational transformation. This research provides an evidence-based foundation for all aspects of my practice and is supported by transformational approaches that align with my own work, including Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy, Polyvagal Theory, and Transpersonal Psychology.

I hold an Advanced Diploma in Personal and Executive Coaching from Kingstown College, Dublin.