Coaching 101: How it works

Published Nov. 10, 2017

Wondering what peer coaches do and how they can help you or a loved one get well? We break it down so you can decide if coaching is for you.

Here are our 10 most common questions about coaching, asked and answered:

What is addiction management coaching?

Our coaching helps you manage the complex issues around addiction. Our focus is on achieving wellness in all respects. We provide specialized coaching to those suffering from addiction as well as loved ones.

How can coaching help me?

You’ll learn about addiction, get connected to needed resources and, most importantly, get support on your journey to wellness. You’ll gain a mentor who's trained to help you set goals and empower you to make lasting changes to stay well. 

How does your coaching help loved ones?

Our coaches help concerned loved ones address their own wellness and strengthen their defenses against addiction's damaging effects. Coaches also help loved ones learn new, more effective ways to encourage their family member or friend to get help.  

Who are the coaches?

Our coaches are peers with a shared lived experience. This means they’ve personally overcome addiction or, for our loved one coaches, have a close family member who has. They’ve walked in your shoes and understand what you’re going through. 

What kind of training do they have?

Our coaches have extensive training in more than 17 areas ranging from ethics and privacy to wellness planning and chronic disease management. 

Before they can coach, they complete 16 hours of training online, eight hours of lecture and practice in the classroom and at least eight hours shadowing a more experienced coach. To be certified, they must pass a final exam. 

How do I select a coach?

At your first meeting, we’ll learn a little bit about you, your background and preferences and match you with an appropriate coach. Sometimes you may see different coaches. And you can always switch coaches if it’s not a good fit.

How long am I coached?

Our standard program is to meet weekly for 12 weeks for people with addiction and six weeks for loved ones. But members can continue with coaching as long as they find it helpful. We have many members who've worked with coaches for a year or more.

We provide coaching in person, but can also coach via video or by phone.

What do the coaching sessions focus on?

Our coaching program is practical, supportive and goal-oriented. We work with you to set personal goals and map out a wellness plan to achieve them.

How is it different from counseling or support groups?

Coaching is somewhere in between these two. Our support is less formal than a professional counselor, but more structured than a typical 12-step sponsor. The coaching relationship is a partnership, with a focus on goal-setting and practical skills.

What if I’m not ready to stop using?

That’s OK. We focus on helping our members move in the right direction, no matter what path they choose to get well.

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