How to Become a Rehab Therapist

How to Become a Rehab Therapist

Rehab therapists or counselors are people who help people with disabilities to live full and independent lives. Rehab therapists also help those people to accomplish their personal goals. Whether clients hope to return to a much-loved job or move into an apartment, rehab therapists help them acquire the skills and strategies they need to succeed. Rehab therapists also play an important role in raising public awareness about disability issues and achieving social justice for this undeserved population of people.

Rehab therapists quite commonly work with a wide range of people including:

  • People with a mobility impairment
  • People with a mental illness
  • People with traumatic brain injury
  • People with chronic disease
  • People with addiction and substance abuse
  • People with impairment such as blindness and deafness
  • People with language and communication disorders

Rehab therapists understand the social, emotional, and occupational barriers their clients face. To help people with disabilities especially those with addiction and substance abuse, rehab therapists need to explore what they need and prefer. In many cases those people with addiction and substance abuse need sobriety and ways to stay sober. Once that goal is identified, rehab therapists, work together with their client to develop necessary strategies of staying sober. This might involve role-playing, learning new coping skills, job modification and so much more. As needed the counselor connects the client with helpful organizations and community resources such as 12 step programs or outpatient programs. Rehab therapists also will work with employers to help them accommodate to on the job needs of people with disabilities.

So how do you become a rehab therapist?

  • Most vocational rehabilitation counselor jobs require a master’s degree in vocational counseling, rehabilitation counseling, or counseling psychology. A bachelor’s degree in social services, counseling, or psychology is a good foundation for this career choice. Graduate coursework leading to a master’s degree in rehabilitative counseling can typically be completed in two years. Courses will include disability studies, the theory and practice of counseling, psychology, rehabilitation, case management, and educational and community services. Before enrolling, students should check to see if the university or online program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). A degree from a CORE-accredited program opens up more career options.
  • After completing their coursework, vocational rehabilitation counselors put in at least 600 hours of clinical training with a qualified rehabilitation counselor. Many schools help to arrange an internship or counseling job for their students.
  • Counselors can find employment without having a professional credential, but will broaden their opportunities by obtaining a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. Most state and federal rehabilitation programs will only hire CRC counselors, as will be the case with other select programs.
  • Another option is to be certified as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). This involves qualifying to take a state licensing exam (usually a master’s degree and a specified number of hours of supervised clinical experience) and passing it. Be sure to check licensing regulations for counselors in the state you plan to work as they vary greatly from state to state.
  • Good communication and problem-solving skills are required in order to work in counseling jobs, as well as empathy and the desire to help people fulfill their goals. Counselors must also have good listening skills, compassion, and patience while working with clients.

Negative People in Recovery

Negative People in Recovery

We all know those people who only have bad things to say. Who like to gossip about other people and seem to take delight in others’ struggles – those negative people in recovery. Or maybe you are the negative one among your group of friends and acquaintances. Just because someone has stopped abusing drugs and alcohol does not mean that they are now mentally healthy. There will always be negative people in recovery and it’s important to identify them if you want to be successful in your recovery.

Addiction and Negativity

People who abuse or have abused alcohol and other drugs often have an extremely negative mental attitude. Often times, we get caught up in the grip of addiction because of the negative experiences we have had in the past. As addiction takes root, we begin to feel a lot of shame and guilt about using drugs and alcohol thereby feeding our negative attitudes. Addicts then become trapped in a negative mindset and that way can continue to justify their drug using behaviors: by only seeing the bad things in life, they can then use these as excuses to abuse alcohol and drugs.

Dangers of Negative People to Those in Recovery

Once you get clean and sober, it is not only important to shift from being a negative person but to also identify and avoid negative people in recovery. This is because humans are social beings and therefore we have a significant impact on each other. The people you surround yourself with will definitely influence your success, or lack thereof, in sobriety.

Characteristics of Negative People in Recovery

Once you are aware of what we mean as being negative, it is important to be aware of negative people in recovery so that you can not only be successful at sobriety but also have an overall better quality of life. Now that you are clean and sober, you deserve to be happy and have a more peaceful life. Negative people in recovery can keep you from having this.

 Negative people in recovery tend to share the following characteristics:

  • They are pessimistic, in general, and especially about the future – “the glass is always half empty;” they expect bad things to happen to them
  • They don’t other people; always think others have an ulterior motive even when being extended help
  • They seem to lose friends easily; almost always have somebody in their life who they aren’t talking to
  • They blame other people for all the bad things that happen to them
  • They constantly criticize others and the world, in general
  • They tend to be passive aggressive or even openly aggressive
  • They blow things out of proportions (always have some kind of drama)
  • They enjoy hearing about other people’s misfortunes, such as when someone relapses
  • Negative people in recovery tend to be completely self-centered
  • They are easily offended yet are oblivious to the fact that they often offend or hurt other people

Resentments and Relapse

You may have heard this one quite a bit: holding on to resentments will take you back out (into active addiction). There is a lot of truth to those words of caution. It is important to let go of resentments in order to heal and be successful at sobriety. Negative people in recovery, although they may be sober for the time being, are like a ticking time bomb. They might be off the drugs and alcohol but they are emotionally unwell. They hold onto anger and resentment towards the people that they feel have wronged them. Negative people in recovery are bitter about their past experiences and are not willing to let go and forgive. They get hung up on focusing on other people’s faults and shortcomings but are unwilling to look at their own. And, even if they pass themselves off as being your friend, negative people in recovery resent the success of other people and this includes you. You need to have true and positive friends in your corner if you are serious about your success at recovery.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.mentalblox.com/

http://www.helpguide.org/

 

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Many individuals who make it into recovery will relapse at least once within the first few months. This is why in many treatment centers there is so much emphasis put on providing relapse prevention techniques to those who are new in recovery and those who have also relapsed already. Returning to addiction can mean many more years of additional suffering for the addict. And some people who relapse will never have another opportunity to quit and could even die due to their drug use. This is why focusing of relapse prevention techniques is so helpful; it literally can reduce the risk of relapse and death.

Relapse prevention techniques include any tool that an addict can use to avoid a return back into drug use and drinking. The causes of relapse are usually broken down into three categories. Relapse prevention techniques have been developed to combat all of them. The three categories of relapse usually are:

  • Emotional causes: This is when the addict usually goes back to using drugs because they can’t cope with their thoughts and emotions.
  • Developing unhealthy patterns of behavior, and this makes them more prone to relapse.
  • External situation can also increase the chance of a relapse. Perfect example of this would be an individual who has halfway house roommates that are all using drugs and drinking.

Another part of relapse prevention techniques is identifying different triggers which can be precursors for relapse. By identifying relapse triggers a person can find different coping mechanisms they can use to combat them all. Here are some examples of relapse triggers:

  • Feeling sad
  • Feeling happy
  • Looking at veins
  • Going to football games
  • Driving down certain streets
  • The car or wherever the individual used
  • Certain T.V shows and music

Recognizing also what precedes the relapse is also an important relapse prevention technique. These things are kind of behaviors, thoughts or ideas an addict would have before they relapsed and there is usually a pattern with these:

  • The individual can experience overconfidence . This can mean that they are not prepared when things get hard.
  • Life in recovery can take a bit of getting used and some people may experience periods of self-pity. This is a dangerous emotion because it can sap motivation.
  • Those people who have unrealistic expectations can become disappointed.
  • If the individual_ behaves dishonestly_, it can lead them right back to addiction.
  • Occasionally, people in recovery will experience periods of depression. This can take a lot of the satisfaction out of sobriety.
  • Those who continue other types of substance abuse will be increasing their chances of relapse.
  • Taking recovery for granted leads to complacency. This then means that the individual is no longer doing those things they need to do in order to remain sober.

Also knowing the different stages of a relapse because a relapse is not merely the use of drugs and alcohol again it is also everything leading up to, is another great relapse prevention technique. Here are the stages of a relapse:

  • During the emotional stage the individual will be struggling with recovery, but not actually thinking about a return to substance abuse. The most appropriate relapse prevention tools here would be those that can restore emotional equilibrium.
  • During the mental stage of relapse, the person is thinking about drinking or using drugs again. The urge to return to addiction can be strong. Various techniques are needed to combat this before it is too late.
  • All is not lost at the relapse stage. If the individual has the right resources, they may be able to return to the recovery path right away.

How to Stop Someone from Leaving Rehab Early

How to Stop Someone from Leaving Rehab Early

Leaving Rehab Early is Usually a Mistake

Leaving rehab early is a bad idea and most who do often later regret the decision. The relapse rate among those who don’t complete treatment is much higher than those who graduate their treatment program. The general rule of thumb is: the longer you are in treatment, the better your chances of staying clean and sober. Those who do manage to stay sober often feel as if they are missing out. That’s because these facilities provide the patient with valuable knowledge and skills that will support their efforts to lead a sober lifestyle. Also, there is a great sense of achievement when people complete inpatient rehab and receive acknowledgement from staff, family, and friends for graduating. Leaving rehab early is a decision that should not be made lightly.

Things to Do to Stop Someone from Leaving Rehab Early

Make a request that they stay another 24 hours before leaving rehab early. Many times, a person will want to leave rehab early on an impulse and while emotions are high. If they still want to go after that then at least they will have put some thought into it.

It is imperative to tell therapists and staff of your loved one’s plans to leave rehab early that way these feelings can be discussed in group and one-on-one therapy.

Remind your loved one that rehab is not meant to be easy. For growth to occur, we usually need to be challenged. So the good news: the fact that treatment seems difficult can be the sign that it is working.

Suggest to your loved one that they write down the reasons to stay and reasons to leave. It is helpful to see things in black and white in order to get clarity and gain perspective.

Don’t sugar-coat the consequences of leaving rehab early. Take a stand by telling your loved one that you will not enable them and that addiction is serious and life-threatening. In many cases, drug addiction is a death sentence.

Encourage your loved one to think and stay positive by looking for the good aspects of rehab and focusing on the benefits of a life without being drug dependent. Often times, people want to leave rehab early because they have fallen into the common pitfall of negativity. It can spread through a rehab like wildfire.

Encourage your loved one to take advantage of their alone time in rehab to improve on self-reflection and self-awareness.

Benefits for Completing Rehab

Completing rehab will ensure that your loved one has a strong foundation on which they can build a fulfilling and meaningful life in recovery:  gained additional knowledge and skills. This is will especially benefit them in the crucial first weeks and months in recovery.

By staying in rehab, they will have had time to make crucial and beneficial aftercare plans for a successful recovery.

From a consumer standpoint, the longer your loved one stays in rehab, the more time to benefit from the resources available to them from the facility. In this way, your loved one will have gotten the most out of their (or your) investment.

Quite simply, by staying in rehab longer, the person will have added more days to their recovery – this means that they have put some more distance between themselves and addiction.

 

Sources:

http://alcoholism.about.com/

http://www.thefix.com/

How to Become a Sober Companion

How to Become a Sober Companion

Sober companions are probably best known by their work with celebrities as almost “glorified babysitters” but of course there is much more to it than that. Also, not all sober companions are watch dogs for celebrities. Sober companions work with slews of addicts and alcoholics sometimes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help them remain abstinent.

What is a sober companion?

A sober companion or sober coach provides one-on-one assistance to newly recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The goal is to help the client maintain total abstinence from alcohol and drugs, and to establish healthy routines outside of a residential treatment facility. Controversy exists between sober companions, not only in their name (sober companion vs. sober coach vs. recovery coach), but over the use of any situation placing them in contact with other enablers. Also, some sober companions strongly agree with 12 step programs; other sober companions do not support the 12 step process and use alternative methods.

So how can you become a sober companion if you want to be one?

In keeping with several other forms of drug rehabilitation, some sober companions have no formal training or qualification. Most (but not all) companions are recovering addicts who have themselves been able to maintain multiple years of sobriety. While some companions will have some training in psychology, sociology, or medicine, in addition to a strong personal program of recovery, some may have taken the Recovery Coaching certifications offered by Recovery Coaching International (recoverycoaches.org) or the very inexpensive (sometimes free) training offered by the Connecticut Center for Addiction Recovery (CCAR.org) training in a model for peer recovery support specialist roles and responsibilities. A few independent providers, such as Sober Champion require literature study and in-person training by an experienced professional.

There are growing recovery associations (Sober.com, crossroadscoaching.com, RCI.org, ICF.org, OASAS.org) and boards established to set standards or monitor the state of the field recovery coaching, that overlap some of the roles of a sober companion. There is no formal sober companion oversight and accountability as yet. Since early in 2011, Faces and Voices in Recovery has been working on developing standards, credentialing and more clearly defined roles of a recovery coach, peer support specialist, and a sober companion. One can see why there is a concern according to the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, as it is a process that is just underway.

The Sociotherapy Association certifies and trains Support Companions, Recovery/Sober Companions, Elderly Companions, and Adolescent Companions. The Sociotherapy Association in America created the Support Companions program to offer real support and relationship to those in need.

If you really want to be a sober companion the best place to start is with someone who already is. So go out and find people who are already doing what you want to do. If you can’t find anyone who is a sober companion go ahead and get on your computer. You can be sure to find ways to become a sober companion online.

The Most Addictive Drugs

 The Most Addictive Drugs

A team of researchers led by Professor David Nutt of London’s Imperial College recently set out to determine which drugs were most harmful based on their addictive properties. Dutch scientists replicated the London study and devised a “dependency rating” that measured addictive potency of the biggest drugs out there on a precisely calibrated scale of 0-to-3 to see how the most addictive drugs rank.

#10 GHB: 1.71 Dependence Rating

Last on the list is a depressant and club drug that may itself be a neurotransmitter. It has cross-tolerance with alcohol—if you drink regularly, you’ll need to ingest more GHB to get high—as well as a short half-life in the body and a brutal withdrawal syndrome that causes insomnia, anxiety, dizziness and vomiting. The combination is nasty: Take a lot of GHB to make up for your tolerance to alcohol and you could be hooked.

#9 Benzodiazepines: 1.89 Dependence Rating

There’s a reason your doctor will tell you to taper off these prescription anti-anxiety drugs (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, et al) after taking them for a while. Each one increases the effectiveness of a brain chemical called GABA, which reduces the excitability of many other neurons and decreases anxiety. Because benzodiazepines cause rapid tolerance, quitting cold turkey causes a multi-symptom withdrawal that includes irritability, anxiety and panic attacks—enough to make just about anybody fall right back into benzo’s comforting arms.

#8 Amphetamines: 1.95 Dependence Rating

Adderall users beware: Regular amphetamine including Adderall and Dexedrine might not be quite as addictive as meth, but because it acts on the same reward circuit, it still causes rapid tolerance and desire for more if used regularly or in high doses. Quitting cold turkey can cause severe depression and anxiety, as well as extreme fatigue—and you can guess what extreme fatigue makes you crave

#7 Cocaine: 2.13 Dependence Rating

Cocaine prevents the reabsorption of dopamine in the brain’s reward areas. After you use enough blow, your brain reduces the number of dopamine receptors in this region, figuring it’s already got plenty of it. You can see where this is going. Because there are now fewer receptors, stopping the drug makes you crave it—after all, the body needs its dopamine. Cocaine doesn’t destroy dopamine neurons like methamphetamine, which makes its effect less powerfully addictive, but the fast method of use (snorting), short high (less than an hour) and rapid tolerance put it in the top ten.

#6 Alcohol: 2.13 Dependence Rating

Because alcohol is legal and often consumed in social settings, alcohol addiction is complicated. But as an addictive agent, it’s remarkably simple—and effective. Alcohol’s withdrawal syndrome is so severe that it can cause death, and its effects on the brain’s reward system cause well-documented and intense craving in heavy drinkers. Regardless of the mechanism, 17.9 million Americans (7% of the US population) were classified as being addicted to or abusing alcohol in 2010.

#5 Crystal Meth: 2.24 Dependence Rating

Directly mimicking a natural neurotransmitter “teaches” your brain to want a drug—that’s how nicotine and heroin work. Crystal methamphetamine takes it to the next level: it imitates the reward chemical dopamine and the alertness chemical norepinephrine, causing your neurons to release more of both—all the while training your brain to want them more. What’s worse, the drug can damage dopamine- and norepinephrine-releasing neurons, which leads to a drastic decrease in their production, thereby making you crave more meth. It’s an addict’s nightmare and a marketer’s dream. That is why meth is one of the most addictive drugs.

#4 Methadone: 2.68 Dependence Rating

In a clinical setting, tolerance to this drug is actually considered a good thing when treating a heroin addiction. A junkie getting treated with methadone will quickly become resistant to its euphoric effects and use it to keep heroin withdrawal symptoms at bay. The problem is this: tolerance to methadone is a sign of an addiction to it and methadone withdrawal is nightmarish and longer-lasting than kicking heroin. This combination puts methadone in the top 5 most addictive drugs.

#3 Nicotine: 2.82 Dependence Rating

This might be surprising to most. But nicotine ranks high – in the top 3 most addictive drugs. The reason: though nicotine doesn’t cause the rush of heroin or crack, it’s biologically similar in a crucial way: it mimics a common neurotransmitter—so well that scientists named one of the acetylcholine receptors after it. Smoking regularly reduces the number and sensitivity of these “nicotinic” receptors, and requires that the user keep ingesting nicotine just to maintain normal brain function. There are a shocking 50,000,000 nicotine addicts in the US, and one in every five deaths nationwide are the result of smoking.

#2 Crack Cocaine: 2.82Dependence Rating

Although crack cocaine and powder cocaine have similar chemical compositions and effects, smoking processed crack causes a faster, higher rush that lasts for less time (about 10 minutes, versus 15-30 for powder cocaine). The intensity of the high combined with the efficient method of ingestion—smoking—are the big reasons why addiction rates are dramatically higher for crack than they are for snorted powder. In 2010, there were an estimated 500,000 active crack cocaine addicts in the United States.

#1 Heroin: 2.89 Dependence Rating

No surprise here: heroin’s addictiveness is the stuff of legend. As an opiate, it affects opioid receptors throughout the body and mimics endorphins, reducing pain and causing pleasure. Areas of the brain involved in reward processing and learning are stocked with tons of these opioid receptors, so when you inject heroin, you are basically training your brain to make you crave it. Pair that with nasty withdrawal symptoms and high fat solubility (which allows it to get into your brain quickly), and you have the most addictive drug in the world. An estimated 281,000 people received treatment for heroin addiction in the US in 2003, and according to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, 23% of people who have ever used heroin become addicts.

So, there you have it: the list from least to most addictive drugs.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

www.nih.gov

www.niaaa.nih.gov

http://www.thefix.com

 

 

 

How to Become a Life Coach in 5 Easy Steps

How to Become a Life Coach in 5 Easy Steps

Life coaches are professionals who work with people to help them build on past successes and make desired changes in their lives. U.S. News and World Report have cited life coaching as the second biggest consulting business in the recent years. Being a life coach is all about helping others. If you want to help others by becoming a life coach, here are the steps you need to take.

  1. Be a caring, empathetic individual. Much of the work a life coach does is helping people set goals and encouraging them to achieve them. This requires being someone who likes being in touch with people in a friendly manner.
  2. Decide on what area of life coaching you wish to specialize in. Some life coaches specialize in coaching people on defining visions for their lives and seeking ways to improve them. Some coaches focus on helping clients choose and train for careers, while others coach executives in how to run their businesses, and still others coach clients in managing their interpersonal relationships. There are even coaches who specialize in working with recovering addicts and alcoholics. Deciding what fields of life coaching you want to be in is paramount in the steps to becoming a life coach.
  3. You don’t need to have a background as a therapist or counselor. Some life coaches have backgrounds as successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, educators or human resource administrator’s psychiatrists, psychologists or counselors. Many turn to life coaching because of the opportunity to work with people who are already functioning well to help them function better.
  4. Get training in life coaching. Most life coaches are trained in private institutes, although the classes are structured like college classes, with a mixture of required courses and electives. Often, classes are delivered online or by telephone. Be mentored by an established life coach. Just as therapists receive hours of counseling during their training, new life coaches are mentored by experienced coaches to supplement their training. Mentoring may occur in group sessions or with individual coaches over the phone.
  5. Receive accreditation from a recognized organization. Organizations such as the International Coach Federation or the International Association of Coaching set standards and a code of ethics for life coaches and certify those life coaches who conform to those standards. There is no requirement for any life coach to take part in a credentialing program; however, doing so will make you part of the credentialing organization’s life coaching network and can direct clients to you. Continue to improve your life coaching skills. Many of the life coach accrediting organizations offer continuing education classes to further develop your life coaching skills, as well as conferences where you can meet with and seek advice from other life coaches.

Being a life coach can be really rewarding if you choose to enter into the field. Helping people make their lives better is the ultimate goal of life coaching regardless of what field it is in. If you are wondering how to become a life coach your best bet is to follow these steps and find a life coach you can get some advice from.

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Life-Coach

What is a Sober Companion?

What is a Sober Companion?

What is a Sober Companion, Sober Coach, or Recovery Coach?

A sober companion, sober coach, or recovery coach provides one-on-one assistance to newly recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The goal is to help the client maintain total abstinence from alcohol and drugs, and to establish healthy routines outside of a residential treatment facility. Sober coaches assist with the transition from treatment back to everyday living. The sober coach will meet the client at discharge, accompany them on their trip home, and within 24 hours, attend with them their first AA or NA meeting.

What are the Duties of a Sober Companion?

The sober companion’s duties encompass a wide variety, from ensuring that the client remains abstinent to serving as a resource broker and advocate in the client’s home community.

The primary duty of a sober companion is to ensure the recovering addict does not relapse. They may be hired to provide round the clock care, be on-call, or to accompany the recovering addict during particular activities, such as taking them to fellowship meetings at which the recovery coach encourages them to meet people and get phone numbers. They work together with the client in making their home a clean and sober environment, as well support the client in following through with their recommended discharge plan.

A sober companion also acts as an advocate for the newly recovering person and provides new ways for the client to act in their own living environment. Many companions use techniques such as chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, meditation, distraction, massage, diet and proper nutrition, exercise and even prayer and affirmation of sober choices. A sober coach either completely removes the addict from his own environment of hidden stashes, or may search for hidden drugs in their own environment, in an effort to make the living environment safe for the client and to prevent them from relapsing

How Long Does Sober Companion Services Last?

Companions are available to assist clients for as long as support is deemed necessary. Sober companion treatment usually lasts for 30 days however, oftentimes, much longer. The time required to effect a meaningful change varies greatly depending upon the client, their co-occurring disorders, and the family life at home. Ideally, a companion’s presence in the client’s life will decrease as the client’s ability to confront family, work, and legal issues without relapse is proven. Some providers stay with their clients for many months, and some offer only transportation services.

The Benefits of Having a Sober Companion

The first few days outside of the structured treatment setting are typically the most critical – and most trying for the newly recovering alcoholic/addict. This transitional period is often awkward and uncomfortable for the recovering person therefore, sober companionship and coaching offers support, encouragement, and camaraderie during this crucial time.

Other circumstances for which having a sober coach is beneficial are cases where an actor or musician will not attend treatment, but must remain abstinent to complete a film or recording project. Another circumstance might be that the newly recovering alcoholic/addict is in school and thus needs to be back in their own living environment.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org

http://www.soberescorts.com/

 

 

How Can I Become a Recovery Coach?

How Can I Become a Recovery Coach?

 

What is recovery coaching?

Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for anyone who has an addiction or is in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches work with anyone who has active addictions as well as people who are already in recovery. Recovery coaches are helpful for making decisions about what to do with your life and the part your addiction or recovery plays within your life. Recovery coaches usually try to help clients find ways to stop addiction by maintaining abstinence, or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches can help a client find resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, local or online support groups; or help a client create a change plan to recover on their own as well as make goals and plans to achieve those goals.

How can I become a recovery coach?

There are multiple programs that offer recovery coach training such as the recovery coach institute or RCI. RCI has a website that you can utilize regardless if you already have recovery coach training or have no experience at all. RCI supports Recovery Coach training programs that are approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Basic coach training is available through any of the ICF schools listed on the International Coaching Federation (ICF) website. www.recoverycoaching.org

If you:

•are a certified coach, you can get Recovery Coaching training through a specialized Recovery Coaching school.

•have no coach training, you can get it through any of the ICF schools listed on the ICF website.

•are a chemical dependency professional, you can take advanced training to learn about coaching so you can integrate a coaching style into your current work. Or you can become a certified coach by training at an ICF-approved school. A list of approved training programs is available on the ICF website.

•are a psychotherapist specializing in addiction recovery, you can consider basic coach training through an ICF-approved program.

Many treatment centers also offer Recovery Coach Academies or RCA.  A general overview of a recovery coach academy looks something like this:

Recovery Coach Academy is designed to help individuals, professional and non-professional, working in the Human Service Field. A Recovery Coach is anyone interested in promoting recovery by:

• Removing barriers and obstacles to recovery by serving as a personal guide

• Education

• Motivational Interviewing

• Personal Boundaries

• Ethics and Case Management

Recovery coach training also involves:

Training Objectives

• A guide and ethical standard for non-professionals and case managers

• A training guide for professionals to teach volunteer staff

• Motivational and Interviewing skills

• Defining the Recovery Coach role

If you search for recovery coach training or utilize the ICF or RCI websites you can find multiple ways to become a recovery coach wherever you are located. Each state has different resources as well as different institutes, academies, and training programs for you to become a recovery coach. If you feel like recovery coaching might be for you then go ahead and see what your state has to offer. While you don’t need recovery coaching certification to become a recovery coach it can definitely help in all facets of your addiction and recovery career.

 

 

 

Practice the Principles: Step 3

step 3

 

Step 3: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Being a self-proclaimed agnostic and some-time science nerd, it was initially difficult for me to accept and adhere to the 12 Steps, what with all the “God talk” throughout. Step 3 is the first to explicitly use the word “God” and this was off-putting to me. But I was in the business of saving my life and, having the gift of desperation, I was willing to try anything. Even Step 3.

At about thirty pounds under weight due to a steady diet of opiates, crack, and benzos I had the willingness to try something new, something different because I had tried everything I could think of to stop drinking and drugging. There was the moving from place to place (states apart), psychiatry, medication, acupuncture…you name it. But I couldn’t stop.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me that this way of thinking and behaving is typical for people like me: the addict/alcoholic. It also tells me that sheer willpower alone will not get and keep me clean and sober; that I lacked a spiritual foundation without which, I would never get what I was seeking: a life without dependence on alcohol and other drugs. Steps 1 and 2 speak of our powerlessness over substances and mention the existence of something greater than ourselves that could save us from ourselves. Step 3 is the first step to suggest seeking God as that power “greater than us.”

Allow me to shed some light on my resistance to subscribing to a program that emphasizes the word “God.” I am that kid who, as early as elementary school, would be scolded daily for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance. My reasoning: because it includes the word “God” and, even at the young age of seven or eight, I was a firm believer in Separation of Church and State. I was that kind of rebel.

Now, I have for a long time made the distinction between being spiritual and being religious. I always thought of myself as a spiritual person but not a religious one. And there certainly is a difference. But, it wasn’t until I decided to get clean and become willing to follow the 12 Steps that I really got to test my ability to distinguish between the two. And Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him, was where the real test began because it is the first of the 12 Steps that uses the word “God.”

 

The Big Book’s authors did a huge service to the atheist/agnostic by preceding the Step 3 Principle with a chapter called, “We Agnostics.” In it, Bill W. and Dr. Bob acknowledge those of us who do not believe in the traditional concept of God. But our predecessors were even more understanding and respectful of the agnostic when writing Step 3; they explicitly included “as we understood Him” in the wording.  Aha! This sort of loophole is perfect to the alcoholic/addict who likes to manipulate words and meanings. And it was intentional. It allows those of us who do not believe in “God” per se, to create our own version of a power greater than ourselves when working Step 3.

Once I surrendered and worked Step 3 along with the rest of the 12 Steps, I was finally able to get and stay clean and sober.