In order to know if you might be enabling and not coaching you first have to recognize the difference between enabling and coaching. Enabling is when you are doing something for your client that they can or should be doing for themselves. Your job as a recovery coach is not to save your client or do things for them that they should be doing for themselves, it is merely to show them the path to success and how to do all of those things for themselves! If you are worried you might be enabling and not coaching there are some signs that can let you know. Here are 3 ways you might be enabling and not coaching:
You are allowing rules to be bent or broken
As a recovery coach it is your responsibility to set firm and easily defined boundaries, guidelinesand rules for your client. If you are allowing rules to be bent or broken you might be enabling and not coaching. You begin allow the rules to be bent or broken when you stop understanding that you deserve to be respected and that means your boundaries, rules, and guidelines you lay out for your client must be respected. If your requests for respect and accountability fall on deaf ears and only result in more rules being bent or broken or missed appointments etc. then you might be enabling and not coaching. You have to set personal boundaries as a coach that cannot be repeatedly crossed.
Cleaning up their mess
If you find yourself covering for your client if they miss work, school or IOP then you might be enabling and not coaching. If you have picked up your client at a bar in the middle of the night or bailed them out of jail than you are enabling and not coaching. An addict should always take responsibility for their actions and their life. By constantly helping them escape responsibility you are making their addiction worse and helping them destroy themselves which is the exact opposite of what you want to do.
Not confronting them
If you are afraid of confronting your client about their behavior then you might be enabling and not coaching. Your job is to give your client the best advice you have and to call them out on their behavior to better their life. There is a good chance they will get angry but addiction is a problem that needs some tough love and you know this. A drug or alcohol addiction wont go away all by itself and it is your job to coach your client and confront them about their problems. If you aren’t confronting them out of fear or whatever reason then you are enabling and not coaching.
It can be really easy to enable an addict or alcoholic instead of coaching them. A lot of the times the two are closely related but being able to know the signs you might be enabling and not coaching can help to avoid any enabling problems.