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 ( or the very inexpensive (sometimes free) training offered by the Connecticut Center for Addiction Recovery ( 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 (,,,, 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.

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.

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.








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.

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.




Q&A: Where can I find a Food Addiction Recovery Coach?

Food addiction, binge eating

Food addiction is a serious illness that many American’s suffer from. For some people, food activates the brain in the same way that drugs and alcohol do-giving them a sense of pleasure and activating the reward centers in their brain. Foods that activate this center are high in sugar, fat, and/or salt. The eating of these types of food triggers a release of dopamine-a feel good chemical. The reward signals from food may override other signals of fullness and satisfaction. As a result, people keep eating, even when they are not hungry.

People who suffer from food addiction can also develop a tolerance to food. They eat more and more, only to find that they get less and less satisfaction from eating. People who have a food addiction will continue to eat despite negative consequences.

Recovery from food addiction can often be more difficult than recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, because you cannot just abstain from eating. Your body needs food to survive. This is where a food addiction recovery coach can be very helpful.

A food addiction recovery coach can help you stay on the path to recovery. They can help you set goals and work through them. They can help you change your life and your attitude towards food. They can provide the support you need to recover from your addiction.

The first place to look when you are trying to find a food addiction recovery coach is through your therapist or treatment center. Food addiction treatment centers and food addiction therapists will be able to refer you to a good food addiction recovery coach.

If you are not seeing a therapist or have not been to a food addiction treatment center, a good place to start is your local 12-step program for food addiction. These can be called Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA), or Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FARA). These meetings are good places to find support for your food addiction recovery, and other people who suffer from the same addiction can be the best people to ask about finding a food addiction recovery coach.

Another resource you can use when you are trying to find a food addiction recovery coach is the internet. Do a Google search for professionals in your area, and call around to find the right fit for you. Generally, you will be able to meet your Food Addiction Recovery Coach before you hire them to make sure they are the right fit for you.

However you find a Food Addiction Recovery Coach, the important thing is that you are taking steps to help your recovery from food addiction. Establishing a support system is a vital part of overcoming any addiction, and a Food Addiction Recovery Coach can be a great addition to your support system, especially in the early days of recovery. A Food Addiction Recovery Coach is just one more way to give yourself a better chance to lead a life of recovery and happiness.

In Person vs. Online Recovery Coaching

In person vs online

Recovery Coaching is a professional relationship that helps people who are in or want recovery from alcoholism and addiction. Recovery coaching helps to produce results in addict’s and alcoholic’s lives, jobs, careers, organizations, businesses, etc., while also helping them to move forward with their recovery. Recovery coaches tap into the health and wellness in each individual. They are different than sponsors and therapists because they don’t promote any particular way of getting and achieving sobriety. The focus of recovery coaches is to create and sustain meaningful lives for addicts and alcoholics. Recovery Coaches are professionals who have been trained to listen, observe and customize their approach to the individual needs of their clients. They are trained to help clients resolve ambivalence, increase confidence and motivation, and use a strengths-based approach to addiction recovery.

Recovery coaching in person is exactly what it sounds like; meeting with a recovery coach face to face. Obviously some of the major benefits of recovery coaching in person is that you get to meet your recovery coach, feel their energy and really build a close bond with them. Not only that but there is the real accountability factor of allowing your recovery coach to look you in the eyes. Recovery coaching in person means that you have to be more honest and real. Although it does mean that you have to take time out of your schedule to go meet with them.

Online recovery coaching gives you the benefit of having a recovery coach anywhere in the United States. Online recovery coaching also doesn’t clog up your busy schedule. With online recovery coaching you can at any time meet with your recovery coach and all you need is a computer. Online recovery coaching does have its down falls. Online recovery coaching doesn’t allow you to meet face to face with your recovery coach and there isn’t as much accountability just talking to someone online as there is meeting someone face to face.

Really the only difference between recovery coaching in person and online recovery coaching is the difference in flexibility and accountability. Both online and in person recovery coaching can meet the goals of what a recovery coach is meant to do for you. Really whether or not one is better than the other is all dependent on your wants and needs in your own life. If you have a busy schedule and already are pretty accountable than online recovery coaching may be the perfect thing for you to take your recovery to the next level without having to take much time out of your day. If you are struggling with accountability and are more of the type of person who benefits from real one on one social interaction to get going then in person recovery coaching is probably the best option for you. With the one on one interaction you can really thrive within that connection with your recovery coach as opposed to online.

Either way for anyone new in sobriety or even later in sobriety who wants to take their lives to the next level can benefit from both in person recovery coaching and online recovery coaching depending on their needs.

Q&A: What credentials do I need to be a recovery coach?

Q&A: What credentials do I need to be a recovery coach?

In most states, you don’t need any credentials in order to be a recovery coach yet. Although, if you want you can get your recovery coach certification by taking recovery coaching classes through some kind of recovery coaching program. Many states do offer courses in order to become a Recovery Support Specialist. This is not necessary for you to be a recovery coach though. You may find it easier to get a job as a recovery coach with some credentials though and the programs and classes to become a recovery coach are fairly inexpensive for what you are getting. There may come a time when recovery coaches are asked to have credentials before working with clients but it has not come yet. Part of this may be because a lot of what recovery coaches do is based on experience and not so much what they learn in a class. Either way the credentials won’t hurt if you want to be a recovery coach but not having them will not and should not hold you back from becoming what you want: a recovery coach.

Q&A: How long should I wait before becoming a Recovery coach?

If you are in recovery yourself it may be a good idea to wait at least a year before becoming a recovery coach. If you are wondering why you should wait at least a year before you become a recovery coach it is because that amount of time will allow you to become stable in your own recovery before you begin helping someone become stable in theirs. Being a recovery coach is no easy task and you have to be able to confidently help other recovering addicts and alcoholics. If it is at all possible it would be best to wait as long as possible before becoming a recovery coach. For instance, waiting 5 years would be even better than one year. 5 years would give your own recovery more stability, accountability and reference.

With at least 5 years of sobriety you will have experienced most of the things that someone you are coaching is going to go through and know how to handle the situation or give good coaching advice based on your own experience. Being a recovery coach is a big job, because someone else is expecting you to help them stay sober even though you can’t do it for them you can send them off in the right or wrong direction and you have to make sure that you are headed in the right direction yourself. The best time to wait before becoming a recovery coach if you really want to be the best recovery coach possible is 2-5 years. If you can do this you will not only be more comfortable but someone else will be more comfortable with you as their recovery coach and that’s the whole point.

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching

One of the most important issues facing the addiction and mental health communities is how to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. People of all types suffer from the disease of addiction. Addicts come from every culture in the world. More and more addicts of different backgrounds are seeking addiction treatment.  This is why cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching is especially important.

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching: Culture and Addiction

Cultural differences can play a big part in recovery from addiction. It can be a factor in whether or not a person even seeks help in the first place, and it can be a factor in whether or not a person receives effective addiction treatment. In order to be an effective recovery coach, you must understand the role of culture in addiction and how it may impact recovery. Part of recovery coaching is a mutual relationship of trust and respect, and this is sometimes impossible without cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching.

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching: Common Mistakes

There are a few common mistakes that recovery coaches make regarding cultural sensitivity. Even recovery coaches with the best intentions can undermine a relationship with a client.

1. Ignore the possibility that culture is one of the defining characteristics of some clients:  For some clients, cultural identity may be a big part of their addiction. Ignoring this possibility could be disastrous for a relationship with a client.

2. Assume that culture is a defining characteristic of all “minority” clients: If your client views him or herself outside the context of any cultural identity, it’s important for you to view him or her that way as well.

3. Assure a client of a different culture that you “understand”: This is an important rule of cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching. Making comments like “some of my best friends are…” can come off as condescending. Rather than trying to prove how much you know about a client’s culture, demonstrate your willingness to learn from your client.

4. Treat a client as a member of a group rather than as an individual: Cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching is important, but remember that your client is an individual. Accept whatever size and space culture takes up in your client’s life. Don’t assume that the client has all the characteristics that are common of his or her culture.

5. Assume you have an advantage with clients of the same culture as you: It may be easy to think that because you come from the same culture, you will have an insight into your client’s cultural background. However, your own feelings about the culture can hinder as much as it helps. You may unknowingly force some of your own beliefs on your client.

6. Overlook more obvious interpretations, and interpret every client action in the context of culture: A common mistake in cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching is assuming every action has to do with culture. Remember that human beings are more alike than different, and that we all want to love and be loved.



Difference between a Recovery Coach and a Life Coach

Difference between a Recovery Coach and a Life Coach

Difference between a Recovery Coach and a Life Coach

Most people think that recovery coaching and life coaching are the same thing. While it’s true that there is a lot of overlap between the two fields, they are not the same thing. But before we examine the difference between a recovery coach and a life coach, let’s look at how they are the same.

Recovery Coach and Life Coach: Similarities

  • Life coaching and recovery coaching both help people identify and achieve personal goals.
  • Life coaches and recovery coaches are not 12-step sponsors
  • Life coaching and recovery coaching work off a partnership model wherein the client is considered to be the expert on his or her life, the one who decides what is worth doing, and the coach provides expertise in supporting successful change.
  • Life coaches and recovery coaches are not therapists, and sessions are not meant to replace traditional therapy.
  • Life coaching and recovery coaching teach to thrive in recovery, not merely survive.
  • Life coaches and recovery coaches help you build a successful future.
  • Life coaches and recovery coaches are holistic guides: they help you grow mind, body and spirit.
  • Life coaches and recovery coaches support and guide you.

Recovery Coach and Life Coach: Difference

The main difference between a recovery coach and a life coach is that you don’t have to be in recovery to use a life coach. If you are in recovery, a life coach can help you towards your recovery goals as well as your other life goals.  However, people who are not in recovery use life coaches too.

Recovery coaching is specifically designed for people in recovery. To this end, recovery coaches may have a better idea of the specific challenges that relate to recovery from drugs and alcohol. This is not always the case, and many times life coaches have a lot of experience working with people in recovery, but this is one of the main differences between a recovery coach and a life coach.

Another difference between a recovery coach and a life coach is that a recovery coach focuses on your recovery goals as well as your life goals. They understand that you need a solid recovery before you can focus on other things in your life like school, career, and relationships. They also understand that to have a sustainable recovery, you must develop personal goals and make plans to attain them.

In addiction, we are often very destructive. Many of us come into treatment with our lives in shambles. We destroy relationships, finances, and career prospects. Those of us who suffer from the disease of alcoholism and addiction tend to be extraordinarily bad at managing our own lives. Unfortunately, this does not magically resolve itself when the drugs and alcohol are removed from the equation. Many of us still need extra support and guidance when it comes to rebuilding our lives and making plans for a happy, healthy and productive future. This is where life coaches and recovery coaches can help.