What You Should Know About Sober Coaches vs. Sponsors

tagsOutpatient Treatment

Do you know the difference between sober coaches and sponsors? You survived detox and then spent a couple of months in residential rehab, went through transitional living and lived in a sober house for a while before moving into your own home. You have a sponsor, a therapist and go to 12-step meetings. So, why do you need a sober coach or sponsor to keep you drug-free?

The early days of addiction recovery, especially for those experiencing the process for the first time, can be both physically and mentally painful. It is one of the greatest challenges you will have to overcome in life. A sober companion or sober coach provides one-on-one assistance to those new to recovery to help the client maintain total abstinence from alcohol and drugs and to establish healthy routines outside of a residential rehab treatment facility.

In short, the primary duty of a sober coach is to ensure the recovering addict does not relapse. That’s a tall order for anyone, but sober coaches and companions are usually long-term recovered alcoholics and addicts whose recovery is characterized by a healthy, sober lifestyle and who are often actively participating in 12-step based recovery programs. They are men and women who have been where you are, felt what you feel and have found relief and strength in overcoming addiction.

What You Should Know About Sober Coaches vs. Sober Companions

What is the Difference Between Sober Coaches and Sober Companions?

A sober coach is not the same as a 12-step sponsor. In fact, some sober living coaches do not support the twelve step process and use alternative methods. A coach will be on call 24/7 for counseling as well as be available for daily or weekly coaching calls or face-to-face meetings. They will help build your self-esteem, empower you, help you to set goals, work with you and your support team on their plan of recovery and connect you with resources that will aid in your recovery process.

In addition, sober coaches help their clients build life skills that can change the way they handle stress, sadness, and disappointment. Dealing with emotions and negative thoughts can be hard for so many in recovery, but sober coaches work to build upon the strength you gained in detox. Once the path to sobriety has begun, the sober coach will keep you steadily moving towards lifelong sobriety.

A Sober Companion stays by the client’s side for an allotted period of time, such as flying with them from their recovery facility to their home state in what is often referred to as “safe passage” or it may entail accompanying the client to a function. Some recovering addicts have a sober companion live with them and attend to them on a daily basis. Every situation and every recovery path is different; together the client and service provider decide on the best course of action.

In addition to accompanying you, the companion will assure that you are always in a drug- or alcohol-free environment. They might act as your driver and will often act as a sober coach.

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 (for instance, to and from treatment facilities or sober living homes). The sober companion’s duties can encompass a wide variety of drug recovery services, from simply ensuring the client remains abstinent to acting as a resource in the client’s home community.

Do you feel that having a sober coach or sober companion is a necessary step to long-term recovery? Do you or a loved one have experience with a sober coach or sober companion? Please share with us on Facebook or Twitter @TDHRehab #SoberCoach.

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