Your Recovery Coach
Treatment for addiction traditionally involves a combination of approaches. On the one side is the clinical staff, which helps patients work through the mental and emotional issues that constitute the root causes of addiction. On the other side are peer fellowships in which recovering addicts support and encourage one another, often through the use of the 12-Step philosophy. Lakeview Health incorporates both of these approaches in helping patients toward healing.
In recent years, a third approach—recovery coaching— has begun to emerge as a complementary approach to helping people maintain recovery. Although recovery coaches are neither clinical therapists nor part of mutual-aid groups, they are able to work within both these worlds to supplement those approaches.
What Does a Recovery Coach Do?
Recovery coaching at Lakeview begins as soon as the patient moves from detox to therapy. Coaches work with patients on a weekly basis during their treatment. They develop a relationship with them that will carry over into their recovery after they leave the center. As Nick Goslin, the men’s Recovery Coach, describes it, “A recovery coach’s job is to find out what the patient’s goals are and to provide them with resources to help them achieve their goals in the best way possible for them.”
Recovery coaches are not therapists. Instead, they assist people in navigating life in sobriety. Goslin describes the scope of his work as “anything a person may deal with in life.” He and Karen Zaccour, the women’s Recovery Coach, are often the first people at Lakeview that alumni will call when they are looking for help with a problem. Karen and Nick work with them to deal with issues directly related to recovery—such as stress and emotional problems—but also addresses a wider range of topics including employment, housing, probation, and connections within the recovery community.
“I am available to encourage, give hope, help with perspective, set goals, and provide resources to accomplish their goals,”; Goslin says. “Within this scope, I focus on how recovery and sobriety will be maintained and nurtured.”
Keeping recovery first is key to the work of a recovery coach. Nick and Karen don’t just help people deal with their problems; they help people deal with their problems in a way that promotes recovery. As an example, Goslin describes her work with an alumnus who was thinking of going to college. While he helped them plan how to go about applying, he also reminded them to look at it through the lens of recovery: “Will this campus be conducive to your sobriety? Are you going to take a full-time schedule and still have time for your [recovery] meetings and aftercare?”