Creation of the Sobriety Team

10 May 2010 / By admin

Life coaching is essential for long- term recovery. Life coaching, used in conjunction with the traditional approach of the twelve- step program of Alcoholics Anonymous is essential in the recovery of the individual suffering from addiction. Addicts have to re-learn behaviors and adapt new thinking processes in order to break free of the addiction that has overpowered and altered their current state of mind. Addicts are ruled by obsession, irrational behaviors, thinking patterns, and insanity.  Treatment centers utilize twelve step programs to provide a safety net for these individuals and teach them to live life sober. They are nurtured, loved, protected, and given the tools to start a new life, but this is often a temporary fix. The addict leaves the treatment center and is expected to function in society, armed with new insights and suggestions on how to live a sober life, but without the safety net. The twelve-step program becomes part of the addicts’ daily life and a lifeline to sober living. But how does the addict continue to grow and transform into a highly functional, happy individual? The answer is through the help of a life-coach. Life coaching provides resources, support, and an individual approach on new insights and perspective’s. How does “life coaching” aid in the recovery process? It starts with sanity.

Insanity is the foundation for addictive behavior and thinking. A definition of insanity is “continued impetuosity of thought, which, for the time being, totally unfits a man for judging and acting in relation to the matter in question, with the composure requisite for the maintenance of the social relations of life.” (Bouvire).  The addict is presented a new challenge, to apply sane thinking to everyday life. This can be a cumbersome and often an intimidating concept to the newly sober individual, whom often feels as if they are trying to start this new life alone. Treatment centers provide therapy and an introduction to the twelve-step program. Therapists are employed to focus on the addicts past and try to acknowledge and mend the reasons why the addict felt compelled to start abusing substances in the first place.  The twelve-step program suggests that participants work with a sponsor. The sponsor’s role is to guide the addict through sober living.  The addict has regained sanity and begins to live a healthier, productive life, but still desires more. It is often at this point that the addict starts to question who he is, and what he wants to do with his life. He wants to live life to the fullest potential. This is where the role of the life coach is crucial. The life coach aids the addict to find meaning and purpose in the present and future.

Life coaching focuses on helping people who already have a measure of ‘success’ in their lives, but who want to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be in their profession and their personal life. This ‘measure’ for the addictive client is his or her sobriety, and a stabilized place of safety. With coaching, this safe place of expectation and amazing potential, instead of mere functioning. (Williams 1).

The life coach now becomes part of the addicts’ team, and helps to unlock the passions and desires that drugs and alcohol have suppressed. The life coach begins by asking questions and getting to know the real person.

Unlike a therapist who uses psychology and other techniques to guide their patients into new behaviors and thinking patterns, the life coach starts by acknowledging the amazing potential that each human has inside. By recognizing and encouraging the use of this potential, the addict becomes more self aware and eager to continue a happy, joyous, and free sober living environment.

A study showed that about 5 percent of recovering alcoholics/addicts would make it to 5 years clean and sober, then out of all those people who make it to 5 years sobriety, only 5 percent of those people would make it to ten years, and so on, in five-year increments. (Non-traditional recovery from addiction).

This is an Interview with an actual client:

How long were you in recovery previous to this last experience? I have been in and out of 12 step programs for the last sixteen years. The longest length of continued sobriety I was able to obtain was roughly four years.

What led to your relapse? I stopped sponsoring others, stopped talking to my sponsor, and I wasn’t going to many meetings. This disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful. I convinced myself, that I could drink and use normally. When I stop working with others my thinking tells me that I am ok on my own and that I don’t need the program, or the help of anyone else. The insane way of thinking returns and before long I am drinking again. I can control my drinking for a brief period, but the insanity manifests until I am absolutely out of control and my life becomes unmanageable.

How do you think that your relapses could have been prevented? Well, I do not think that my relapse could have necessarily been prevented. I think that it was God’s will and my last relapse was what brought me to my life coach. I think that without life coaching incorporated into my program it was just a matter of time. Life coaching has been the best thing for me, not just in regards to my sobriety but in regards to my whole life as well. I feel like a future relapse could quite possibly be prevented as long as I continue to work with my sponsor and my life coach. I feel very confident that I long as I am wedged between these two amazing people I will continue to move forward in life.

Explain to me the difference between a life coach and a sponsor. My sponsor works the 12 steps with me. Working the steps helps me to stay sober. Without sobriety I am unable to have a complete relationship with my life coach because my thinking is so clouded. My life coach helps me to find my inner potential which makes it easier to understand what God’s will for me is. When I am living God’s will and not my own my life has meaning and I stay sober as a direct result of that.   My life coach and my sponsor in conjunction help me to find solutions and to make healthy life choices. The biggest difference between the two is; a sponsor has clear concise answers to my questions that come from the “Big Book” of alcoholics anonymous. My sponsor is there to guide me through the twelve steps and to help me to not only understand them, but to help me incorporate them into my daily life.  My life coach inspires me to find the answers to my questions within me. My life coach guides me through my inner feelings and desires. She helps to figure out what I really want out of life. For example, my life coach helped me to find out what my true passion was as far as a career. Working with her, I realized that I had a passion for nursing and she encouraged me to enroll in a University. I am currently twenty months away from graduation. I would have never had the courage to pursue this dream had it not been for her.

Why is this time in recovery different from the last times you tried to stay sober? This time is different because I have a life coach. I am able to battle my disease and make decisions that are conducive to a successful, healthy lifestyle. I have found passion, love, and self-confidence, with the help of my life coach. Addiction takes these things from me. Addiction places me in fear-based thinking, which leads to anxiety and a quest to just survive. My life coach helps me to find out what I am passionate about, to embrace it, and to continue to move forward. I no longer have fear and anxiety. I have an immense energy to keep moving forward. I wake up each day excited at the possibilities that it may bring.

How often do you talk with your life coach/ sponsor? I talk to my sponsor everyday. Working the steps is a daily process. The steps are incorporated into my daily life and in every action/reaction that I have with people. I talk to my life coach whenever I need to. During difficult times I may talk to her everyday. I call my life coach when I want to bounce an idea off of her, or when I feel stuck in knowing what the next right choice is. She helps me to figure out what I truly want or need. She is especially helpful when I am having a bad day. Talking to my life coach helps me to think in a positive way instead of staying in a negative mind-set. She helps me to change my perspective when I am thinking negatively.

What prompted you to try recovery a 2nd time? I was absolutely miserable when I was using. I was broken, defeated, and a shell of a person. I know that I could not continue living that way and was begging for a solution. I had lost faith in the program and was willing to try anything at that point because I knew that I could not feel any worse. My life coach began to help me fill that empty shell with light and hope. My sponsor gave me clear tools to aide in sobriety. A transformation began. I started to want and to crave more out of life.

How long has life coaching been a part of your life? Life coaching has been a part of my life for the last two years. I cannot imagine a different way of life now.

How did you find out about life coaching and what made you willing to try one? I watched a very good friend of mine get sober with the help of a life coach. When I saw her transform from the broken depleted addict into this amazingly beautiful, successful person I became willing to try.

The goal of the life coach is to decrease relapse, and increase longer sobriety. This is achieved by a one-on-one approach. The ultimate goal of the life-coach is to be available to the client whenever crisis is present. The life coach is always someone that will listen and aid the client during tough times and less than ideal situations. The life coach is also there for the good times. Brainstorming, with the client on ideas, projects, and relationships until the client has discovered what is truly the right decision to make. Life seems more manageable to the addict.

In conclusion, a life-coach provides supportive, loving, compassionate, positive, and professional aid to the recovering addict. Therapy, a twelve-step program, and a life coach are an unbeatable team for the recovering addict. As long as the recovering individual is willing to be honest to himself and to his team there is no reason why long-term sobriety cannot be achieved.


















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