That's a great question, but first I want to answer the question in general, which might also serve to answer the question specifically. A Coach is a person who, armed with personal experience in a specific area - like a Business Coach, Money Coach, Relationship Coach, Recovery Coach, you get the point - helps to inspire, motivate and hold you accountable towards achieving a desired result and helps you with certain struggles and/or challenges that pertain to their area of expertise.
So, in my opinion, all Coaches are Life Coaches. We each have a different aspect of Life we cater to - again, like a Business Coach, Money Coach, Relationship Coach, Recovery Coach, etc. Finding a Coach that you resonate with and feel confident in their abilities is where the magic happens. All great coaches are teaching the same thing - Motivation and Results - Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Lisa Nichols - T. Harv Eker - all say, and basically deliver, the same message, just a little differently. But which one you resonate with will determine if and how the message is heard.
How I prefer to Coach, is to truly listen to what you are doing, what you have done, where you would like to end up and what challenges you have had along the way. Based on that info, we will Discover - Discard - Develop a customized plan of action(s) rooted in the strengths that best serve you. Then my goal is to C.A.R.E. - Challenge you, hold you Accountable, Redirect the plan as needed and Encourage you along the way.
What is a Recovery Coach?
As was mentioned above, a Recovery Coach is someone with experience and expertise in Addiction and Recovery from Addiction who serves to support those in recovery, as well as, those who might be seeking recovery. Recovery Coaches aim to facilitate any positive changes, life challenges and resources needed to help make your recovery journey much more enjoyable.
For my clients new to recovery, I offer support and assistance both pre- and post- treatment. Before treatment, I help you prepare for the time you will be away by getting your work and household affairs in order. Helping you arrange such things as, caretakers for your property or pets, making necessary work arrangements, basically making sure your work and personal life can continue to operate smoothly while you are away.
Once you have completed treatment, I help to ensure that your transition back into your natural environment is as smooth as possible. I assist you with getting grounded and connected with communities, services and surroundings that are going to support your recovery goals. But, most importantly, I provide peace of mind that you have someone, who cares, who is in your corner waiting to help you apply all the good stuff you learned in treatment, to your life outside of treatment.
For my long term sobriety peeps, I offer Coaching to help get you unstuck from the areas outside of your recovery, that are causing frustration - like career, relationships, education and personal goals. Basically, Life Coaching for people in Recovery. How is it different? It's not! I just know how to speak your language, I know the internal struggles you have and I know the mind chatter that keeps you stagnate!
My personal opinion - not that you asked - is that most people relapse with long term sobriety because of 2 reasons. One - they begin getting some success in their personal life - money and romance - and start pulling away from the basics of recovery. They get a "I got is from here attitude". Then when they return - more beaten than before - they blame the relapse on their new found success rather than from the fact that they pulled away from recovery. Two - people start to get frustrated that other areas of their life are not progressing at the same rate that their "better than I could have imagined" recovery is and who wants to live in the same ole' crappy life they had before, only sober? No one!
So, my mission is to help people in recovery realize that - while they are powerless over their addiction - they are NOT powerless when it comes to living the life of their dreams. The life that their Higher Power wants then to live! We are given a "new lease on life" in recovery - so stop living in the old lease!
This is a very good question and I am always appreciative when its asked. Although the differences may seem subtle to some people, they are actually very distinct and, in my opinion, compliment each other tremendously.
Sponsors volunteer with-in the 12 Step Structure and serve to help people "work" a 12 Step Program - like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, etc. - by guiding them through the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions and utilizing the program and fellowship effectively to stop the behavior. A Sponsors guidelines revolve around their own personal experience - referred to as Experience, Strength and Hope - with regards to "how they have stayed sober" through any given situation. They do not give advise or guidance - or shouldn't be, anyway - on issues outside of recovery - Career, Employment, Relationships, Parenting, etc. - but rather take it back to how they stayed sober in-spite of those obstacles or concerns.
A Recovery Coach is a paid professional that serves to guide you toward the completion of a specified goal. A Recovery Coach is not associated with any specific program, path or way to recover, and therefore, has more flexibility to guide you toward a solution that best serves your needs and comfort. A Recovery Coach basically picks up the area between the Addiction Counselor and the Sponsor - should they choose the 12 Step Path - and acts as a guide to help people incorporate recovery into all aspects of their life while offering assistance in helping them set-up and achieve life goals, being a person in recovery.