Meet Recovery Carrier Cathy Taughinbaugh


Today’s post is the third in a series of interviews with folks across the nation (and maybe the world!) who live and breathe a life of recovery.  Please enjoy this chat with Recovery Coach Cathy Taughinbaugh.

William White defines recovery carriers as “people, usually in recovery, who make recovery infectious to those around them by their openness about their recovery experiences, their quality of life and character, and the compassion they exhibit for those still suffering.” (, 2012)

When you hear the term “recovery carrier,” as it relates to addiction, what does that mean to you? Do you think you’re a recovery carrier?

For me the idea of being a recovery carrier means spreading the word about the benefits of recovery. I approach recovery as a family process and have experienced recovery from the standpoint of being a parent who has struggled with the substance use of my children. I see and hear about people everyday who are thriving and flourishing because they have made significant changes in their lives which affects everyone they love.CathyTree400

I carry the message of family recovery and my hope is that through my message and messages of others, more people can grow and thrive as they were meant to in a way that works for their particular situation.

How does being a recovery carrier affect your work as a coach for parents and vice versa?

My hope is to inspire the parents that I work with to find tools and strategies that will help them find recovery for themselves and in the process encourage their loved one who is struggling to find recovery as well. We all have our own path and while there are many solid strategies that family members can use, in the end we all make our own decisions about what path we chose to follow in life. The first step for many parents is to look at themselves and find ways that they can make their life better.

By being more at peace, parents are then more able to be of help to their children. Every parent I work with brings new ideas and energy to the conversation and that gives us both an opportunity to grow together.

From where you sit, what is the number one issue or challenge recovery carriers must address?

I talk to many parents who are overwhelmed with their child’s life choices to use substances and they are constantly torn between not letting their child take responsibility for their lives (enabling), or making the attempt to let go of their child’s situation. They hope that one of those two strategies will make a difference. There are many other things that parents can do, but many feel stuck in a situation that may have been going on for years.

(To read more of Cathy’s interview, click Cathy Taughinbaugh 4-14)

Photo courtesy of Natureworks

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  1. Thank you Beth! It is an honor to be included in your recovery carrier interview series. You are one who has done such a beautiful job of spreading the joys of recovery through this series and the other work that you are doing. I know your message helps so many!

    • Beth says:

      Cathy, it’s my pleasure to include you and your work in the B Here Today Recovery Carrier series! I’ve been a fan of yours for some time; you’ve really helped me grow in understanding about how families are affected by addiction. Your voice–and others not afflicted but impacted by addiction–is just as vital in the Recovery Advocacy Movement.

  2. Herby Bell says:

    Cathy Taughinbaugh fits Bill White’s definition of a Recovery Carrier to a tee. She is particularly generous with her own family’s story which I believe to be powerfully healing for any community.

    Her calming demeanor in person shines through all of her impressive body of work online. I am privileged to have such a resource in my own San Francisco Bay Area and to know she is a national resource for so many who are looking for connection and help with addiction in the family.

    Thank you, Cathy and Beth for teaming up for this win-win-win interview.

    • Beth says:

      Careful, Herby, keep writing sweet things and you just might get drafted into the club!

      Seriously, I had the privilege of working with Cathy for a bit while still at The Partnership at and watching her really grasp come into her own as a coach, an author and a champion for recovery has been a great gift for me. Sometimes I wish we lived a couple of decades in the future (without aging, of course!) when holographic images of my friends can beam into my backyard. We’ll have quite a party, won’t we? Not to mention, damned incredible conversation!

      Thanks, Herby, for stopping by and for being in my life!

  3. Hey Beth! Thank you for bringing us more news of powerful recovery carriers. It just bangs home the importance of the moniker – and the work. Cathy does such a great job, and one can tell it’s about passion (and compassion). You’re one super-contributing recovery carrier yourself, Beth. Onward and upward…

    • Beth says:

      Bill, I can’t tell you how much it means to get this kind of affirmation from you. Thank you. We’re all leaves on the same tree and when it comes to advocating for addiction recovery, there is no better tree as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for hanging out with us!

  4. This is such a great idea, Beth, and thank you, Cathy for sharing your story. Like you, Beth, I’ve known Cathy and followed her work for sometime, now — she has been such a leader in this field (and mentor and friend to me) – especially the way she so openly, honestly shares her journey through her children’s substance misuse AND her recovery journey, as well. Thank you both!

    • Beth says:

      I’m having so much fun with this Recovery Carrier series, Lisa. Can you believe it’s been three months since we kicked it off with your piece? The folks I’m interviewing really do make a difference in the world and I’m so privileged to know you all!

  5. Nice way to further get the word out you all!! Love it. The more various ways we can do this, the better. Thanks – definitely sharing this one….

    • Beth says:

      As always, I appreciate your gift of sharing my posts, Leslie. I feel a strong commitment to let people know that not only is recovery possible, it is being displayed right before our eyes every single day.

      Recovery Carriers Unite! (channeling my best super hero voice!)

      Appreciate you!

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