Recovery Coaching Can Change Your Life


Guest post by Cathy Taughinbaugh

For anyone dealing with the disease of addiction or the first stages of recovery, life can feel challenging, stressful and unsteady.

Recovery Coaching can be the essential support system to help a person find clarity and feel more confident in their recovery.

Recovery coaches are not therapists or paid sponsors

Coaching is not counseling, therapy or any form of advice-giving. A coach does not dwell in the past, rather s/he leads the client toward their future. Through the process, clients gain a deeper understanding and more confidence as they set goals and take action.

A Recovery Coach is sometimes confused and thought of as a paid “sponsor.” While a sponsor will focus primarily on 12 Step work, and tell you what to do as they guide you through the 12 Steps, a Recovery Coach does not give advice and does not have an agenda.

They do not promote or endorse any specific method of recovery, nor are they affiliated with any particular recovery philosophy. Their role is to help a client achieve greater focus, awareness and responsibility.

The coaching process can help people in recovery rebuild their lives. Coaching involves working with a person’s strength, as well as helping the person overcome challenges.

A coach may also chose to work with a person who is still drinking or using drugs, but is ready to change their life and find sobriety.

While at any point coaching is useful, one key time when it is extremely helpful is when someone is just out of treatment and new to recovery. Recovery coaching helps build confidence and self-esteem as the individual strives to have more clarity about their recent life change.

Recovery coaching is for families too

Recovery Coaching can also be helpful for family members of people with addiction. Family members are easily affected by addiction and may want the support that coaching provides.  Parents, especially, might find that when experiencing substance abuse with their child, support from a coach helps them feel less isolated.

A coach is a resource for parents concerned about the experimentation, substance abuse or active addiction of their child. They may feel increasingly stuck with continued sadness and pain even after their child has reached recovery.

Some parents who attend a 12 Step support group may want additional or a more personal experience. Others may want an alternative to a 12 Step program.  Recovery Coaching can reduce stigma and shame and help the parent feel more at peace with the situation, as they work to build a better future.

Coaching sessions can last for as long as the client feels the need. A common option that clients utilize is to work the coach for three months–meeting each week–and then move to bi-monthly or monthly sessions and then finally, connecting with the coach as the need arises.

Reaching out to a Recovery Coach is an amazing way to work through the pain, chaos and confusion of life in recovery. It can help people transform the anxiety and uncertainty they feel as they find clarity and peace of mind.

When you reach out, break through the isolation and find the support that you need, your life has the potential to be all that you imagined. Your hopes and dreams can become a reality.

Cathy Taughinbaugh is a Certified Life and Recovery Coach. After discovering substance abuse had become an issue with her children, she decided to work with parents who are struggling with their child’s substance abuse. She shares information about addiction, treatment and recovery at Cathy Cathy is a former educator and volunteers with the National Parent Network via The Partnership at You can reach her at

Photo courtesy of hyperlux

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  1. Cathy says:

    Hi Beth,

    Thank you so much for having me on your blog to talk about Recovery Coaching. It is a topic dear to my heart! I love your image, by the way. Very cool. Take care!

    • Beth says:

      Hi Cathy,

      It’s so good to have you back on B Here Today! You gave us a great primer on recovery coaching. You even dispelled one or two of my own misguided notions!

      Glad too that our paths have remained connected!

  2. Great explanation, Beth. So it’s like the client is the CEO and the coach is the hired consultant. Right? Essential service, I’d say. Be it recovery from addiction, depression, anxiety, whatev – the journey is difficult. Pretty cool to have that dedicated and solid support person along for the ride. Thank you for the info…

    • Beth says:

      You are so right, Bill, about recovery coaching being an essential service. Makes me wish they would have been available years ago when I entered recovery.

      Thanks for the comment–they’re never taken for granted and are always appreciated!

  3. Great interview, Beth and Cathy, and SUCH an important person to have on one’s recovery team – whether it’s in the treatment and after treatment phase or it’s the before treatment, what are we going to do phase. I like to help those with whom I work to think of all the things they seek help with by hiring the right person – physical therapist, nutritionist, personal trainer, for example – as a way of helping them better appreciate that hiring a Recovery Coach is hiring the right person to help them through a very difficult time or with something they’re not entirely equipped nor trained to do, themselves.

    • Beth says:

      Right on, Lisa! A holistic approach to healing from addiction–now there’s a concept. I do think that as treatment providers and others who work with people with addiction become used to the concept of recovery-oriented systems of care, we’ll see an upward trend in successful outcomes. More people will enter recovery and more will stay. Ah, it feels good just to think about it . . .

      Thanks for writing, Lisa!

  4. Well of course being a coach, I absolutely love this article! Coaches can play such an important role in this process – or any process for that matter. That person to interact with as a peer, not advising or telling us what to do, but bringing out the best in us as we move forward -what a gift for anyone in recovery. Thanks to you both, Beth and Cathy, for all you do!

  5. Beth says:

    Thank you, Leslie! I love your words: “bringing out the best in us as we move forward.” Who wouldn’t want that kind of relationship in her or his life? It seems that recovery coaches can offer an empathetic, but detached, perspective that the person seeking help cannot get anywhere else. Yet another lifeline and I don’t think we can ever have too many of those!

    Be well and have a terrific week!

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