In an article written for The American Economic Review, the authors suggest that addictions are compulsive conditions. The damage caused by drugs makes an addicted person sensitive to cues in the environment. When a person with this damage sees something that reminds him or her about drugs, the cravings to use are so overwhelming that it’s almost impossible to resist the call. And the decision to use happens at a subconscious level, so it’s hard to intervene and make a different choice.
Traditionally, when Americans face problems that they can’t solve on their own, even if they’d like to do so, they hire a coach. For example, if you wanted to lose weight and gain muscle, and all of your efforts at the gym weren’t paying off, you might consider hiring a personal trainer to help you. In the United States, some 6.4 million people use trainers just like this, according to IHRSA. It’s not that uncommon.
A life coach could work like a trainer for sobriety. This coach could provide you with the personalized, one-on-one help you’ll need in order to build up good habits that will help you to stay sober. And it’s easy to find a qualified professional if you start your path to healing in a comprehensive addiction treatment program, like the one we provide at Orlando Recovery Center.
At the end of a formal treatment program for addiction, you’ll likely have a good understanding of the skills you’ll need to develop in order to stay sober. You might know all about how to:
- Get a good night’s sleep, so you won’t be cranky and distracted
- Avoid those who continue to use drugs, so you won’t be tempted
- Attend regular support group meetings, so you’ll stay connected to recovery
- Take your medications on time, so you’ll keep your brain chemistry in balance
All of these steps are vital to your recovery, and by the time you leave your program, you might know just how to accomplish these tasks perfectly. But there might be other lessons you haven’t quite mastered yet.
For example, your treatment team might suggest that you use mindful meditation in order to understand your triggers and overcome them without relapsing. You’ll learn how to clear your mind of distractions, so you can focus on how your body is responding to a stimulus. Then, you’ll use the power of your mind to transcend the cravings your body is delivering. This technique allows you to overcome temptation without relapsing. It’s a powerful part of a treatment plan.
In a study of the technique, published in the journal Substance Abuse, researchers suggest that this kind of technique takes about eight weeks to learn, and that it’s something people will need to continue to use for the rest of their lives, as relapse triggers will always appear.
As this example makes clear, recovery doesn’t happen within a matter of weeks. There are a number of lessons you might think you’ve mastered in treatment, only to find that they work a little differently in the real world. There are more distractions, more challenges, and a faster pace. It’s easier to make mistakes.
Similarly, you’ll need to devote time, each and every day, to the practice of the skills you learned in your treatment program. Even though you have work to handle, children to feed, and a home to run, you’ll still need to make time for yourself and your recovery.
A life coach could help you in both areas. First off, a coach might have some tips and tricks that could make your techniques even more useful and easier to understand. And, a coach could force you to practice and put your treatment program to work, even when you don’t feel motivated to handle those steps at the moment. That could make all the difference, in terms of your long-term recovery.
Finding a Coach
Life coaches tend to take a collaborative approach, according to an overview in Addiction Today. Rather than providing you with a list of tasks you must complete, and forcing you to accept a certain worldview or method, life coaches tend to ask you what you’d like and what might work for you. And they consider themselves partners in your recovery. They’re not so much bosses and supervisors as teammates and advocates. It’s a personal, private, and close relationship.
As a result, you’ll want to make sure that you actually like your coach and feel comfortable with that person. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, and you’ll share a great deal of personal information, so it’s vital that you feel as though this is a person you’d like to work with above all others.
It’s perfectly reasonable for you to conduct interviews with several coaches, and be a little selective about the one you choose to help you recover. Professionals won’t be offended if you don’t choose them. They’ll want what’s best for you.
Life coaches may also have different levels of training and different areas of expertise. For example, the World Coach Institute provides
several different tracks of coaching training, including wellness coaching, addiction coaching, spiritual coaching, and youth and family coaching. You might think about the areas in which you feel you need the most help, and the spots in which you feel most comfortable about asking for help, and then look for a coach who specializes in or has training in those areas. Since coaches all do different things, you have a great deal of techniques to choose from.
Often, your addiction treatment center has a list of coaches you can work with when your formal training is complete. That’s how we handle this issue at Orlando Recovery Center, for example. We know of many trainers we like, and we discuss them with our clients, should they need a little extra boost when their treatments are complete. Should you choose to get treatment with us, we’ll discuss your options openly and help you to make a good decision about the coach you might work with.
To find out more about our addiction treatment program and the methods we’ll use to help you overcome your addiction, please call. We’d love to talk with you.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.