What is recovery coaching? It’s a supportive service where a recovery coach, often referred to as a sober coach, helps individuals, especially those in early recovery, make decisions and set personalized goals for their journey to sobriety. Whether still in the midst of addiction or already on the path to recovery, individuals, along with their family members, can benefit from this guidance.

Recovery coaches are non-clinical, meaning they cannot diagnose medical conditions or offer medical treatment for addiction. Instead, these coaches are more action-oriented, providing coaching services that include consulting with their clients and motivating them through long-term goals to maintain sobriety.

Recovery coach assisting a person, embodying what is recovery coaching in action


We can help you achieve permanent sobriety that gives you your life back. Call to learn more about our therapy options in Phoenix, AZ.

How Recovery Coaches Provide Support

There are many ways that recovery coaches can help a person in recovery:

  • Providing emotional support
  • Offering companionship
  • Sharing information
  • Strengthening communication
  • Offering lifestyle support
  • Being consistently non-judgmental and flexible
  • Encouraging healthy family relationships
  • Discussing crucial life areas (i.e. family, education, employment, relationships, spirituality)
  • Using peer-based strategies and approaches

A strong support system, including family members, support groups, and community support, is absolutely crucial to recovery from addiction. Recovery coaches offer personalized support for the individual in the present moment and for the long term. Setting goals helps them hold their clients accountable for completing them, moving them forward in a life of sobriety.

Models and Approaches in Recovery Coaching

There are various coaching methods that a recovery support specialist may use to help their clients. The method used will depend on the coach themselves and the needs of the client.

G.R.O.W. and SMART Models Explained

This acronym stands for Goals, Reality of the Situation, Options Available, and Write a Recovery Plan. Taking these steps one at a time makes the process seem less overwhelming. The plan can also be tailored to a person’s exact needs.

In contrast, the SMART model emphasizes the creation of goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Putting goals into perspective makes them more realistic and easier for the client to see themselves accomplishing them.

Strengths-Based Approach to Recovery

Recovery coaches can use this model to analyze their clients’ strengths. Rather than focusing on the pathology that brought them to their addiction, the coach can take their known strengths and create a recovery plan based on those strengths.

Comparing Recovery Coaches, Sponsors, and Therapists

These three roles in recovery set boundaries to prevent them from getting too close to the recovering addict, and it is strictly a professional relationship:

  • Sponsors have ONE purpose in aiding sobriety. This purpose is to direct a newly recovering addict or alcoholic through the 12-step program offered by Al-Anon, Narc-Anon, or another organization. Sponsors are not meant to be advocators, motivators, or lifestyle consultants.
  • Therapists focus more on the client’s past to see how certain events and actions led to a substance use disorder.
  • Addiction specialists focus more on biopsychosocial stabilization within a 30 to 90-day plan for recovery.

Recovery coaches complement the work of mental health professionals and sponsors by filling in the gaps and serving as advocates, friends, and allies. They achieve this by collaborating with individuals to establish personalized, long-term goals, enhancing the recovery support services provided by healthcare and recovery experts.

Meeting Schedules and Formats

Depending on your situation, you may meet with your recovery coach once or twice a week for check-ins or have them available 24/7 at a treatment center. If you only have a couple of check-ins each week, this can be done in person or remotely via video chat or telephone.

These meetings start by learning the person’s history with addiction and seeing how they view their situation. Once this information has been established, the recovery coach can work with the client to set goals. Over time, the two will figure out what is working and what is not. This way, they can monitor how the individual is progressing in their recovery. The recovery coach can eventually help the recovering individual transition to life without the need for sessions.

Woman on telehealth finding a recovery coach for long-term recovery

Finding the Right Recovery Coach for You

More clinics across the United States are beginning to offer recovery coaching. To find a recovery coach, you can try Telehealth or see what treatment centers in your area offer this service.

Treatment centers may offer a recovery coach to aid in conjunction with the other structures in place for recovery. Homes like Camelback Recovery offer recovery coaching for free when you first begin your stay to see if it would be beneficial. Once the trial period ends, you can continue the recovery coaching with payments.

The cost of a recovery coach varies depending on where you see them. For example, the cost of the service may be factored into your overall bill if you are staying at a treatment facility. The average cost of seeing a recovery coach can range anywhere from $300 per month to $1000 per day, depending on your location, needs, and frequency of meetings.

Recovery coaching is a valuable asset to anyone’s journey to sobriety. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and creating a plan based on that information can help you realistically achieve your goals promptly.

Recovery coaches can be found at clinics across the United States or at treatment facilities. Here at Camelback Recovery, a leading addiction treatment center in Phoenix, AZ, we offer a free trial period of recovery coaching to see if it might work for you. To learn more about how you can benefit from a recovery coach, call us today at (602) 466-9880.