What Does a Recovery Coach Do?

For some of us new to recovery from addictions or those of us already in 12-step programs, the term “recovery coach” may be an unfamiliar term. We may assume that a sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is similar to a recovery coach.

While a sponsor from a 12-step program may seem like a coach and encourage our recovery, the term “recovery coach” refers to a professional with a specific job description. A recovery coach may share characteristics similar to other support members on our team. However, recovery coaches have a set of responsibilities outlined by their program guidelines and expectations.

Sponsors and Recovery Coaches: What Is the Difference?

When entering a sober living home or a recovery treatment program, we may be introduced to a recovery coach on our staff. We might feel like this is redundant if we already have a sponsor. While both people play important roles in our treatment, recovery coaches differ from our sponsors in many ways.

A sponsor will primarily focus on guiding us through the 12-step program of AA or NA. Our sponsor will be with us along every step of a specific recovery program. Recovery, however, can include more treatment options than a 12-step program. We may be attending group therapy or seeing a psychotherapist.

We might have a case manager helping us with attaining resources outside of treatment, like housing and medical care. We might have an addiction specialist helping to connect us with recovery programs. Each of these components can be beneficial to our recovery in their own way.

While a sponsor guides us through one specific program, a recovery coach mentors us through our entire recovery process. Recovery coaches help to coordinate and glue the different treatment aspects together. They encourage us to engage in lifelong recovery.

While sponsors help us through the 12-step process, once we complete AA or NA, we may want to seek alternative methods of recovery. Even if we continue to attend AA or NA meetings, we may benefit from other programs and treatments to enhance our recovery journey over a lifetime.

Recovery coaches help to facilitate this process. They also counsel and support us in pursuing our goals beyond changing our addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches can help us find purpose in life to enable us to cultivate a healthy lifestyle.

Recovery Development Plans

Recovery coaches will primarily help us develop a recovery development plan. Our recovery development plan will include our goals inside and outside of treatment. The tools that recovery coaches use may be things like:

  • Strengths-Based Approaches: Recovery coaches are interested in focusing on our strengths. Sponsors and addiction specialists tend to be more adept at helping us with our addictive behaviors. However, recovery coaches want to build up our strengths to help us see the value in ourselves. Our strengths can help us build the resiliency and focus needed to engage in recovery for a lifetime.
  • SMART Goals: Recovery coaches consult us in thinking beyond fixing our addictions. They want to understand our life’s purpose and guide us in achieving our goals. Recovery coaches can help us develop effective recovery plans by creating Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based goals.
  • The GROW model: Our recovery coach may also use the GROW model to develop successful and meaningful recovery plans. GROW stands for: having Goals, understanding the Reality of our circumstances, being empowered with Options for treatment and recovery, having a coach guide us in Writing out our plans.

Generating Options for Treatment: Empowering Us in Recovery

Our recovery coach can empower us in our treatment by generating options for our recovery journey. Some programs or approaches may work well for others but may not work for us at all. A recovery coach can guide us through the process of finding the approaches that work best for us. While some of us may only be familiar with 12-step recovery programs, we might benefit from exploring some other approaches to enhance our treatment. Some of these approaches include:

  • Individual or Group Therapy
  • Mindfulness Practices
  • Yoga
  • Physical Fitness and Exercise
  • Peer Support
  • Nutritional Wellness
  • Art and Music Therapy
  • Outdoor or Recreational Therapy

Our recovery coach can introduce us to many new and exciting forms of treatment that can enhance our recovery. Recovery coaches also hold us accountable to sticking with our recovery. Some of these approaches can foster lifelong habits that we can continue to pursue beyond our recovery program. Sometimes we need a guiding hand to understand all of our options to develop a recovery plan that works for us. You can let a recovery coach be that guiding hand for you.

Are you new to recovery or already in a traditional 12-step program? Are you looking for more treatment options and guidance in other areas of life? Do you feel that you are ready to take the next step toward leading a fulfilling life beyond treatment? Recovery coaches can navigate us through the process of finding effective treatment options. Recovery coaches empower us to find the best options that will speak to our individual desires and preferences. They help us to discover our purpose in life beyond treating our addictive behaviors and habits. Camelback Recovery provides recovery coaching free of charge for the first two weeks of stay in our sober living home. We like to provide two weeks of this service for free to help our participants start off on the right track. Call us at (602) 466-9880 to start your recovery today!


Accountability: Owning and Being Responsible for Your Wellness

Accountability—along with Support, Structure, Community, and Purpose—is one of the five pillars of many recovery programs. Accountability is often one of the first pillars you may exemplify as you begin your path to recovery. If you are seeking information about recovery, you have likely begun to recognize that you need help with your addictive behaviors.

You are taking the first step toward holding yourself accountable for your wellness. Accountability is also fundamentally tied to all the other pillars of recovery. After all, if you do not first take accountability—or ownership and responsibility—for your wellness, who else will?

Accepting Responsibility and Stages of Recovery

You may have heard people talk about being “ready” for recovery or being “ready” for change. Are you ready for a change? Accepting responsibility and taking accountability for your own behaviors is the first crucial step toward change. Recovery generally occurs in the following five stages:

  1. Pre-Contemplation: You may not be aware of how your actions are affecting your wellness. During pre-contemplation, you may be in the throes of your addictive behaviors. While you experience the consequences of your behaviors in the pre-contemplation stage, you may yet be unable or unwilling to accept the connection between your actions and the negative consequences of your actions. You may describe this stage as being in denial that you need to change your behaviors. This stage occurs before taking accountability.
  2. Contemplation: During contemplation, you begin to realize that the consequences of your addictive behaviors are increasingly more difficult to deny. While in this stage, you may begin to notice the consequences of your actions. However, you may still be unwilling to take steps toward recovery. You may begin to justify your addictive behaviors, yet you have not taken accountability for finding solutions or seeking out recovery.
  3. Preparation: This is the stage where accountability truly begins to appear. While in preparation, you accept that you need to change your behavior and actions. You accept responsibility for what you have done and recognize that if you do not take ownership of your addiction, you will continue to be affected by the negative consequences of your behavior. During this stage, you may begin to research recovery programs. You may also begin seeking support from those around you, in order to be successful once you engage in the recovery process.
  4. Action: Now that you have taken accountability for your recovery, you can take action. During this stage, you are seeking treatment and beginning the recovery process. You are learning new coping skills and ways to manage your addictive behaviors. You are also learning to replace unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones while building a sense of community with your peers in recovery.
  5. Maintenance: Once you have engaged in the process of recovery and learned new coping skills and healthy habits, you have to work daily to maintain your newfound healthy lifestyle. Accountability comes into play as you must accept the responsibility for sustaining your recovery. You also have to recognize if you are slipping and need to gain more recovery skills to maintain your new way of life.

Interconnections Between Accountability and the Other Pillars of Recovery

A whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts, and this holds true for the five pillars of recovery. While in recovery, you will build a sense of community within a supportive environment, which is set up to hold you accountable for your recovery.

You may have to check-in with your sponsor or your recovery staff, who will help hold you accountable. Your support team has your best interests in mind and are here to remind you of your goals. Your team will help you become the best that you can be by holding you accountable for the new life you wish to lead.

Having a daily structure will help to keep you accountable to be in a certain place at a certain time. Your structure will keep you focused on your recovery activities and sessions. Finding a purpose will also hold you accountable to something greater than yourself, as you realize that your actions have consequences that affect things beyond yourself.

You are most likely in the preparation stage of recovery if you are researching this information. Continue on your path toward a better life by accepting ownership and taking accountability for your actions. Connect with those who care about you and begin finding a pathway to a better life today.

Accountability is fundamental to recovery. The journey to wellness begins with you accepting that you need help, and the journey continues with you holding yourself accountable to being better today than you were yesterday!

Are you new to the recovery process and looking for a change? Now that you are beginning to research recovery programs and recovery information, you have likely taken accountability for your own wellness! The pathway to recovery starts with accepting that your addictive behaviors have had negative consequences in your life. Once you accept that you need to make changes, you have taken accountability for your actions and for your recovery. To continue on this pathway, call the staff at Camelback Recovery today. We offer long-term recovery in an extensive program of sober living. We have a supportive environment and our staff will help to hold you accountable to your recovery goals. Our program emphasizes the five pillars of recovery, and we are here to help you live your best life. Connect with us at (602) 466-9880.


How Does Wellness Affect Your Recovery?

Health and wellness are common tools in recovery that are used to stay sober and clean. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “wellness” refers to being in good mental and physical health.

Of course, this can encapsulate many different areas of your life, and not every treatment program promotes the same types of wellness. Keep reading to gain a deeper understanding of wellness and the role it plays in your recovery journey.

Types of Wellness

There are eight main classifications of wellness:

  • Emotional wellness: Dealing with life appropriately and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Environmental wellness: Placing yourself in a supportive environment that promotes health and well-being
  • Financial wellness: Being content with your current and future financial situation
  • Intellectual wellness: Constantly expanding your knowledge, skills, and creativity
  • Occupational wellness: Being happy with your professional life
  • Physical wellness: Exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting enough sleep
  • Social wellness: Promoting positive interpersonal relationships and cultivating a healthy support network
  • Spiritual wellness: Having a sense of purpose and meaning in your life (not necessarily religious)

Many treatment facilities work to promote these different areas of wellness. This is why so many programs focus on exercise, clearing your mind, improving self-awareness, finding purpose, and more. Taking care of your health and wellness — mental, physical, and otherwise — can give you the sense of a fresh start. This ultimately gives a person new meaning in their life as well as a more positive outlook.

Physical Health & Wellness

Addicts who have just entered recovery first must go through detox. This can result in poor nutrition due to diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, muscle cramps, and flu-like symptoms. Alcohol abuse specifically can lead to mineral deficiencies as well as damages to the pancreas, liver, brain, and heart.

It’s important to initially replenish a detoxing individual’s vitamins and minerals. You must also be sure to keep them hydrated to get their body properly functioning again.

Once someone has gone through detox, it is essential to keep up regular exercise and a healthy diet throughout rehabilitation and the following treatment(s). A diet full of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy is crucial. Exercise also helps to release endorphins and stimulate serotonin production in the brain.

Taking care of your body physically can help progress your journey to sobriety when combined with taking care of your other areas of wellness. Health and wellness should be treated in a holistic approach in order to maximize each dimension of wellness. This helps to process memories, emotions, and challenges from a more secure mindset.

Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness has an enormous impact on sobriety. You will be taught skills to help you become aware and more adequately analyze your thoughts, moods, feelings, and behaviors. You must learn to recognize if they are positive or negative, as well as why you feel the way you do. What are the core causes of your emotions? And what will you do with those feelings?

As you learn to cope with negative emotions, you will learn that they can help you understand how you feel about certain situations and why. Being unhappy is a normal emotion, and it’s important to remember that feelings of sadness and despair do pass. You don’t have to use drugs or alcohol to get through them.

By improving your emotional wellness, you will begin to make mature decisions that take into account the feelings, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors of yourself and those around you. You will be more willing to take risks, understanding that they can be healthy and beneficial to your life. You will also begin to take more responsibility for your actions, making your life more personally rewarding.

Overall, emotional wellness truly allows you to put memories — even the traumatic ones — into perspective. Managing your reactions to them is powerful when it comes to healing. This will lay the foundation for a more healthy future in which you are able to deal with triggers properly when you feel the urge to relapse.

Mindfulness & Shame

Those with addictive personalities as well as mental illnesses typically have feelings of shame and guilt that never go away. These feelings can reactivate negative thoughts, causing a worsening of the addiction or mental disorder. Self-loathing then becomes intense as personal relationships start to disintegrate.

To overcome these emotions, there are certain steps and actions you must learn:

  • Process your thoughts in a constructive, healthy manner
  • Forgive yourself for past actions
  • Acknowledge and recognize your emotions and their causes
  • Take responsibility for what is causing you to feel shame
  • Make amends to those who may have been hurt by your past actions
  • Let go of any guilt or shame

By learning how to properly execute these skills, you will be able to decrease your depression or anxiety, as well as any urges to relapse. You will also begin to stop coming up with excuses and justifications for your past actions. The guilt and shame will gradually begin to disappear, giving you a new perspective on life.

Mindfulness Therapy

Going to mindfulness therapy teaches you how to regulate your emotions. Here, you will learn that emotions are perfectly normal and human. You can learn from your emotions to understand how things affect you and what they mean.

Instead of living in your thoughts about the past and future, you will also learn how to live in the moment and appreciate life for what it is. As you build confidence and self-esteem, you will learn to live without harsh judgment towards yourself and others.

Breathing exercises, meditation, and other techniques help fulfill the needs of mindfulness therapy for healing. The goal of wellness is to be comfortable, confident, and content with yourself. Physical and mental wellness as well as mindfulness therapy can help impact the other areas of wellness in your life.

Sober living homes are a great option to learn how to manage wellness. Camelback Recovery offers programs such as recovery coaching, 12-Step programs, therapy, and more to aid your sobriety. You cannot get better if you do not take care of yourself, both inside and out. Camelback Recovery is ready to help you. Call us today at (602) 466-9880.

Staying Clean and Sober Allows me to Take Care of Myself

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:


I feel good about myself since I started taking care of my body. It’s the home that goes with me each day of my life.

–Bill L. – Age 17


When we were using, we often neglected our bodies and personal hygiene. We may have also stopped getting regular medical and dental care. It seemed that the ups and downs of a user’s life left us with little energy for personal care.


Today we are surprised at how much joy we get out of smelling good and dressing with care. Many of us are developing our own personal style.


At first, we might need to force ourselves to call for regular checkups, but the feeling of wellness we get from being responsible for our bodies outweighs our old fears.


Today let me love myself enough to care about my physical health and appearance.


Notes on today’s thought from Hazelden:


I’m so grateful for my sobriety today. Prior to getting sober, I did not take the time to take care of myself. There were always things that were more important. Today, taking care of myself is a priority. I know that I have to love myself before I can love others. I exercise pretty much everyday, I eat healthy every day, I pray and meditate every day, and I get enough sleep pretty much every day. I’m definitely not perfect. However, when it comes down to it, I’m pretty good to myself. I go to the dentist every six months to have my teeth cleaned and to have a regular check-up. I go to the doctor once per year for an annual check up. Prior to getting sober, these regular check-ups weren’t important. Being good to myself allows me to be an example to others. It also gives me the time and energy to be of service to others. Staying physically fit, exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep all contribute to my well-being. Loving myself also attracts other people into my life that love themselves. I’m grateful for my life in sobriety today.