What Is Recovery Coaching?

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If you are newly sober and navigating everyday life without the use of addictive substances or compulsive behaviours, it can be helpful to work with a recovery coach. Recovery coaches are individuals who can provide you with peer support whilst transitioning out of treatment. 

Recovery coaches usually have lived experience recovering from addiction so they can share their experience with you, spot the early signs of relapse, implement care plans, help you process difficult feelings, and encourage you to make positive changes in your life. 

Depending on your needs, a recovery coach may meet you a number of times a week, every day, stay with you for a period of time, and can even travel with you.  

What Is Recovery Coaching

Who Might Benefit From It and What is Recovery Coaching?

Working with a recovery coach helps you implement the practical daily life skills required to stay sober and experience long-term recovery. If you are struggling to manage day-to-day life sober, recovery coaching could be helpful for you. Peer support from a person who understands what you are experiencing and gives you space to talk about your difficulties and feelings can prove invaluable.  

Recovery coaches are not considered clinicians so do not treat mental health conditions. As such, recovery coaching best suits those who have stabilised enough to live outside of a therapeutic environment.

Coaching helps individuals develop necessary life skills to manage everyday life in recovery such as:

Recognising unhealthy behaviours

Accomplishing everyday tasks that are a new experience in recovery

Overcoming fear and anxiety of living life sober

Setting weekly goals and corresponding strategies to achieve them

Providing accountability and motivation through support and guidance

Pairing you with someone in recovery that can share their experience to help you along the way

Helps individuals gain insight into difficultiesHelps individuals develop lifestyle & skills to stay sober
Goal: reduce emotional distress & mental health problemGoal: create plans to achieve goals, with support & guidance
Focus lies on the past and presentFocus lies on the present and future
Helps individuals recognise cognitive distortions, irrational thought patterns, and unconscious processesHelps individuals recognise unhealthy behaviours, and set goals & strategies to achieve them by providing accountability & motivation

What to Expect by Working With CATCH

CATCH Recovery works with several trained and experienced recovery coaches. If you are interested in working with a recovery coach, the first step will be for us to suggest a coach that we feel you can build a rapport with, as it is important that you feel comfortable being in the company of and open with your coach. 

How often you meet with your coach will depend on your care plan, but each session will be tailored to your individual needs. You might attend 12-step meetings together, talk about worries and concerns over dinner or during a walk, or work on everyday life obstacles that come up post-treatment. 

Many find it helpful to have recovery coaching sessions alongside individual therapy as they are mutually beneficial. CATCH Recovery offers in-person or online therapy as well as recovery coaching. The latter can be a standalone or wraparound service. 

senior woman psychologist and sad man patient

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Differences Between Therapy and Recovery Coaching

Sober coaching sessions may be therapeutic but is not therapy.  

Psychotherapy, also called talking therapy or counselling, is conducted by a trained individual. Many therapeutic methodologies help individuals to gain insight into difficulties they are facing, recognise cognitive distortions, unpick irrational thought patterns, and other such issues that typically result in emotional distress and mental health problems. 

Recovery coaching is peer support, meaning it is one human being helping the other, offering accountability, motivation, and a safe space to share thoughts and feelings without judgement. Recovery coaching often offers a welcome change from the more formal tone of clinical appointments. 

Challenges in Early Recovery

Recovery coaching can help you develop the necessary skills to manage everyday life at a time when there are many triggers from work stress to family dynamics to something as small as a household item breaking.  

In early recovery, you might experience the following:  

  • Rebuilding relationships with family members 
  • Regaining the trust of existing friends or making new friends  
  • Returning to work and managing professional pressures and expectations  
  • Being around people who don’t know about your recovery and ask challenging questions about why you aren’t drinking 
  • Learning how to practice self-care regularly and following a daily plan – exercising, meditating, attending 12-step meetings, eating regularly etc.  
  • Legal and financial difficulties   
  • Feeling strong emotions that can be overwhelming  

Tips for Staying Free From Addiction

Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process that requires commitment, self-awareness, and the right support to navigate life’s challenges. Tough moments might be your first birthday without alcohol, weddings, general socialising with friends, or even Christmas. 

There are many tools and techniques to help you to protect the recovery you have fought hard to achieve. Here we have outlined some that we know to be helpful. 

Attend 12-Step Meetings

Exploring 12-step meetings near your home is an excellent way of meeting like-minded individuals who are on the same journey of recovery as you. During meetings you can share your thoughts and feelings and connect with people who you can call should you feel triggered. There are 12-step meetings for all kinds of addictions and behavioural health concerns. 

Have a Plan For Your Day

The structure is so important in the early days of recovery and having a plan for your day can create a sense of purpose and help with avoiding vulnerable moments and falling into negative thinking. Your day might include morning meditation, attending 12-step meetings, mealtimes, working, exercising, seeing friends, and constructive rest such as naps, reading, or watching a film.  


Meditation can be a helpful tool, whether as part of a regular practice or to use in the moment when craving your drug of choice. Many feel they are “not very good at meditation” which stops them from even trying, but there is no wrong way to meditate. The most effective type of meditation is the one you feel you can practice regularly and readily. Meditation can help you to concentrate your mind on the present moment and bodily sensations, rather than unhelpful thoughts. Employing a meditation practice, such as 5 mins of concentrating on your breath, may mean the difference between reacting irrationally or responding in a measured way that serves your addiction recovery. 


Exercise is not only good for our bodies but our mental well-being and provides an opportunity to release emotions. As such, physical exercise is often a component of addiction treatment programmes. According to the physical activity guidelines for adults from the UK Chief Medical Officers, adults in England should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

Know Your Triggers

Despite knowing that acting out addictively won’t help you respond to life’s stressors in a measured way, addiction cravings may still be triggered at times of stress. It is important to understand your triggers which might be people from your past, family members, significant places, work stress, social media, and many others. It can feel like everything is a trigger in early recovery. But planning and getting support in navigating potentially triggering situations can help prevent relapse. 

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Limit Time Using Social Media

The effects of social media on mental health are well documented. It can be highly addictive. Comparing ourselves to others is a common cause of anxiety and low self-worth. Social media only compounds these feelings as it presents the very best of people’s lives in an often dishonest or unrealistic way. Whilst you are working on your self-esteem and sense of who you are, you might find it helpful to avoid social media. 

Have Sober Fun

Recovery is a journey of self-discovery and learning how to have fun without the use of alcohol or drugs is important. At first, this might seem daunting. Perhaps start by hanging out with other sober people for coffee after 12-step meetings. Think about a restaurant you want to try or a dish you might like to cook. Perhaps consider doing something completely different and frivolous. If you are into the arts, is there an exhibition or movie you would like to visit/see? Make a plan and ask a friend to join you. 

Work With a Recovery Coach

A recovery coach’s job is to support you in early recovery and help you achieve your goals. A recovery coach can provide you with the tools and guidance needed to sustain your abstinence or sobriety. This can include helping to plan your day, suggesting resources, providing accountability and support, offering guidance, feedback, and new perspectives, and supporting you through triggering situations and cravings.  

A Supportive Community

It might be that your friendship circle includes people who are misusing substances, don’t support your recovery, or affect your self-esteem. In early recovery, it is important to have loving and supportive people around you who understand what you are going through, support your sobriety, and with whom you feel you can be yourself however you might be feeling on any given day. These might be new friends you meet at meetings, family members who aren’t challenging, or existing friends who inspire you.

One day at a time 

Keep your head where your feet are. Adopting an attitude of focusing on the day you are living, rather than trying to tackle all your problems at once, can help calm and focus your mind. You can do anything for one day. Focusing too much on the future and what might go wrong can cause anxiety and depression which may lead to relapse.  

Find a Recovery Coach Today

If you would like to discuss recovery coaching through CATCH Recovery, we are here to help. Contact us and speak to a member of our team who can tell you more about recovery coaching and how it works. 

Alternatively, complete the form below and one of our caring advisors will be in touch to give you the help you need.

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