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My Learnings in the Recovery Coach Training Process | By Lisa Ann Catano

training2I noticed a gap in the recovery process en route to my own healing practices following the 12-step program. When it came to finding a job and reintegrating back into society as a functional citizen, I could not find the tools in the program, or the necessary courage, to assist me with what felt like a daunting task. I had conversations about this with my sponsor and my therapist, and although their words were encouraging, I remained anxious and still stagnant. I then discovered a Recovery Coaching course that was being offered by The Foundation Clinic | SHARP Recovery Solutions; and decided to interview for a seat on the training.

Throughout the interview I was treated with respect and trust. The interviewer displayed qualities that I have not as yet come across in the business world. My heart resonated with what was being said and I knew that I was in the right place. Naturally, I surrendered to the process.

I have completed all the face-to-face, three-module training to date, and I am currently working through the practical portion of the assessment and certification.  To be a coach one needs to appreciate the delicate nature of feelings and emotion, and to lead in a way that is sensitive and empowering for the client. Therefore a solid foundation is administered throughout the training, and a rigorous set of criteria is required for certification.

An essential element to coaching is creating a safe space for the client to share their story with you. This entails empathetic listening skills, total confidentiality from the coach and respect for the client’s thoughts and beliefs without comparison or judgement. Over time trust is established and the client is able to progress on course to achieving their goals.

A warm and nurturing energy, offered by the facilitators, embodied the training rooms, which allowed me and my peers’ views and personalities to be freely expressed. Although I was being taught on how to become a Recovery Coach; in the process I also learned a lot about myself. I learnt about humanity and to be cognisant of the distinctions apparent among individuals. I learned to assess body language and to listen from an intuitive place in my heart.

The sacred spaced shared between you and your client is called the container. The container is dynamic in that it shifts constantly, indicative to stimulus within and outside of the container. Coaching is a solutions focused approach geared towards living a passionate and harmonious life. We do this through a questioning process to evoke thought, enabling the client to be accountable and accept total responsibility for their life. The client learns that they are their own guru so to speak, while they discover that all of the resources and answers that they need to build a meaningful life are actually inside of them. With coaching as a support mechanism the client can create a life that is in alignment with their highest values and this is where true harmony is felt!

Although recovery coaching is presumed to be centred on addiction and substance abuse, that is not entirely the case. Our aim is to obtain a coherent whole or state of wellness characterised by a sequence of progressive undertakings or goals, from a perceived challenge. The recovery to wellness continuum includes but is not limited to, emotional, spiritual, physical and mental wealth, and the following examples could be posed as perceived challenges for the client’s potential growth: obesity, lack of Spirituality in one’s life, lack of career stimulation, bulimia or drug addiction. Where there is room for change (in individuals or groups), coaching may enter.

Recovery Coaching is an open methodology that welcomes all kinds of antidotes to the solution of building a wholesome life. Taking my own experience into consideration around addiction (the irrational); employing a Recovery Coach (as a coach also needs a coach) will support me in finding my way back into the real world. It bridges the gap on par to healing from addiction, to reintegrating in a sound and rational way. Although it is part of the recovery process, Recovery Coaching makes recovery even more possible.

training-13aFor more information about Recovery Coach Training and corporate training solutions for HR and EAP Professionals, please contact Leigh-Anne | (011)728-9200 | leigh-anne@thefoundationclinic.co.za.