“Addiction is one of the most powerful enemies of wise choices. Choosing recovery is one of the most difficult, and yet most rewarding choices that anyone can make.” Diana Gardner Robinson
Probably the situation that most strongly prevents wise choice-making is when someone is addicted – and addiction can take many forms besides involving drugs. In the presence of addiction, balance is impossible, not only for the addicted person, but, frequently, for those around him or her. Wise choice-making is incredibly difficult – almost, but not quite, impossible. In that situation there is only one wise choice and that is recovery, but it is not an easy choice for anyone involved.
Sadly, addiction often feeds not only on the substances that are abused, but also on people who, while well intentioned, may continue to enable the substance use, or may themselves become involved to the point of becoming “addicted to the addict.” We call this codependence. (I am a recovering codependent and attended a 12-step Al-Anon program for many years. It probably saved my sanity, and perhaps even my life.) Because of that I know how difficult it is for anyone, after enabling someone – sometimes for years – to start to reclaim one’s own life and begin setting boundaries, and allowing people who are in addiction to experience their own consequences. It is not easy, but nor is the alternative and I offer coaching around codependence if needed.
I am a fully trained coach and a Certified Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) in New York State. I have years of experience as an addictions counselor, and more as a college professor teaching future addictions counselors.
As to coaching the addicted, I have coached people who are in recovery, but I will not coach someone if I believe that s/he is currently in need of formal treatment for addiction. Occasionally someone will attempt to use my coaching as a substitute for treatment, but I cannot ethically work with them if they meet the criteria indicating a treatment.
Based on these and other experiences, my addiction-related coaching can take the following forms:
- Significant other/codependency coaching in which clients work on their own issues relating to people close to them who are in active addiction or in recovery. (This is where I believe that I am most helpful.)
- Working with individuals who are genuinely serious about examining whether their substance use is a problem and, whether they can get control of it and whatever effects it is having on them and their loved ones.
- Recovery coaching in which I serve as a support to someone who is in recovery from addiction in addition to, not instead of, any counselors or sponsors with whom they may be working. This is can be particularly helpful once a client is no longer considered to be in need of treatment and so is not working with a counselor, but who feels that additional support is still needed – and should also be working with a sponsor. (Sponsors are – or should be – experienced in getting into, and staying in recovery. They may, however, have their own issues about other areas of life.)
If you want to learn more, please contact me though the Contact page.