What is a Sober Coach and How Does Sober Coaching Work?

Getting through rehabilitation for drug or alcohol abuse is certainly difficult but many patients don’t realize that they will face equally challenging times in the weeks or months after formal treatment is complete. It’s during that time that the risk of relapse is at its most acute. Many clients find it hard to keep on the clean and sober road when they don’t have an addiction professional at hand.

This is where a sober coach comes in. Hiring a sober coach will make your chances of long-term recovery far higher, as he or she will guide you, motivate you, and give you the tools you need to get past intense cravings and life challenges without succumbing to temptation. A sober coach will be the professional that you can always turn to not only for support and encouragement but inspiration, as well. Sober coaches are always people who have successfully overcome their own addictions through treatment, too. They know what you’re going through and the challenges you face. It’s their job to make sure you get to the other side of your journey clean and sober.

Sober Coach Services in Sydney Off Addiction
Sober Coach Services in Sydney Off Addiction

What is the difference between a sober coach and a sober companion?

Perhaps you’ve heard the terms sober coach and sober companion and have wondered if there is any difference between the two. While they are sometimes used synonymously, the professionals at Off Addiction by Paul Medley distinguish between the two job titles. Sober coaches areprofessionals who spend a designated amount of time with you during the day and/or at night while sober companions stay with you 24/7, becoming an integral part of your daily lifestyle.

A sober coach or companion (sometimes also referred to as a sobriety coach or companion, a sober recovery coach, a personal sober coach, or an addiction coach) can be an invaluable tool in your recovery journey. Once rehab is over, patients are at great risk of relapse, especially during the first few weeks or months. Engaging a sober coach will make you much less likely to fall off the wagon. The sober coach will have had experience with addiction themselves and will be fully recovered, making them uniquely equipped to guide and motivate you.

"If you've never had a real problem with drinking or drugs, you might think that getting through rehab is all it takes to put things right. But rehab is more of a kick start. Your next trick is learning to cope with stressful situations without using substances and it's about acquiring skills, not just willpower"

Paula Goodyer paraphrasing Josette Freeman, Sydney Morning Herald, July 20, 2015

What is a sober coach or companion, exactly?

A sober coach is a “clean and sober companion who assists you through the process of getting and staying sober.” Most often, a sober coach is a mentor who is employed after you finish your rehab treatment. In this situation, the professional gives you the support you need during the first few weeks or even months of your recovery. Occasionally, a sober coach or companion might be used as an alternative to treatment. This generally occurs when formal treatment, for whatever reason, isn’t possible. In this scenario, the sober coach or companion would likely be hired for a longer term.

There are different kinds of sober coaches offering a variety of services, and you will find that different companions have different qualifications and training. A sober coach will use encouragement and social accountability to help to prevent you relapsing into addiction. He or she will also give you emotional support. If you’re interested in finding a sober coach who will also carry out duties such as nutritional guidance and/or cooking and exercise guidance, you should make inquiries and find one that offers these services.

What Does a Sober Coach (or Companion) Do?

Treatment is a journey and a challenge. But after that time of perhaps just weeks or months is complete, you must embark on the task of keeping clean and sober on your own. This is where a sober coach comes in. Depending on the terms of the engagement, a sober coach can be with you most or all of the time or at specific times when you feel most at risk of going off the rails.

A sober coach will help you deal with the common triggers that may make it more difficult for you to resist returning to the old habits of drinking or drug abuse. These might include factorssuch as anxiety, depression, fatigue, physical discomfort, coming across someone you once drank or used drugs with, or feelings as simple as boredom or loneliness.

Cravings might be intense during the first weeks or months after treatment, and having a sober coach with you could be instrumental in keeping you on the road to successful long-term recovery. The more time that passes, the more you will gather the experience and tools you need to cope on your own.

You may believe that you’ve learned so much during treatment that you are strong enough not to need the help you would get from a sober coach. While it’s possible that this is true, is itworth taking the risk when you can readily find and hire a sober coach? It’s much easier than you might imagine to forget what you learned in rehab when faced with cravings and stress in the outside world. You deserve to have a sober coach there for you, working hard to make sure you get to the other side of your journey sober and successful.

The length of time sober coaching lasts depends on the exact circumstances and your needs. Some people decide to hire their sober coach immediately upon finishing treatment and keep them around for at least a few weeks. In other instances, patients might decide they need to get a coach when they face difficult circumstances and feel they are at specific risk of relapse. It is also quite common for people to hire sober coaches specifically to come with them while traveling. Occasionally and in very specific circumstances, individuals will decide to try to use a sober coach in place of formal treatment, instead of as an add-on to it.

There are a few different types of sober coach or companion:

Live-In: A live-in sober companion will live with you in your home. If you go to a halfway house after your inpatient rehabilitation treatment, your sober companion will go with you there instead. Some sober companions will clean and/or cook for you. Your sober coach might assist you in planning your nutrition and exercise, as well as self-care measures.

On-Call: An on-call sober coach is someone you can (and should) call when you need to talk or require guidance or advice. You can ask for them to visit you whenever needed. You might want to choose an on-call sober companion if you don’t want someone to live with you but you need someone to call whenyou’re struggling.

Sober Escort: A sober escort will accompany you when you must enter situations that present risk of relapse. Some of these might include social gatherings. They should also go with you to group meetings.

It is possible to get a sober companion through your 12-step group, if you are a part of one. In this case, your sober companion will be a member of the group or fellowship.

Most of the time, a sober coach or companion is most compatible with an abstinence-based model of treatment and recovery. Clients who prefer a harm-reduction model, however, should be able to find a sober coach who will work within that framework.

Why is a Sober Coach Helpful?

A sober coach will be there for you to help you through the few weeks or months following the completion of treatment. Everyday life often contains many sources of stress and times and places where temptation might be an issue. For example, if you experience stress at work and pass a liquor store on the way home, you will be at risk of relapsing if you do not have a sober coach or companion with you. And if you need to be in social situations where alcohol is present, having a sober coach will be invaluable.

A sober coach will also listen to you and provide encouragement during difficult times. You can talk to your coach about your worries and fears and use them as someone to lean on and from whom to seek guidance. Sober companions provide “the emotional and psychological support to help you stay clean and sober.” A sober coach or companion can be especially helpful for people who live alone or who don’t have the kind of social support network needed for their emotional well-being. Sober coaches usually begin their time with the client by thoroughly searching his or her home, making sure it is free of all alcohol and drugs. The coach will help the client to properly structure their day, fostering a better sense of control and security.

One excellent Australian rehab centre providing sober coach and companion services is Off Addiction by Paul Medley. OffAddiction’s sober coaches not only provide the typical services offered by a sober coach but also extras such as transport services in which they accompany their clients to and from events. Off Addiction’s sober coaches will guide you, help you improve the skills most important in lasting recovery, and assist you in effective planning for a clean and sober future.

Off Addiction’s coaches pride themselves on forging a close connection with their clients, fostering trust and confidence in their abilities. The rehab centre guarantees that all Off Addiction coaches are “well-trained, committed, passionate and reliable.”

Having triumphed over his own addictions in the past, the founder of Off Addiction, Paul Medley, has a unique and non-judgmental approach to sober coaching and companionship. He and his Off Addiction coaches focus on results, and they get the results they desire through teaching truly effective approaches and methods. Paul explains, “The best sober coaches are the ones who have had their own experiences struggling with sobriety. Each client has his or her own story, and with empathy and understanding we have incredible success in helping them beat their dependencies.”

How to Find a Sober Coach Near You

If you’d like to find a sober coach near you, make inquiries with the addiction professionals with whom you’ve been working. They should be able to make a recommendation. Off Addiction has excellent sober coaches in many large Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, The Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth. Every one of their coaches has experienced addiction and has been successful in recovery, going through 12-step programs and spending time in rehab centres. For obvious reasons, such a coach or companion will be a great help in guiding and encouraging you. A sober coach is someone you know has been through what you are experiencing and has come out the other side, ready to help. This makes them an inspirational figure and someone to look up to when things seem daunting.

Sober coaches at Off Addiction “have an intimate knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.” They are highly discreet and respectful of their clients’ privacy and reputation in their communities, and take great care to maintain anonymity. If you’re interested in engaging a sober coach from Off Addiction, simply call the centre at the number provided on their website.

If one of your loved ones is the person for whom you want to find a sober coach, you can contact Off Addiction directly too. You can rest assured that this rehab centre provides services especially designed to meet the unique needs of each client.

What is the Cost of Hiring a Sober Coach or Companion?

Sober coach rates will depend on the requirements of the individual job. Generally, the daily expense will probably be similar to what you would pay per day in a mid-cost residential treatment program. You will also need to pay for the coach’s living and travel expenses. The total cost of having a sober coach will also depend on how long you wish to engage him or her. Typical time periods during which sober coaches are retained range from a few weeks to as long as a couple of months or longer.

A Sober Coach or Companion Will Help You or Your Loved One Stay Clean and Sober

Whether you’re thinking of engaging a sober coach for yourself or someone you love who is recovering from addiction, you now know the basics of what these gifted professionals have to offer. Choosing and hiring an effective sober coach or companion could be the difference between lasting sobriety and relapse. Make the investment in yourself or the person you love by making sure they have the support and guidance they need as they embark on and experience the challenging weeks or months after formal rehabilitation treatment ends.

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