By: Heather R. Hayes, M.Ed., LPC, CAI, CIP

To say the journey toward healing is challenging is an understatement at best, but it is often further complicated by the maze of treatment and recovery options. As always, our mission is to guide you. This time by answering a common question we receive: What is the difference between a sober companion and a sober coach?

Sober Companions Defined

Sober companions, also called recovery companions, are trained in helping individuals to be more productive, healthy and positive members of society and in maintaining sobriety. They can provide a “safe landing” once a treatment program is completed and/or accountability in difficult situations after treatment.

Solid in their own recovery, sober companions offer indispensable support during challenging times, whether it be early recovery or during life events that could trigger a relapse. They are uniquely adept in relapse prevention methods, coping skills and crisis prevention. In addition, they understand family systems and relationship dynamics, co-occurring disorders, medication risk and management as well as how to maintain healthy boundaries.

Sober companions can be onsite with clients 24/7 for around-the-clock care whether the situation is a transition from a treatment program, business travel or simply the need for additional support. What’s more, they maintain open lines of communication with the entire support team to ensure the most appropriate level of care.

Sober Coaches Defined

Sober coaches, also called recovery coaches, offer experienced support in the early stages of recovery and are meant for those who do not require 24/7 companionship or intensive care. One-on-one, they help individuals adjust to a healthy lifestyle that is fulfilling and free of addiction with an individualized and collaborative recovery care plan that can be accomplished via phone, online or onsite. The frequency of sessions will vary depending on individual needs.

Specifically sober coaches help identify and address potential challenges in early recovery and help individuals to set short- and long-term recovery goals to support sustainable success. They do this through a combination of mentoring, education, relationship building and problem solving techniques as well as by identifying resources and activities that promote health and wellbeing.

The Common Ground

Yes, sober companions and sober coaches do have specific differences, particularly the 24/7 help of a companion that is often necessary. But they both offer professional support and advocacy, as well as education in critical life skills, coping with difficult situations and relapse prevention techniques which are all critical to long-term recovery success.

For more information on our sober companion and sober coaching services, call 800-219-0570 or email info@heatherhayes.com today.