The Addictions Academy Adds Another Course: Learn more about Peer Recovery Support Specialist Training (PRSS)

Peer Recovery

The Addictions Academy Adds Another Course: Learn more about Peer Recovery Support Specialist Training (PRSS) 

Peer Recovery Support Specialist Training (PRSS) also known as Peer Mentor or Peer Coach is not the same as Nationally Certified Professional Recovery Coach (NCRC1); both types of recovery coaches have a vital role in the addiction recovery industry. Every problem has a solution because the problem defines the solution.  Sometimes it’s hard to see!  We all need a little help at times.  Professional coaches and peer coaches help us to see through the perspective problem and reach the solution that we knew was there all along!  Coach and client, two successful people working together to reach solutions in new ways.

The Professional Recovery Coach has no state certification to date and services are billed as self pay only, insurance companies do not pay for these services to date.  Peer Recovery Support Specialists, or peer recovery coaches can be certified in certain states, and some states do bill Medicaid for these services.

The competencies and training for Peer Recovery Support Specialist include:

Effective, Empathetic Communication Skills

Legal and Ethical Practice, Boundaries, Client Rights

Introduction to Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Co- Occurring Disorders

Principles of Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Medicaid Mental Health benefit information

Using Your Recovery Story, Role of Peer Supports on Teams, Recovery Culture

Role Challenges, Conflict Resolution, Self-Care

Recovery Planning and Documentation

Entitlements and Benefits Management

Cultural Awareness


The competencies and training of a Professional Recovery Coach Include:

Setting the Foundation 

  1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards
  2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement
  3. Co-creating the Relationship
  4. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
  5. Coaching Presence
  6. Communicating Effectively
  7. Active Listening
  8. Powerful Questioning
  9. Direct Communication
  10. Facilitating Learning and Results 
  11. Creating Awareness
  12. Designing Actions
  13. Planning and Goal Setting
  14. Managing Progress and Accountability

Family Dynamics

Body Language, Tones and Inflections

Treatment Models & Styles

Process Addictions

Emerging Drugs

Coaching Activities


Coping Skills

Life Skills

Accessing Community Supports

Relapse Prevention

Goal Setting



Defense Mechanisms

Post-Acute Withdrawal techniques

Legal and Ethical Issues Taught

Marketing and Business Branding ideas

All contracts, forms, HIPAA, Confidentiality, Duty to warn


Requirements for Peer Recovery Support Specialist Training PRSS

The Peer Recovery Support Specialist course is a 55- hour course.

The requirements for a person to take this course are:

Primary diagnosis of mental illness or a dual diagnosis of mental illness and addiction

Well-grounded in recovery (one year between diagnosis and application to training)

Strong desire to help others with mental illness and ability to self-identify

GED or High school diploma

Strong reading comprehension, written communication skills and computer literacy

Demonstrated experience with leadership, advocacy, and/or sharing information/teaching

Work or volunteer experience within a three -year period

A peer recovery support specialist assists those who are receiving treatment to regain control over their lives and pursue recovery from their mental illness. A peer specialist must have a minimum of one year in solid recovery in their own mental health diagnosis. As well as an understanding of the public mental health system, a basic knowledge of and experience in self-help, peer support, coping skills and recovery. This course can help them achieve this knowledge.

The certified peer specialist workforce is relatively new in the behavioral health field, with certification programs emerging in 2001. Even in this short timeframe, states have recognized the potential of peer specialists to improve mental health consumer outcomes by promoting recovery.

It is important to note that while this certification is required in order to bill Medicaid for peer recovery support services, the competency based training and education would be a desirable foundation for any number of paraprofessional roles in behavioral health.


Requirements for Professional Recovery Coach Training

At the Addictions Academy, Professional Recovery Coaching Certification requires 46- hour training includes a two-day Professional Recovery Coach Training (virtual classroom or LIVE), Case Management (self -study), a 10- hour Relapse Prevention (self- study) and 10-hour ethics (self- study). Our comprehensive Professional Recovery Coaching will teach you to prepare for difficult Recovery Coach clients and various situations. Through the process of Recovery Coaching, clients are held accountable, improve their performance, become educated on drug and alcohol addictions, and enhance their quality of life. A Recovery Coach sets the parameters of the conversation, listens and contributes observations and questions, provides a road map for success and assists the client as a team to achieving their desired goals. An action based Recovery Coach accelerates the client’s progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choices, actions, and responsibility. Recovery Coaching concentrates on meeting the client where they are now, where they want to be, and holding them accountable as a team to get there.

A good professional coach will look at a situation and know without a doubt that there’s a solution for the problem.  The coach will automatically know that the person or client has tried everything that they could think of to solve the problem prior to calling for assistance. A good coach never underestimates the capabilities of the client.

Nationally Certified Recovery Coach –1 (NCRC-I) or a Peer Recovery Support Specialist Training (PRSS) also known as Peer Mentor or Peer Coach? How do you know what to choose?

Are you interested in becoming a Professional Recovery Coach or Peer Recovery Support Specialist? Our Recovery Coaching Training Programs will assist you with all of the skills necessary to learn how to become top-notch- Recovery Coaches. At The Addictions Academy, we are a National Education Provider and we offer a reputable program that is cost-effective and recognized in the industry. If you are a therapist you need to add this to your practice. If you are a sober companion or sober coach, you need to get the credentials to increase your client base, your income and your worth.  All of our Recovery Coach training classes meet the ICF standards with the core competencies. We are accredited though the AACT as an educational institution and we provide continuing education units through NAADAC.

Currently, 36 states can certify individuals as peer recovery support specialists, with lived experience who have initiated their recovery journey and are willing to assist others who are in earlier stages of the recovery process. Numerous state mental health departments, social services agencies and community behavioral health providers bill Medicaid (Rehabilitation Services) for Peer Support services. These agencies employ these specialists to assist other consumers in relapse prevention, medication assistance, in-home crisis, career development and life skills, just to name a few of the specialists’ job descriptions. The information presented in this training is a compilation of existing peer specialist training and certification (PSTC) programs, including exchanges between the authors and therapists, as well as published literature examining peer specialists and PSTC programs. No state is certifying Professional Recovery Coaches as of yet, and insurance companies are not paying for professional coaches.  The good thing is that Professional Recovery Coaches are paid out of pocket by their clients

In our Recovery Coaching Training Programs, you will tackle scenarios that are real life examples of clients and how to handle them and their loved ones. In our Recovery Coaching courses, you will learn how to prequalify a client and when to refer out, assess for detox and all legal issues associated with being a Recovery Coaches. Our seasoned professional staff will tackle the most difficult of questions and leave you feeling ready to take on new clients as you venture into the world of Recovery Coaching.

As a Professional Recovery Coach or Sober Coach, or PRSS, you love helping people and enjoy teaching others how to stay sober and enjoy life. You deserve to be paid for your time and efforts. We offer a reputable program that is cost-effective and recognized in the industry. We offer continuing education hours that are great for therapists, drug and alcohol treatment staff, admissions counselors, after care staff, business developers and marketers, social workers and addiction professionals. At The Addictions Academy, we offer mentorship programs, Certifications and Training programs for Therapists, Counselors and for those in Recovery themselves. A Recovery Coach job can be rewarding and lucrative and our Recovery Coaching Courses or Sober Coaching course will teach you all the essentials you need to succeed in accepting new clients or adding clients to your existing practice.  Our Recovery Coach Certificate Program will prepare you for the real world and clients that are ready to hire you with your new level of expertise as you become a Recovery Coach or PRSS.

Schedule your training now so you can tackle the recovery coach academy and work towards your recovery coach international certification!

Dr. Cali Estes Ph.D.

CALL US AT 1.800.706.0318