The Difference Between a Therapist and Recovery Coaches…

The Difference Between a Therapist and Recovery Coaches

Often times referred to as a sober coach or addiction recovery coach, how are these professionals different from substance abuse counselors or therapists?


Recovery coaches, also referred to as sober coaches, have become increasingly popular with the rise of drug addiction and substance abuse in today’s society. How do you know if you need a recovery coach or a therapist or both? There are many distinctions between coaches and therapists and each person with an addiction (drug, alcohol, food) or a substance abuse problem can benefit from their services, depending on the individual’s unique situation.

Most recovery coaches (sober coaches) are not – and do not need to be – certified, so it is imperative that you do your due diligence and hire the right coach for your specific needs and personality. There are several key factors you need to keep in mind when choosing a recovery coach such as experience, credentials, method, communication style, and personality. Important questions to ask your recovery coach include: how long has your recovery coach been sober, how many clients has she worked with, what is the structure of your coaching sessions (phone, skype or in person) and what type of results can you expect.

Coaching focuses on the present and future. Your recovery coach is there to help you move forward and get to the next level by challenging, supporting and holding you accountable. The coaching partnership evolves around goals and results, in areas such as career, relationships and health and well- being. Your coach should always be objective, ask you thought provoking questions, listening and help you create a plan of action. Together, you will understand and determine where you are at now and what steps are required to achieve your desired results.

Therapists and counselors are certified and degree professionals who diagnose, advise and provide solutions. They are concerned with your past and the psychological and emotional pain that led you to your addiction or substance abuse. Therapists are experts whose job is to provide relief and resolve your issues. Some therapists have transitioned into coaching or provide both recovery coaching and therapeutic services to their clients.

If someone has psychological as well as addiction or substance abuse issues, then it is protocol to seek help form a therapist or a therapist who is also a recovery coach. Your situation is unique and so is your solution. The success of your recovery can be greatly enhanced by hiring a recovery coach, as long as you choose wisely. Please keep in mind that there are good and bad therapists just like there are good and bad coaches. A professional degree or certification in either profession does not necessarily mean they are the right person to assist you. There are medical boards and coaching federations where you can research therapists and recovery coaches to determine who is best qualified to help you sustain your recovery and soar.

The Addictions Coach has a Nationally Certified Recovery Coaching Staff, Nationally Certified Interventionists and even drug and alcohol therapists and counselors. They are on hand to offer hourly, daily, by appointment or 24/7 live in care as needed.  Call Cali Estes, The Addictions Coach, today at 1.800.706.0318