Sobriety can be difficult to navigate on your own, which is why having help is such an integral part of the recovery process. However, it’s important to know the difference between all of the resources at your disposal. One professional that you might have heard of as you’ve begun seeking support through recovery is a sober coach (aka recovery coach). But what exactly is a sober coach, how do they help, and how do they differ from other individuals who are there to guide you on your journey? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll answer all of your essential questions about sober coaches to help you take the next step toward sobriety.

sober coach

What is a Sober Coach?

A sober coach is essentially a life coach with a strong emphasis on coaching you through your newly sober lifestyle. They’re there to support you when you’re struggling, help you reintegrate back into regular life, and more. While responsibilities will vary, some of the most common services a sober coach will offer include:

  • Help in securing initial treatment.
  • Transportation to treatment services.
  • 24/7 access to communication when you’re struggling with sobriety or need support.
  • Setting new life goals post-addiction.
  • Supporting you if you relapse.
  • Aiding in healing broken family members’ (or loved ones) systems due to addiction.
  • Attending certain forms of addiction treatment when necessary.
  • Holding you accountable so you can stay on top of your sobriety.
  • And more…

But it’s not enough to know what a sober coach is and does. Many will attempt to reach out to the wrong professional because the names can seem so confusing. What’s the difference, for example, between a sober coach, a sponsor, and a therapist? A therapist is a mental health professional educated to help you understand any underlying mental health conditions you struggle with and provide you with the coping mechanisms you need to alleviate your symptoms.

Meanwhile, a sponsor is someone who guides you through the 12-Step Program for free out of the desire to support someone else who is in the same place they once were. Sober coaches, on the other hand, are paid professionals who cannot offer you mental health care or guide you through the 12-Step Program but offer you support in nearly every other area. There are also sober companions, who are individuals who will act as a roommate for high-risk individuals for a limited period of time.

The Role of a Sober Coach in Addiction Recovery

One might ask, why should I hire a sober coach? How will their role greatly benefit me? Put simply, a sober coach can provide you with more comprehensive emotional support and guidance post-treatment, helping you navigate real life so that you can achieve a sense of normalcy and learn how to maintain your sobriety moving forward, and help you navigate common challenges that other addicts face, whether it’s certain events, triggers like specific dates, or even stressful situations. When you have a professional like this on your side, you can tackle sobriety with greater confidence.

When Might Someone Need a Sober Coach?

While everyone can benefit from the support of a sober coach, there are certain individuals whose circumstances would allow them to benefit most. You might need a sober coach if…

  • You’re transitioning from inpatient treatment back to your daily life. The benefit of treatment is that you have significantly fewer stressors that you have to deal with while receiving inpatient care. The transition can be tough, and a sober coach can help.
  • You’re facing a high-risk situation. Those who have a greater chance of relapsing, such as those who are returning to an environment where substance use took place, can use the professional support and accountability to make sure they don’t relapse.
  • You’re dealing with major life changes and stress. Life happens, but addicts facing significant life obstacles or changes may wish to cope unhealthily rather than using regular coping mechanisms. A sober coach is there to help you work through these developments and prevent you from turning back to your substance of choice when things become difficult.

Benefits of Engaging a Sober Coach

There are many benefits to reaching out to a sober coach for help through recovery and beyond.

  • Accountability: You have someone there who is relying on you to stay sober and hit your goals, which can make it substantially easier for you to do so.
  • Personalized Support: Everyone’s journey looks a little different. With a sober coach, you’re receiving personally tailored strategies and coping mechanisms to help you navigate your environment post-treatment.
  • Building Life Skills: The first step is recovery, but there’s so much more to life after that. A sober coach can help you get back to your life so you feel much happier and more fulfilled after treatment.
  • Resource Navigation: It’s important to remember that your sober coach is a professional. No matter what you’re going through, they can help you find the necessary resources to navigate it.

Qualities to Look for in a Sober Coach

Not every sober coach is going to be right for you, and it’s important that you know what to look for in one so that you’re getting a professional who can actually support you.

The first and most crucial aspect of a good sober coach is the right training and certifications. Being that you’re paying for a service, you need someone who has been officially trained and is equipped to handle your needs. Otherwise, they can make choices that are detrimental to your sobriety.

If you need it, you may wish to work with someone who has recovery experience of their own. This will allow them to leverage their personal insights to better understand what you’re going through and offer even stronger support. This isn’t always necessary, but it is a consideration to keep in mind if it matters to you.

You also want the bare minimum when you’re working with a sobriety coach, which means having someone who is empathetic, can communicate effectively with you, and has plenty of patience as they support you through sobriety. They should also be professional and set strong boundaries, which we’ll discuss in greater detail in the following section.

recovery coach

Setting Boundaries With Your Sober Coach

A sober coach can be an invaluable resource, but these types of relationships can get complicated if you’re not careful. Make sure that you keep professional boundaries without trying to develop a friendship or other type of relationship with your sober coach (this should be something they prioritize as well). Take the time to understand the limits of their role and responsibilities in your life, and seek out support that they can’t offer elsewhere.

The Sober Coach’s Role in Relapse Prevention

Relapse is a part of recovery. A sober coach is there to, first and foremost, help you develop strategies that you can use when you’re faced with relapse triggers as well as develop a greater awareness of your unique triggers. That being said, they won’t fail to support you should you relapse. In the event of a relapse, your sober coach will be there to ensure you get prompt treatment so you can work toward sobriety once again.

Real Stories: Impact of Sober Coaches on Recovery

Note: I’ve left this section blank in case you had personalized stories that you wished to add here. If you need me to conduct further research to find relevant stories I can add to this section, I would be happy to jump back in and make the necessary edits!

How to Find and Engage a Sober Coach

Finding the right sober coach is a process that requires careful consideration. Some of the factors that you should consider when trying to find and engage the right sober coach include:

  • What does your current budget look like? Will insurance cover sober coach services? Your finances can play a major role in the support you receive.
  • Look for resources that can direct you to sober coaches in your area. Like a therapist, not every sober coach is the right fit. Make sure to ask them questions before you commit.
  • Review what types of services they offer and whether or not those are applicable to your situation. You want a sober coach that is compatible with your needs.

A sober coach can be an invaluable resource that helps you through the initial treatment process and beyond, helping you transform into the person you know you can become. If you believe that you could benefit from a sober coach, seriously consider engaging one to support you on your recovery journey. Want to learn more and connect with a sober coach dedicated to your success? Contact us today to get started!

Additional Resources


Published on: 2017-07-14
Updated on: 2024-03-22