Sober Coaches: What They Are, and Why You Might Need One


The path to sobriety can be difficult to navigate on your own, which is why having support is so vital to the recovery process.

While friends, family, and sponsors can offer a great amount of help, sometimes having an experienced professional by your side is necessary.

A sober coach is somebody who specializes in helping people overcome addiction through personalized and professional support.

Unlike traditional treatment programs that center on a rigid structure, sober coaching focuses on your unique and individual circumstances.

This guide is designed to provide you with everything you need to know about sober coaching, what it is like, and whether working with professional services is right for you. You’ll find detailed information and comprehensive insights into the following aspects:

  • What a sober coach is
  • Advantages of working with a sober coach
  • The differences between a sober coach, sponsor, and professional counselor
  • What working with a sober coach is like
  • Who can benefit from sober coaching services
  • Steps to choosing a sober coach
  • Whether sober coaching services are worth it.

Ready to learn about everything that a sober coach has to offer? Let’s get into it.

What Is Sober Coaching?

Recovering from addiction is a complex journey and getting on the road to long-term sobriety can be a challenging process.

Sober coaches offer their services to help recovering addicts stay sober by providing them with the tools needed to cope with difficult encounters and temptation.

A sober coach is sometimes referred to as a recovery coach. These individuals have achieved long-term recovery and are now working to guide those who are newly sober.

There is a greater risk of relapse during the initial stages of recovery, and sober coaches provide additional support and protection to help prevent that from happening.

While they share similar duties and give the same type of support, a sober coach is fundamentally distinct from a sober companion.

A sober coach helps addicts begin their path to long-term sobriety, while a sober companion aids those who have already achieved sobriety but are at high risk of relapsing and cannot be left alone.

The Benefits of Working with a Sober Coach

A sober coach plays a crucial role in the recovery process by helping addicts gain a sense of normalcy post-treatment and learn how to maintain their sobriety as they move forward in life.

Let’s take a look at the different ways that sober coaching can benefit you in both the short and long term:

  • Accountability – Working with a sober coach provides a significant opportunity for accountability. This individual is somebody that you can check in with on a regularly scheduled basis and help keep you on track to staying sober
  • Personalized support – Each person’s recovery journey is unique. A sober coach equips you with personally tailored strategies and comprehensive guidance to help you navigate your environment after rehabilitation
  • Relapse prevention – Relapse is a common occurrence and often part of the recovery process from substance abuse. Sober coaching services are designed to help prevent you from slipping back into old habits by providing professional encouragement in staying committed
  • Goal setting and achievement – Goal-setting is an integral aspect of the addiction recovery process. A sober coach helps individuals attain new and healthy mindsets for who they want to become post-rehab and create a plan to achieve it
  • Emotional guidance – Working with sober coaching services will give you a clear perspective on your own recovery journey. A sober coach provides you with a safe space to manage and process difficult experiences and emotions
  • Building healthy routines – Getting a fresh start on life after completing a treatment takes time. An essential part of sober coaching is implementing different ways to establish a regular sleep schedule, a healthy diet, and other positive habits
  • Enhanced self-awareness – Leaving a safe and controlled environment like rehab and returning to regular life can be scary and isolating.

A sober coach shows you practical ways to handle challenging situations, avoid going back to old habits, and feel less overwhelmed when connecting with the real world

  • Assistance in navigating triggers – One of the primary objectives of working with a sober coach is to be able to identify relapse triggers.

Recovering addicts are more able to prevent relapses by recognizing persistent triggers and learning how to overcome them

  • Improved coping skills – Sober coaching introduces holistic approaches to help addicts cope with negative emotions.

A sober coach is dedicated to helping you find ways to work through life changes and obstacles through healthy coping mechanisms

  • Increased chances of long-term sobriety – Recovery from addiction isn’t something that just happens overnight.

Professional sober coaches understand that it’s okay to have ups and downs throughout your journey. You can count on them to be with you every step of the way, cheering for your victories and helping you bounce back from setbacks.

Sober Coach vs. Sponsor vs. Professional Counselor: Their Differences

Reaching out to the right professional is important in your journey to recovery because each type of service or help you can receive has its specific purpose and function depending on the individual and their circumstances.

Sober coaches are not the same as sponsors or professional counselors. Sponsors are strictly focused on the 12-step program, and professional counselors are more geared toward the treatment of underlying mental health issues.

A sober sponsor is essentially a member of programs like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous who serves as a mentor who guides patients through their recovery difficulties for free because they have experienced the process themselves.

Professional counselors or therapists are mental health professionals educated to help you overcome the mental health conditions you are struggling with. They are medically trained to provide you with the coping strategies needed to alleviate your symptoms.

Sober Coach Sponsor Professional Counselor
Focus Helping maintain sobriety Guiding through a 12-step program Treating underlying mental health issues
Qualifications Usually a recovered addict with coaching expertise Experienced program member Licensed mental health professional
Payment Paid service Volunteer, often free Paid service
Role in Recovery Post-treatment support Mentorship during recovery Treatment and therapy
Scope Sobriety maintenance, life skills, and relapse prevention Working the 12 steps, providing guidance Diagnosis, therapy, and treatment

What Is It Like Working with a Sober Coach

The process of starting work with a sober coach involves helping the individual set goals and develop a personalized action plan for implementing a new sober lifestyle.

Some of the typical activities and sessions with a sober coach include accompaniment to recovery meetings, providing transportation to outpatient therapy, and giving 24/7 on-call relapse support.

Who Can Benefit from a Sober Coach?

Addiction is a disease that affects millions of people across the globe and can be difficult to manage without the right type of professional assistance.

Some of the most common signs of addiction include the inability to stay away from a substance, lack of self-control, and ignoring risk factors.

Professional sober coaching can help all addicts but there are certain patients whose circumstances would allow them to benefit the most.

Individuals who are transitioning from inpatient treatment back to daily life and dealing with major life changes or stress can seek out a sober coach to prevent them from returning to substance abuse when things get tough.

How to Choose a Sober Coach

Choosing the right sober coach can be one of the most important steps in improving the success of your recovery process.

Working with a professional whom you feel comfortable around and can communicate with effectively will help develop the connection required to keep you on the path to long-term sobriety.

Research and gather information about available sober coaches

It is recommended to interview multiple sober coaches and evaluate them before making a decision. This will give you a good sense of their approach, coaching style, expertise, qualifications, methodology, and availability.

Consider their credentials, training, and certifications in addiction recovery

Look for sober coaches who have relevant experience and credentials in addiction recovery. Make sure to research if they have a background and certifications in therapy, counseling, and recovery programs.

Check for relevant experience and expertise in your specific areas of concern

Get a sober coach who has a good amount of formal training and experience under their belt – preferably as a therapist or counselor.

You should lean toward professional sober coaches who have formalized plans in areas that you need to focus on during your recovery.

Seek recommendations from trusted sources, such as support groups, addiction treatment centers, or therapists

Do not hesitate to ask for referrals and recommendations from your treatment professionals. There’s always a good chance that they might have reputable connections and resources to help you find a suitable sober coach.

Is It Worth It Working With A Sober Coach?

Initial days, weeks, and months of recovery from addiction can be some of the most trying times that any person can experience. It is common for recovering addicts to feel overwhelmed, alone, and lost on how to move forward. Having the right guidance and support is crucial to overcoming traumas and addiction, especially during the early stages of your journey to recovery.

Addiction can feel like a constant cycle of pain and desperation, and while the price for sober coaching can be relatively high for some, it is ultimately worth it as an investment in yourself, your health, and your relationships.

The Bottom Line

Professional sober coaching can be an invaluable resource that will help guide you through the initial stages of the treatment process and beyond.

Acquiring the services of the right sober coach who is engaging and dedicated to your successful recovery will transform you into the person you know you are capable of becoming!



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