Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) was initially developed by studying the natural thought processes and patterns of men and women who qualify as ‘exceptional achievers’, and works to make their coveted talents available to you. Not only does this maximize your professional potential, but it helps to improve your personal life as well!
NLP takes a revolutionary and cutting-edge approach to intercommunication, intra-communication, and techniques related to human potential development. Neuro-Linguistic Programming has since assisted millions of individuals worldwide in overcoming fears, enriching their overall quality of life, increasing confidence, improving the ability to learn and retain, and generally achieving greater successes in life.
The word “neuro” refers directly to the nervous system, where everything that an individual personally experiences are initially received and then processed through each of our five senses. The word “linguistic” refers to the spoken (and non-spoken) language that we employ in order to effectively communicate our thoughts and ideas – the verbal and non-verbal coding that gives meaning to our mental representations and organizes our thoughts. “Programming” is utilized as a metaphor relating to computers, indicative of our unique ability to uncover the programs that each of us mentally run. Basically, the practice of NLP revolves around how to run our brains in a more productive and beneficial way, so that we consistently achieve desired results.
‘Psychotherapy’ is a widely used and relatively general term, indicating any form of therapeutic interaction between a professionally contracted therapist and an individual client, a couple, a family, or any other group. The issues that are addressed during psychotherapy are psychological in nature, and do not necessarily need to follow any other additional guidelines – the degree of the psychological issue can vary significantly, based on the specialty of the practitioner concerned. The main goal of psychotherapy is to increase a given individuals sense of his or her own wellbeing through the utilization of a wide range of therapeutic techniques. These techniques are predominantly based on dialogue, experiential relationship building and behavioral changes designed to improve the mental health of an individual client or the group functioning and relationship of a designated family.
Psychotherapy may be performed by practitioners who hold any number of applicable qualifications. These qualifications include clinical psychology, general psychiatry, mental health counseling, psychiatric social work, clinical social work, family therapy, couples or marriage counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, art therapy, music therapy, play therapy, drama therapy, dance or movement therapy, occupational therapy, psychoanalysis, psychiatric nursing, and many other forms of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy may be legally regulated or voluntarily regulated, depending, of course, on the jurisdiction. The specific requirements of these professions vary greatly, but most will require a full completion of graduate school as well as extensive supervised clinical experience. In some countries, such as Europe, psychotherapy is being increasingly seen as an independent profession, where as it was previously restricted to those with a clearly defined degree in professional psychology or psychiatry.
Alcoholics Anonymous (more commonly referred to as AA), is an international altruistic movement originally developed in the year 1935 by two men known as Bill W. and Dr. Bob – Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. The program was initially founded in Akron, Ohio. The ‘primary purpose’ of Alcoholics Anonymous is “to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety”. Bill Wilson and Dr. Smith began holding small meetings, during which they developed the 12 steps – a series of personal actions that work towards building spiritual soundness and improved character. The Twelve Traditions of AA were first incorporated in 1946, and they were geared towards helping the program both stabilize and continue to grow. These traditions suggest that all members and groups remain entirely anonymous in public media outlets such a press, radio, and film. It recommends that members altruistically help all who have a desire to stop drinking, and actively steer clear of dogma and any involvement in outside issues (such as politics and religion). The traditions also suggest that AA members do not affiliate the group with any other organization. Since the development of AA in 1935, many similar programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous, have been put into effect. These programs have adopted the 12 steps and 12 traditions, perhaps making slight alterations to better suit their specifications. Sponsors are untrained and unpaid individuals who have both completed the 12 steps and remained sober for an extended period of time.
Life coaching is an extremely beneficial practice, one geared towards helping people both identify and achieve their personal life goals. Life coaches work to assist clients through the utilization of a wide variety of tools and techniques. The practice draws inspiration from multiple disciples like psychology, sociology, career counseling, and positive adult development. Some specialty life coaches may have acquired degrees in psychological counseling, dream analysis, hypnosis, or other area that directly pertain to providing relevant and beneficial guidance. However, this does not necessarily mean they are licensed consultants or therapists, seeing as professional business analysis and psychological intervention may be well outside the scope of work for some coaches. Most critics agree the life coaching is very similar to psychotherapy, but with fewer restrictions, less regulation, and more limited oversight. Additionally, there is a lack of established ethical policies. These are areas of clear concern, and have been dealt with on a stat-by-state basis. The State of Tennessee issued a memorandum in 2009, emphasizing that any life coach who performs any activities that could be construed as family, marriage, or individual counseling was subject to discipline. No other states have made a formal statement thus far, but many have legal statuses that broadly define the practice of mental health. For example, Hawaii defines the practice of psychology as any endeavor geared towards fostering a significant behavioral change or used to improve “interpersonal relationships, work and life adjustment, personal effectiveness, behavioral health, [or] mental health.” Although states such as Hawaii will typically provide some viable exclusion to licensure requirements, life coaches will, more often than not, fall under such statutes. More favorably to life coaches, in 2004 the Colorado General Assembly specifically exempted trained life coaches from the licensure requirements that apply to other behavioral and mental health professionals in the state.
Types and Styles:
- Business Coaching
- Personal Coaching
- Christian Coaching
- Executive Coaching
- Career Coaching
- Financial Coaching
- Health and Wellness Coaching
- Sports coaching
- Dating and Relationship Coaching
- Recovery coaching
A sober companion is an individual who works “full-time” alongside the client, meaning full work days, nights, weekends or extended periods of time during which the coach remains by the client’s side 24-hours a day. The roles of some recovery coaches have evolved from a travel or sober escort to a Long Term Recovery Coach or Sober Companion. This long term option can begin with treatment discharge, and the client’s first day or weekend at home. From here, the relationship may develop into a coaching relationship that continues for several weeks, months, or even longer depending on the specific situation.
Returning home from treatment, the client trades a secure, drug-free environment for a living situation where they know there are pre-existing issues. A Long Term Recovery Coach or Sober Companion will provide the functional safety of the treatment center – though of course, under much different pretenses. A Long Term Sober Companion will introduce the client to 12-step meetings; guide them past former triggers (like liquor stores or nightclubs) and support the client in developing their recovery plan. A Long Term Recovery Coach or Sober Companion will help the client to make lifestyle changes in order to experience a better quality of life during the first crucial days after discharge from a treatment center. Sometimes a recovery coach is extremely beneficial in keeping a client sober in order to regain custody of their child.
Recovery Support Specialist:
A recovery support specialist (RSS) or a peer recovery support specialist (PRSS) is a non-clinical person who meets with clients in a community-based recovery center, or goes off sight to visit a client. The Recovery Support Specialist will receive no monetary reimbursement for these coaching services. The recovery support specialist ensures there is a contract for engagement, called a personal recovery plan. A key component of the Recovery Management model that all RSS follow is this personal recovery plan. Peer Recovery support specialists (PRSS) are sometimes called “recovery coaches” but that term has been dropped by William L. White in favor of “recovery support specialist” to avoid confusion with the professional life recovery coach. Other terms used to describe peer recovery support specialist is a peer mentor.
Family Recovery Coach:
The family plays an absolutely crucial role in the recovery of any given individual, yet the entire family unit is frequently entirely neglected by most standard models of addiction treatment. Family Recovery Coaches are specially trained to create a non-judgmental, peaceful, and objective environment for the recovering addict and his or her family. Family Recovery Coaches are well-trained and highly knowledgeable in regards to the changes that are inevitable within the family when an addiction is present, and they are familiar with many specific models that are geared towards helping the family successfully cope with such change. Regardless of the choices that the addict makes, working closely alongside a Recovery Coach will help the spouse, partner, or loved ones of an addict avoid the detrimental mental obsession that plagues so many families that are directly affected by addiction, and prevents them from living the sane and productive lives they deserve.
Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for persons with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches work with persons with active addictions as well as persons already in recovery. Recovery coaches are helpful for making decisions about what to do with your life and the part your addiction or recovery plays. Recovery Coaches help clients find ways to stop addiction (abstinence), or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches can help a client find resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, local or online support groups; or help a client create a change plan to recover on their own.
Recovery coaches do not offer primary treatment for addiction, do not diagnose, and are not associated with any particular method or means of recovery. Recovery coaches support any positive change, helping persons coming home from treatment to avoid relapse, build community support for recovery, or work on life goals not related to addiction such as relationships, work, education etc. Recovery coaching is action oriented with an emphasis on improving present life and reaching goals for the future.
Recovery coaching is unlike most therapy because coaches do not address the past, do not work to heal trauma, and there is little emphasis on feelings. Recovery coaches are unlike licensed addiction counselors in that coaches are non-clinical and do not diagnose or treat addiction or any mental health issues.
Telephone or Visual Recovery Coach:
In some instances, face-to-face meetings with a recovery coach will not be possible. In cases such as this, a telephone or virtual recovery coaching relationship may need to be established. Those who require virtual recovery support will likely have developed a trusting and honest relationship with a sober escort, sober companion coach, or recovery coach beforehand. The telephone or virtual recovery coach relationship is expected to continue on in the same light, with weekly or daily telephone conversations or online communication (such as FaceTime or Skype).
In this day and age, a wide range of inpatient treatment facilities are utilizing virtual recovery coaching, and are offering the assistance of coaches via both telephone and web interaction. This continuation of care helps clients meet the guidelines of a standard ‘aftercare’ program, in conjunction with involvement in a 12-step program and continued visitations with a therapist or psychiatrist if necessary. Online coaching programs have also recently become available to those who are simply looking for additional support, and are either free or fee-based. This additional support is ideal for those who arte either departing from a standard 30-day inpatient facility or who have recently relapsed after several months of treatment.
Legal Support Specialist – Recovery Coach:
Lawyers who are involved in drug courts or who are dealing with criminal drug cases have continued to request some kind of recovery coaching for their clients, coaching that would ensure a client stays sober as they were so mandated by the law. This recovery coaching would benefit those under house arrest, pending trial, or enrolled in a drug court-related outpatient recovery program. Recovery Coaches who possess the required legal knowledge and who have previously obtained the required certification are frequently contracted for this very purpose. Any individual who has obtained a license as a social worker or drug counselor and has adequate training in assessments can perform the tasks expected of a recovery coach.
The courts ask that they perform a detailed client assessment. Once the assessment has been completed, the coach will write up a report for the court, including in the report a suggestion for long-term, residential drug or alcohol treatment. If the client is not necessarily in need of residential treatment, he or she will be recommended to an outpatient program or sober living facility.