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Course Description

Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for people with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency,or other addictive behaviors.

They work with people who have active addictions, as well as those already in recovery. Recovery coaches are helpful for making decisions about what to do with one's life and the part addiction or recovery plays init. They help clients find ways to stop addiction (abstinence), or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviors. These 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. They 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, or education.Recovery coaching is action-oriented with an emphasis on improving present life and reaching future goals. 

Recovery coaching is unlike most therapy because coaches do not address the past, do not work to heal trauma, and put little emphasis on feelings. Recovery coaches are unlike licensed addiction counselors in that they are non-clinical and do not diagnose or treat addiction or any mental health issues.

Learning Objectives for the Certified International Recovery Coach Training

  • History, qualifications, roles and functions of a recovery coach
  • Components, core values and guiding principles of a recovery coach
  • Build skills to enhance relationships and create rapport
  • Substance use disorders, behavioral disorders and co-occurring disorders
  • Abstinence, harm reduction and medicated assisted recovery
  • Stages of change and resistance to recovery
  • Ethics and cultural and spiritual values
  • Wellness planning and getting into action
  • Your mission and presentation
  • Role play and practice newly acquired skills

Day 1

On the first day we work towards creating a safe learning environment where new knowledge transfer can occur and basic assumptions and values can be challenged. Participants will get a firm foundation in the history of Recovery Coaching, terminology, role clarification, knowledge about the different kind of addictions such as process, chemical and destructive behavior.

Day 2

The focus of Day Two is the brain and how it shapes who we are as people, and what happens to the developing brain when substances like alcohol or drugs are introduced, and how a Recovery Coach can help a brain return to“normal”.

Day 3

Day Three focuses on skill development using tools such as Motivational Interviewing, the ABC model and challenging beliefs.Students will practice new skills using role play and feedback from other students.

Day 4

Day Four has two distinct components: knowledge and skill development on issues of spirituality, cultural competence and ethics; an immersion into the recovery resources in different cities and how to access them.

Day 5

Day Five is primarily concerned with the actualisation of becoming a Recovery Coach, developing a mission statement, how to “market” oneself and present oneself as a certified professional.


Supervision is a follow-up after you have successfully completed the full course. Just like any other reputable institute of education, at IRSI you don't get credit and/or certification just for showing up and "keeping a seat warm".  You have to exhibit an understanding of the materials through a brief online test followed by an hour of face-to-face video call with one of our teachers to talk through a case scenario.  Once you have successfully completed this section, you will receive your continuing education units (varies by country) as well as your international certification!