Recovery Workshop: Advanced Development
Mentoring & Coaching
You have reached the point in your recovery where you have learned everything you need to be successful in eliminating addiction from your life. Everything from this point on will involve either taking this information and expanding/integrating it's use; or applying it directly to topical events (such as relapse prevention). But there will be no more intellectual learning of the fundamentals. You have been exposed to all of the insights, tools and skills that are required in building and sustaining a healthy 'life after addiction'. What you are lacking is experience. And so, in moving forward, you have two major objectives to achieve: gaining experience in effectively merging all of these elements into a single, cohesive strategy for managing your life; and ingraining this knowledge in a more generalized, natural way.
One of the methods of developing this experience is by seeing these insights, tools and skills through the eyes and experiences of others. By mentoring their understanding of the fundamental elements associated with building a healthy foundation, you will simultaneously be gaining the very experience that you need to establish mastery, and confidence in your own transition.
Cashing in on Goodwill
This recovery workshop has been provided to you at no cost. It is truly our mission to provide the most efficient path for anyone desiring to end their addictive/compulsive behavior and rebuild a healthy life. For some, you have taken advantage of the paid coaching and in return, should have gained immeasurable advantages in applying what you have learned. For others, support feedback was offered mainly on an 'as resources were available' basis. It is our goal to develop a sustainable support community where those who have been taught, go on to teach others. This is the only way that the principles of a health-based recovery can be sustained. Additionally, it is the only way that we can expand our mission to include existing goals like offering community support groups, online live training, etc. So, we are asking for your help, and in return, are offering something just as valuable to you: experience and support.
For the next three months, we would like to ask you to take your role of mentoring those just starting out seriously. In each remaining lesson, there are challenges for mentors that will focus on reinforcing and/or expanding your existing knowledge. These will not be difficult or time-consuming. The purpose of these activities is to help generate the experience you will need to ingrain confidence in your fundamentals. These activities will be above and beyond what you are already tasked with completing in your personal recovery. However, you should note that your workshop participation will also be shifting from community accountability to personal accountability. Meaning, you will be challenged to complete many of your remaining personal growth activities on your own — without anyone but you knowing the quality of effort, or even if they were completed at all. There are exceptions to this, but for the most part, you will begin detaching yourself from the identity of being a person 'in recovery' and disconnecting from any potential dependence that you have come to attach to this site/community. You will begin to develop confidence in your own ability to anticipate, manage and evolve your life — not as an activity, but as a privilege. This will be a gradual disconnection beginning after the next few lessons (after relapse planning) — so that there will be only a minimal crisis of anxiety with this detachment.
What are your expectations of me as a Mentor?
Exactly what they are of you now: to take personal responsibility for the quality of your life. What you will be asked to do is not 'extra work'. It is essential work in ingraining what you have learned to date. It is a different phase of personal development, that's all. You are still expected to share your struggles, ask your questions, do your lessons, and be imperfect. You are still expected to prioritize your health above all else. You are still expected to share and be responsible only for what you know; and to explore those areas that you don't. You are still expected to offer yourself transparently to the community. You are still expected to pursue a full transition to health.
Beyond that, your mentoring will have two major implications:
1) It will provide you with practical experience in generalizing your skills (and thus, your confidence)
2) It will provide others with general support that they can use in either embracing as their own or, choosing not to embrace
What's in it for me?
Hopefully, this question didn't even enter your head. Hopefully, you have already concluded that the potential benefit in your mentoring others involves both the meaning you can derive from helping others in true need, and the clarity you can achieve in challenging yourself to review and reflect on what you have learned from many different angles. But in case that isn't enough incentive, here are several additional benefits:
Upon your completion of three successful months of mentoring, you will gain access to the following opportunities/features:
- You will be added to the recovery follow-up program which involves two years of scheduled personal development challenges and advanced health topics
- You will gain access to direct proactive crisis-intervention
- You will gain the opportunity to become a full-fledged recovery coach — including the advanced personal training and monitoring that comes with that honor
How do I proceed?
Simple, change nothing. Because you are not being asked to take on a coaching role, you only need to do what is asked of you in future lessons. These will be specific activities focused on recovery fundamentals that you should already be comfortable exploring. Or at worst, challenged to review. If you find that you are struggling in a particular area of focus, do review the lessons that relate to that activity. These topics weren't added to the workshop without purpose. Each has a specific role in either building a necessary stone in your foundation or a process in teaching you how to use that foundation. If, after reviewing the lessons, you are still confused about the topic then contact the Coaching Supervisor directly for guidance.
* I don't feel comfortable coaching others in their recovery. Do I have to participate in this area of development?
You don't HAVE to do anything. This is your life and you can choose to do with it what you will. But given the values that are inherent in helping to mentor others and the benefit it will provide to your own mastery of the topics — you should have a rational, values-based reason for not participating.
* I don't yet have all the answers for my own life yet, how am I supposed to have the answers for others?
Being a mentor does not mean that you have the answers. Understand, at this point in the transition, you are far from having ingrained a healthy life. You have only laid the foundation for such a life and so, these next few years will be used to ingrain that foundation. What it does mean is that you have experience and insight that others new to this process don't have. And so, that is what you will be asked to share. Not 'the answers' but rather, your insights and experiences. The ones that were right and wrong FOR YOU. Those you are mentoring can take those thoughts and either embrace them as their own or leave them — that is their responsibility.
* I am afraid that I might say something that will negatively impact someone else's recovery.
Should you keep to the 'Do's and Don'ts' listed below, you won't have to worry about this. Mentoring must be a positive, empowering experience. You should not — and should never — take any personal responsibility for another's actions.
Do's and Don'ts
- Keep your posts positive and instructional
- Share your personal experiences (both successful and unsuccessful)
- Share how you might manage a particular situation given your existing insight, tools and skill
- Contact the Coaching Supervisor immediately if you have any concern about having crossed any boundaries or run into any conflicts — we do NOT want mentors/coaches spending energy on managing conflict. There are far too many sincere people out there that need your positive guidance.
- Feel free to respond to other community posts (not just the assignments)
- Do maintain your own thread exactly as you are now. Being a mentor doesn't change a thing in terms of your own needs/development
- Tell anyone what they should do — offer feedback that is directly related to understanding and/or applying the workshop topics
- Judge people for the decisions they have made or are making — you have your own life to manage and that should be enough. Allow others to manage their own lives, for better or worse.
- Engage in ongoing conflict. Once you have shared your thoughts and/or experiences, continue to engage if there are positive follow-up questions that appear to be seeking further guidance. But should the interaction become conflicted through confrontation or any negative response — move on.
- Hold back from sharing personal struggles because you are a mentor
Let Us Know!
Please let us know when you have completed Lesson 59 (via email, contact us form or by private message on the support forums) so that we can update your rank from General Participant to Mentor.
Interested in Becoming a Volunteer Recovery Coach?
For some, the value they derive from mentoring others isn't something they want to end after the initial three months has expired. They want to go on to become full-fledged recovery coaches. If this might be something that you are interested in, let the Coaching Supervisor know so that your mentoring will be more closely monitored for coaching potential.