Sober Coach vs Sober Companion: What’s the Difference?

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Recovering from addiction and mental health issues can be tough. It often takes more than just personal strength and therapy to navigate the journey to long term recovery. Both sober coaches and sober companions can play a pivotal role in that journey.

While people often use these terms interchangeably, they actually describe different types of support services. This article explores the differences between a sober coach and a sober companion, including their unique roles and responsibilities. 

Knowing these differences can help people in recovery make better choices about the type of support they need. 

What is a Sober Coach? 

Sober coaching, also known as recovery coaching, is a service provided to individuals during the early stages of recovery. The sober coach is available 24/7 to offer guidance, support, and relapse prevention. A sober coach can also provide support for those recovering from mental health challenges or co-occurring disorders. 

The sober coach is a vital addition to a therapist, sober house manager, and sponsor. They help individuals overcome a number of barriers that other support services cannot address. 

These barriers may be internal, such as low motivation, emotional struggles, medical conditions, mental health diagnoses, or even spiritual confusion. There may also be external barriers that prevent them from safely meeting their goals. These could be housing, employment, socialization, and transportation. The goal of sober coaching services is to assist clients in overcoming these barriers. 

A sober coaching program works around already scheduled events like work, treatment, therapy, AA meetings, and social obligations. Generally, this includes about 3-6 hours of individual coaching sessions per week. However, the schedule and number of hours will vary based on the individual’s needs. 

Meetings can take place in the home, a clinical office, or somewhere in the community. Coaching sessions may cover a variety of topics, but typically focus on things like coping skills, goal setting, communication skills, employment or schooling, and relapse prevention.

A sober coach also provides 24/7 crisis support if assistance is needed between scheduled meetings. 

What is a Sober Companion? 

A sober companion is a trained provider who delivers a higher level of support than a sober coach. They typically live with the individual and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for support. 

A sober companion is ideal for individuals who, due to work or other obligations, can’t enter a traditional treatment program. They’re also a great option for treatment graduates looking to bridge the gap between sober living and independent living. 

Sober companion services are designed for a number of situations where additional support is needed. For example: 

  • Individuals waiting for treatment center beds to become available
  • Those in the process of making travel arrangements for treatment
  • Businesspersons traveling for work purposes
  • Professional-level corporate and financial executives
  • Professionals with a high level of public visibility
  • Individuals leaving a treatment center transitioning back home
  • Any circumstance requiring a high level of personal recovery support

In addition to living with you, a sober companion may drive you to therapy appointments, accompany you to social events, and assist with errands and financial tasks. They’re there to help you avoid triggers and set healthy habits for the road ahead. 

Alcohol and drug use can often interfere with basic life tasks, but a sober companion can help you rebuild these essential skills. They may help you pay bills, plan meals, and communicate with friends and family. 

A sober companion is also available for much needed friendship and social support. The road to recovery can be lonely, and having someone by your side makes it much easier to reach long term recovery.

Which One Do I Need? 

Choosing between a sober companion and a sober coach depends on your progress in recovery. If you’re looking for flexible support and help with goal-setting and overcoming personal barriers, a sober coach might be right for you. 

This choice is for those who can handle some independence but still need some accountability and guidance, especially during the first weeks and months after in-patient treatment. 

On the other hand, if you think you need intensive, round-the-clock support or you’re looking to rebuild basic life skills, a sober companion might be more appropriate. 

This is particularly relevant for individuals who cannot commit to inpatient treatment due to family responsibilities, employment, or privacy concerns. Both services offer valuable support but cater to different needs and lifestyles. 

Find Trustworthy Sober Support

Anyone can stay sober while in treatment, but the real challenge comes when returning to everyday life. At Drew Horowitz and Associates, we pride ourselves in creating tailored care plans that help you adjust to life in the real world. Our sober coaches and sober companions make it their mission to support and guide you on this crucial recovery journey. 

If you are interested in learning more about these services, call (800) 731-0854 to schedule an intake appointment. During the appointment we will discuss goals, expectations, and lay out our recommendations. 


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