An Interview with Recovery and Life Coach Alex Birenbaum
A Q&A with Alexandra Birenbaum, MA, CAP, CSAT & Certified Life Coach…therapist, counselor, addiction treatment professional and life/recovery coach in Florida
She has spent the past 10 years of her life helping individuals, families and couples in finding solutions and harnessing the tools that enable them to persevere through any number of issues. Through her work and relentless passion for helping others help themselves, she has become regarded as one of the few life coaches in Florida that offers a much broader level of expertise. Her credentials include: Bachelor in Psychology, Certified Addiction Professional, Masters in Sports Management, Certified Sex Addictions Therapist and Certified Life Coach. More important however, is the underlying passion for what she does which, is quite apparent among those who have the opportunity to work with her.
Is she a sober coach? A life coach? An addiction treatment therapist? A psychologist? A counselor? Well let’s ask her…
QUESTION: Alex, you have a number of credentials that extend beyond that which typical life coaches possess. What are you exactly and with whom do your work?
ANSWER: I would be best described as a life coach with an array of in-depth specialties consisting of; individual and group therapy, addiction counseling on multiple levels (substance abuse, process addiction, sex addiction, etc.), sober and recovery coaching for those trying to integrate back into daily living, family and spousal support & guidance, relationship counseling and so on. My client’s issues vary greatly and there are simply too many scenarios to list. I will tell you this however, it’s not too often that I encounter a situation with which I am unable or unqualified to work.
QUESTION: There seems to be a growing popularity of “sober coaches” and “recovery coaching services” within the addiction treatment community. Do these types of services really work, and does Paradigm offer such services?
ANSWER: There are many variations in styles and approaches when it comes to private recovery services like recovery coaching. In many cases these sober coaches are individuals who act as travel or living companions, and who have basically been hired to ensure the client doesn’t relapse while on their watch. Tabloids have even gone so far as to describe them as glorified babysitters, especially when referencing the trials and tribulations of many Hollywood personalities. The number one thing to consider is that many sober/recovery coaches have no actual clinical credentials. This isn’t to say that they’re bad at what they do, but when it comes to the often complex, multi-dimensional issues typically present in the minds of drug addicts and alcoholics, I have seen and heard of many situations where the lack of formal and experiential knowledge on the part of the coach had created dangerous situations. However, when speaking of well qualified and experienced coaches, there can be, and often is, great benefit to the client.
QUESTION: Alex, do you also provide therapy to clients during coaching sessions?
ANSWER: Great question! Due to various laws in place, life coaches are not able to provide formal clinical therapy services during life coaching sessions. What I do offer, however, is life coaching with a therapeutic undertone that keeps many unique clinical elements in mind while working with the client, couple or family. Remember, the coaching process is about understanding, planning, organizing, empowering and ultimately, achieving. When the client and I address each of these elements with consideration to his or her clinical conditions, the results are dramatically improved.
QUESTION: Do you also work with people who have no history of substance abuse or other addictions?
ANSWER: Absolutely, I work with many types of people and situations. These include; codependent family members, parents of troubled kids, people struggling with loss and trauma, working professionals and executives, individuals in troubled marriages and more. Really, I meant what I said early on in this interview; it’s not often that I encounter a scenario in which I am unable to offer help and guidance.
Okay well that’s enough for today, join us soon as we jump right in to part 2 of this interview with Alex…
Find Alexandra Birenbaum, MA, CAP, CSAT & Certified Life Coach on Google+
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