Society’s common views and misconceptions on private coaching services…


When people hear terms relating to life coaching, sober coaches and so on, they often attach skewed definitions brought about through any number of sources. Maybe it’s because these types of specialized services are relatively new as compared to other more mainstream services. Maybe it has it has something to do with what we hear and read about in the news or tabloids. There could be any number of reasons or combinations thereof, but the fact remains that many people in today’s world simply don’t have concise definitions of what it is exactly these professional services provide.

Life coaching services in general

Life coaches come in all shapes and sizes. They have many different areas of focus such as; personal development & overcoming issues/problems, career guidance & development, family issues, relationship matters, executive level services, corporate coaching services and so on. Some offer a broader focus while others may only specialize within a narrow set of circumstances. One of the key points to consider however, is that life coaching does not have mandated licensing or oversight restrictions. A person can literally wake up one morning and decide to be a life coach, unfortunately. In most cases though, they will have at least a relatively strong background within the parameters in which they promote their services. Optimally you would want to see certification through the ICF (International Coaching Federation) as well as added credentials within such arenas as therapy, counseling, psychology, etc

Sober & Recovery Coaching

The two terms are basically synonymous. The thing to keep in mind here, and you may read things like this in the tabloids or heard it on entertainment news shows, is that sober coaches are typically much more than glorified babysitters. While in some cases they’re hired to oversee and help further deter a newly sober addict/alcoholic from relapse, in reality the intent is to help the client lay a firm foundation in his or her recovery plan. There are of course infinite variables to consider with each scenario.

A word of caution; people who advertise themselves as sober coaches often do not have any formal training and/or credentialing. Optimally you would like for them to have training and experience within the field of chemical dependency The perfect mix in my professional opinion would be at least 5 years clean & sober, chemical dependency and related therapist certification, at least 5+ years verified experience working in a licensed addiction treatment center and strong professional references.

For more information on life coaching, recovery coaching and transitional guidance please feel free to contact Alexandra Birenbaum, MA, CAP, ASAT & Certified Life Coach at (561) 351-3447 or by email at

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