Can Life Coaches Help in Addiction Recovery?

What makes them different from consultants or therapists?

addiction life coach

Table of Contents

“Life coach” is a phrase that gets thrown around often. While this new occupation seems to be ubiquitous, many people still do not know what a life coach is or what they do. This article explores the concept of life coaching and provides a clear explanation of what makes them different from consultants or therapists.  

Read on to learn more.

What is a Life Coach?

A life coach is a wellness professional that helps people make progress in their lives as a means of attaining greater fulfillment. Life coaches help their clients in various aspects of their lives such as relationships, careers, and other areas 1.

Life coaching is a type of coaching or counseling used to help people in major transition phases in their lives. The professionals in the field of life coaching help people plan their goals and go the extra mile of taking the steps to ensure that they achieve their set goals 2.

Tony Robbins, a well-respected and renowned life and business coach, describes a life coach as someone that is professionally trained to aid you in reaching your full potential or intended results. Life coaches are similar to a very supportive friend and a trusted adviser that has the appropriate knowledge and experience required to achieve your desired goals. A life coach is useful for providing you with accountability and pushing you to identify your goals, while also encouraging for your journey to becoming a better version of yourself 3.

How Life Coaching Differs from Therapy or Consultation

Although there are numerous definitions of a life coach and this coaching available to anyone willing to learn more about the profession, there is still some confusion about how life coaching differs from therapy or consultation.

Life Coaching vs. Consultation

Transformation Academy, a functional life coaching academy, explains the differences between life coaching and consulting. Some of the differences include that:

  • In consulting, the consultant holds the power in the relationship, while in coaching, the power lies with the client.
  • A consultant is expected to hold the answers to a client’s problem while a life coach helps their client find their answers.
  • Consulting requires that the consultant is an expert in a particular area that the client seeks answers to. A consultant is likely to provide advice, teach client-specific tools, skills, and dispense knowledge. A life coach on the other hand is not expected to give advice. A general life coach does not usually know about a specific topic or skill, but rather offers expertise in the process of change, accountability, and goal attainment.
  • A life coach is especially required for accountability, an important factor for anyone going through a transitional phase.

Note: The evolution of life coaching has birthed new types of coaches called the consulting-coaching hybrid, and this type is referred to as niche life coaching 4.

Life Coach vs. Therapist

Psychotherapists are another set of professionals that are often confused with life coaches. However, there are several differences between life coaches and therapists 5:

Psychotherapists Treat Mental Illnesses

Many would consider this factor an important difference between life coaches and therapists. Psychotherapists are specially trained to help people with mental illnesses manage their condition, while life coaches receive no such training. Therefore, if you seek help for treating and managing mental health conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety, you should see a therapist.

Treating The Future Vs. The Past

The approach used by life coaches is mostly focused on helping you achieve your future goals while psychotherapy analyzes the past and focuses on the present. However, coaches are still trained to understand how the past of their clients contributes to their present and how it can be factored into preparing for the future. To put it simply, therapy focuses on healing from the past while coaching focuses on helping their clients achieve their future goals.

Payment Systems

Since psychotherapy involves treating mental problems, most insurance companies have options for coverage if the patient meets the criteria and if the insurance company considers psychotherapy as a means of treatment. Life coaching is typically not covered by most insurance companies because it is not focused on treating an illness.


For anyone to practice psychotherapy legally, they need an advanced degree and state license. Before a license to practice psychotherapy can be obtained, certain criteria such as exams and supervised practice hours have to be completed.

While there are several certification programs required to become a certified life coach, there is no governing board for this role. However, even with the lack of a governing body for it, life coaches around the world have continued to offer tremendous services to their clients, and many of them originally practiced as therapists.


Psychotherapy is a controlled profession since it often qualifies as a medical practice. Psychotherapists have restrictions on where and how they can perform their duties. Without a state license, a psychotherapist cannot practice in a particular state. Life coaches, however, can practice throughout the United States and internationally.

What Does a Life Coach Help You Achieve?

Life coaches are like facilitators of new perspectives. By working with a life coach, you gain the ability to see things from a fresh and informed perspective, meaning you explore new ways of solving problems and achieving goals. Life coaches are useful for more than just the positives; life coaches can help you eliminate or replace your negative habits with new, positive ones.

Therefore, for many people, a life coach is a way of bridging the gap between their current circumstances and the life they want to live.

Here are some of what you can expect from your life coach as they help you achieve:

Life Coaching Aids in Addiction Recovery

The form of life coaching specifically dedicated to those recovering from addiction is called addiction life coaching. Addiction life coaching is also known as recovery coaching. Carrier Clinic defines recovery coaching as a type of strength-based behavioral health support for anyone with substance use disorder or going through recovery 6. The goal of a professional recovery coach is to help a recovering addict make better life decisions and spend less time struggling with the social consequences of addiction.

Some of the major areas that an addiction life coach may provide assistance include:

Unlike traditional therapy methods, addiction life coaching works based on the conception that enjoying life during recovery will help in maintaining recovery long-term.

How to Find a Life Coach

Finding a certified life coach is fairly easy as it is a rapidly growing industry.

To find a life coach that fits your needs, look for one that specializes in the type of problem that you intend to solve. For instance, do you need an addiction life coach, or a regular life coach, or a business life coach? Answering the question of why you need a life coach is the first step to finding one that suits your needs.

Here are some of the best ways to find a life coach:

Online Directories

Thanks to technology, you can enjoy the full benefits of having a life coach online, from the comfort of your home or office. Several online directories grant you access to their extensive pool of life coaches. Online life coaches are often just as effective as offline life coaches.

Some of the common online directories for life coaches include 7:

  • Life Coach Spotter
  • My Coach Match
  • Noomii
  • Life Coach Hub
  • Bark
  • The Life Coach Directory
  • The International Association of Professional Life Coaches

Clinics or Wellness Centers

Clinic and wellness centers are good sources of life coaches. Chances are the nearest clinic or wellness center near you has multiple options for finding life coaches.

Matching Services

Several matching services on the internet help to match clients with life coaches that suit their needs. One such service is Noomii.



If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
623-523-4748 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

Related Content

Learn More

In-Network with Most Major Insurance Providers

Fill out our free and confidential form to see how your insurance could cover the cost of treatment. No commitment required.