A wide variety of specialized roles have evolved to assist individuals and families achieve recovery achieve recovery from addiction, including recovery from what have been called process addictions—harmful relationships with gambling, food, sex, money, etc. There is a long history of addiction medicine specialists (addiction-trained physicians, psychiatrists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses), addiction counselors, addiction-trained therapists, outreach workers, case managers, and interventionists, to name just a few. One of the most recently emerging roles is that of the recovery coach. This particular role has a complex etymology, with roots in both the voluntary peer supports found in addiction recovery mutual aid societies and in the field of professional life coaching. As a result of this mixed heritage, the public is now confronted with a variety of people calling themselves recovery coaches or offering recovery coaching as a specialized service who vary considerably in how they perceive and practice this role.
Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI083022 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.