How Coaching Can Lead to Positive Change with Cathy Taughinbaugh

By Cathy Taughinbaugh

There are many ways to receive support when a person is struggling with drug or alcohol use. Coaching has become more popular in recent years because it is a powerful way to receive support. It leads to more clarity and confidence and involves the active and collaborative participation of both the coach and the client.

I was personally drawn to coaching after struggling with the substance use of two of my children, because it promotes discovery, awareness and choice. It is a way to support those seeking long-term recovery as well as parents of children with drug or alcohol issues. Coaching is an avenue to open up all the possibilities regarding any given situation and offers encouragement and support along the way.

A coach listens for the very best in others and is someone who cares that their client creates what they say they want. The coach is there to gently hold someone accountable and keep them moving forward toward their dreams and goals.

Some qualities that are important in a coaching conversation are respect, openness, compassion, empathy and a strong commitment to the truth. Coaching conversations are a free wheeling process, a dance through powerful questions, timing and relationships. It enables the client to feel empowered and capable.

The coaching session is similar to preparing for a road trip. We notice where we are and then, get a sense of where it is we want to be. The destination can and often does change over time. Coaches see their clients as whole, resourceful, capable and creative.

Coaching is not counseling, therapy or any form of advice-giving. A coach does not dwell in the past, rather s/he leads the client toward their future. Through the process, clients gain a deeper understanding and more confidence as they set goals and take action.

A recovery or parent coach is not a paid “sponsor.”A recovery coach does not give advice, nor do they do promote or endorse any specific method of recovery. The client sets the agenda, so that they can achieve greater focus, awareness and begin taking action steps that will benefit their life.

A coach can be a resource for family members, especially parents who are concerned about the experimentation, substance use or active addiction of their child. A coach can be helpful when parents want support making decisions and greater understanding about solutions regarding their personal situation.

Parents are affected in a negative way by the substance use of their child. Reaching out for support from a coach allows the parent to feel less isolated and alone. When the parent reaches out for coaching support and identifies where they want to be, it provides a new level of hope for them and for their child. There is less denial and more ability to accept the truth.

One of the most important things a parent can do is to take care of themselves and working with a coach is one way to do that.

Coaching can reduce the stigma and shame and help the parent feel more at peace with the situation, as they work to build a better tomorrow.

When you reach out, dig deep and break through the isolation, you have a greater chance of finding the support that you need. A person’s life has the potential to be more in balance and fulfilling.

Coaching helps a person let go of the chaos and confusion of substance use and helps them find their true path in life.

6 Comments
  • Shania
    Posted at 16:58h, 23 July Reply

    I would love my mother to attend some sort of coaching as out of 5 kids, 1 has an alcohol addiction, 1 is addicted to fitness ( healthy to a point and they passed that point), 2 are Gamblers and the other is not showing anything yet. A psychoanalyst once told her that her children would deal with issues caused by her if she did not get help and she called her ” A new age hippy” and walked away. Years later when my brother got in to so much debt gambling, she went to a GA meeting for those supporting the gambler, she lasted …you guessed it, 1 session, which meant he did not go either.
    I know how I dealt with it, I released her of any responsibility because if I choose to hold on to that, it is of my doing but it would have been nice to see her attend a coaching session.

    • Cathy Taughinbaugh
      Posted at 20:28h, 04 January Reply

      Coaching is a way to get help and an objective opinion. That is unfortunate that your mom did not choose to seek support, but that is wonderful that you forgave her. Resentment just festers and doesn’t accomplish anything. All the best to you and it sounds like you have a healthy outlook.

  • Elaine Shore
    Posted at 16:41h, 24 July Reply

    For me as a parent it was much more important to get coaching because I was harboring a lot of guilt. I must have done something, I must have hurt or upset my child during their upbringing for them to need to turn to drug use. I wasn’t angry or disappointed in my child as I always thought I’d be whilst thinking of the scenario when they were little. My emotions hit me by surprise and I needed a coach to help direct and channel those emotions and help me understand them.

    • Cathy Taughinbaugh
      Posted at 20:30h, 04 January Reply

      I’m glad that you found coaching to be helpful for you Elaine. I’m glad that you were not angry or disappointed. Understanding can make such a difference.

  • Lynne
    Posted at 00:54h, 15 October Reply

    When you are going through difficult times, it is always helpful to have someone to talk to, someone to share your experiences with. It is even more helpful if the person you share your difficulties with have experienced the same and can help you get through the process. Having someone who knows what you are going through, knows what kind of support you need is beneficial to you. Thanks for sharing.

    • Cathy Taughinbaugh
      Posted at 20:32h, 04 January Reply

      Your words are so true, Lynne. It does help to have someone to talk to, sort things out and to have more clarity. Thank you for your comment.

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