INTERVIEW about addiction coaching : Life Recovery Coach Keith Bray

Life coaching aims to help you both determine and achieve your personal goals. But how can a coach help you in your process of addiction recovery? Learn about the personal and professional values of Keith Bray, a Certified Life and Addictions Coach and how coaching might help you recover from addiction.

minute read

1. Addiction coaching basics

ADDICTION BLOG: What was the impetus to start addiction coaching ? What is your mission and what are your core beliefs?

KEITH BRAY: I attended rehab about 14 years ago. Like many others, after I left rehab, I wanted to work with others full time. One member of my professional support group said the feeling was common and to, “Just cool my jets”. For 14 years the feeling didn’t leave. I had the opportunity, and decided to go for it in 2008.  My mission is to coach others in recovery to success, one person at a time. My core beliefs are that most humans have talent that is underutilized, and those who want change can achieve it if listened to and coached.

2. Best practices in addiction coaching

ADDICTION BLOG: How is coaching performed? Any best practices in addiction coaching you’d like to share?

KEITH BRAY: There are 7 principles the coaching profession, that we as addiction coaches adhere to in one form or another:

1. Maintain a commitment to SUPPORT the client.
2. Build the coaching relationship on truth, openness and trust.
3. The client is responsible for the results they are generating.
4. The client is capable of much better results than they are currently getting.
5. Focus on what the client thinks and experiences.
6. Clients can generate their own perfect solutions.
7. The coaching conversations are based on equality.

Coaching sessions are through telephone, Skype or in some cases, face to face. With addicted people, we believe some personal contact, at least voice, is required. When coaching, an ideal session involves the client speaking about 80% of the time because it’s all about them. The coach inputs when the client gives permission, and the coach accepts the client for who they are and does not judge! One thing I ask clients to do is to look at what they spend on “stuff”. And I ask, “How much do you invest in finding a life you love?”


3. Who benefits from coaching for addiction?

ADDICTION BLOG: What demographic of people are your trying to reach today, and how might that change going forward?

KEITH BRAY: Today, I search for people who sincerely want change in their life. The fundamentals I coach are applicable for people who want to make major change and want a more joyous and abundant life, I do not restrict my practice just to the addicted. But addiction is my passion!!


ADDICTION BLOG: What new programs or features do you plan for the coming months/years that we should know about?

KEITH BRAY: Current recovery success is less than 5%, we hope to at least double that rate. We have created and tried a process called the “Co-Creative Process of Recovery” which is holistic, incorporates current addiction help (12 step, rehab) but takes recovery into a whole life process. In 2009 we want to coach other coaches on the method, and work with a coaching certification body to certify practitioners and have the process coached on a global basis.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Wow, less than 5% recovery is a very small number. Yes, doubling that would be successful. I imagine you have to have a big heart to stomach the other 90% that aren’t able to get over their addiction.

  2. Hi Keith.

    How can l becoming an addictions coach, l have my CADC in the State of New Jersey. currently working toward my MS in Counseling.

    Thank you

  3. Kim; to give you the information you need, I”d need to know something about your background. Feel fre to contact me anytime.

  4. I am seriously interested in becoming an addictions recovery coach, but don’t know where to begin the process. I have seen several classes online, but am unsure which are truly legit and which are just taking my money. Any suggestions on where/how to take my first step toward becoming an addictions coach? Thank you

  5. Coaching is expensive as compared to what? Are you worth investing in for guaranteed results? Think of how you have spent money on things that have done you no good at all, and you do an intro session at only the cost of your time to see if the partnership can get you to where you want to go!
    luv Keith

  6. January 31, 2011

    Hi folks, I just got these comments today.

    Coaching is a different approach to therapy. It begins with the assumption that the client has the answers for recovery within, but is not finding them. A good coaching session allows the client to speak and be heard, and directed by the coach to discovery through questions. I share or “consult” only when requested by the client.

    Skype does offer a video component and works well. That being said, telephone is very effective and is used in combination with “written” homework assignments. Based on client results, I have found it to be effective.

    Sorry to be so long in responding and I am pleased to see these comments. I am here to serve!

    Keith Bray MCLC

  7. Thanks, Nora. We’re updating our software to notify people of new comments…but right now it’s not automated. Hopefully, Keith will see this soon.

  8. So if Keith is really intent on helping others, where is his response to all these valid questions. I was very interested in this until I started reading the comments and saw no response. Not very encouraging.

  9. I’ll have to wait for Keith to see this to respond personally, but Skype does have video capabilities. And I think that accountability may be more important than a face-to-face meeting.

  10. Are you really able to help people via Skype or phone? Isn’t the face to face contact necessary ? I’m a bit skeptical about distant coaching activities. Do you have any experience with this kind of contact with clients?

  11. Good questions! As far as I know, licensed counselors are governed by state regulations and must meet certain educational or certified requirements in order to become licensed. Life coaches, on the other hand, are more like personal trainers in fitness. They will stand beside you and keep you accountable for your work in recovery, encourage you, call you every day, etc. I think that addiction coaching is best used in an outpatient treatment plan, because the coaching could interfere with a treatment center’s curriculum. If everyone could afford a coach, it would be a great way to help us all in recovery!

  12. I think very few people realize how difficult working in the recovery field is, Im sober and have worked in treatment and it’s hard but definitely worth it.

  13. I guess a coaching profession is very hard, it takes a lot of time and patience to help people in rehab. patients in recovery should have a addiction coach

    -sam hadley

  14. I am all about getting help for those who want the help. I guess my questions, becuase you do meniton rehab, are if coaching takes place while in rehab and what do the addiction specialist think of it there?

I am ready to call
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