Family Recovery Life Coach: 9 Things That You Need to Know

Families go through many challenges everyday. When the problem is Substance Use Disorder (SUD), it affects everyone in the family, not only the struggling loved one. When SUD strikes, a family needs as much support as they can get. Yet, often the issue is kept secret due to stigma, and friends and outside family are […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Families go through many challenges everyday. When the problem is Substance Use Disorder (SUD), it affects everyone in the family, not only the struggling loved one.

When SUD strikes, a family needs as much support as they can get. Yet, often the issue is kept secret due to stigma, and friends and outside family are not even told there is a problem. Fortunately, there are well trained and dedicated professional Family Recovery Life Coaches trained to help such families recover.

Here are 9 things you need to know about this remarkable profession:

1. What is a Family Recovery Life Coach?

A family recovery life coach is someone who is professionally trained to work with the loved ones of a person with SUD. Ideally, they have proper certification and insurance. Hopefully, they are educated to help families cope with the emotional toll this challenge takes on the family members while also giving them skills to help the family members help their loved one attain and sustain recovery. 

2. What exactly does a Family Recovery Life Coach do?

A Family Recovery Life Coach provides support to families of loved ones suffering with SUD, whether in early recovery or in the throes of addiction, regardless of the type of substance they use or process they face. These supports include intensive work that will help the family heal individually and as a whole. 

3. How do I become a certified recovery life coach?

To become a certified recovery life coach, you must take certification programs from reputable and legitimate training institutions. With so many coaching programs, look for one that adheres to standards and has full accreditation with a reputable accreditation body such as the International Coach Federation.

There are many guidelines you may want to consider first before choosing your program. Keep reading to see if this path resonates with you.  Check out this article on 5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Family Recovery Life Coach.

4. How do I get trained as a Family Recovery Life Coach?

The Balm Training Institute offers family recovery life coaching certification through its BALM Family Recovery Life Coach Training Program.  As the only ICF-ACTP (International Coach Federation Accredited Coach Training Program) to focus on recovery, this program offers a wide range of skills and tools that prepare its coaches to coach and facilitate families and to life coach anyone on any problem.

If you are a licensed professional but you don’t want to become a life coach, you can train for the BALM Family Recovery Specialist  Facilitation Certification, using the transformational BALM curriculum that is revolutionizing the recovery world. 

5. What is ICF training?

International Coach Federation (ICF) accreditation matters when choosing your family recovery coaching program.  

The ICF is continually creating advancement in coaching so that coaching becomes an important part of society. Ethical coaching is their top priority. The Code of Ethics provides the guideline, the standards and accountability to all of their members. It sets a professional coaching standard while also giving the consumers the venue to file an ethics complaint.  

The ICF training sets the coaches up to par with ICF Standards and Code of Ethics. The Balm Institute is the only Family Recovery Life Coach Training program that is fully accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). 

6. What is ACTP training?

An Accredited Coach Training Program or ACTP is an all-inclusive coach training program, which when completed along with coaching hours, allows its learners to apply for their coaching accreditation with the ICF. 

An ACTP has at least 125 hours of coach-specific training which includes comprehensive instructions around the ICF core competencies, Code of Ethics and the ICF standard of coaching. This program also includes Mentor Coaching and observed coaching sessions. A comprehensive final examination evaluates a trainee’s competency in coaching. 

7. Do you have to be in recovery to be a recovery life coach?

No. You do not have to be in recovery to be an effective recovery life coach.  Having a thorough understanding of the principles and the different paths to recovery is important. The Balm Family Recovery Coaching Program is a comprehensive program that will help you become an effective family recovery coach.  

This program includes 85 hours of actual training to be a coach along with a strong experiential component, powerful business development training, and foundational recovery training to ensure that you have holistic preparation to handle the many types of challenges your clients may be facing. 

Having the experience of being in recovery or family recovery is a definite plus for a family recovery life coach. But it is definitely not mandatory. The professional training and immersion in the BALM Method of Family Recovery create well-prepared coaches, able to help families both within and outside of their own lived experience.

8. What is the BALM method used by certified Family Recovery Life Coaches?

The Be a Loving Mirror (BALM) method , created by Beverly Buncher, author of BALM, The Loving Path to Family Recovery, emphasizes love, connection, boundaries, and leverage. The BALM Training Institute provides a full year online Family Recovery Educational program that picks up where traditional family recovery ends in terms of its approach, its accessibility, and its length. Families around the world report on its value in helping them move forward powerfully and this one year program is included in every coach’s educational program.

The BALM method teaches the skills to help you help your loved one attain and sustain recovery. Simultaneously,  you learn to BE and LIVE the “Be a Loving Mirror Method” (BALM).

9. What is the advantage of getting certified as a recovery coach online?

Getting the certification online as a recovery life coach is very convenient for you. You can take the course at your own pace and from anywhere. The modules are accessible and easy to follow.  

To know more about being a certified recovery life coach, visit

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

fizkes / Shutterstock

Covid-19, stress, and substance use disorders: Tips to help us all destress

by Dr. Julia C. Basso
the role of family systems

The Role of the Family System in Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Recovery

by Heather Hayes

The Role of Friends and Family in Early Recovery

by David Van Der Velde

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.