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How is coaching different than aa?  

I get this question a lot. 

When women are ready to stop drinking they may have preconceived notions about what goes on in 12 step recovery programs based on what they’ve seen on TV and in movies and are also confused about what exactly “life coaching” or “sober coaching” involves. 

And some people even wonder if life and recovery coaches are just paid private sponsors (spoiler alert – we’re not!)

In this podcast episode my guest Dennis Berry is here to dig into the differences between a coaching approach to stopping drinking and the approach and program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Dennis is not only a skilled life coach who is passionate about the benefits of coaching, but he is also in recovery and found recovery in AA and for many years was an active participant in the program. He sees both the benefits of 12 Step programs and the difference between AA and coaching. 

Dennis and I had a long conversation about the benefits and synergies of both approaches as well as talking about where the program of AA stops and coaching work continues. 

We chat about the concept of independence in sobriety and the work you get to do after you stop drinking, in looking forward to what you want in your life now that you’ve removed alcohol. 

We talk about why life and sobriety coaches use a flexible approach to identify your personal goals around not drinking and succeeding in other areas of your life in order to create a plan to achieve them based on individual needs, motivations and preferences. 

A coach is there to help you identify where they have gotten stuck in the past, what inner or outer blocks have been holding you back and how to remove them. 

A coach will help you create a motivating plan to achieve your goal of living without alcohol, address limiting beliefs about what your life will look like without drinking, provide accountability in reaching your goals and provide guidance and structure in changing ingrained habits and changing your cue-craving-reward-response cycle. 

In my experience, hiring a coach to stop drinking can be similar to a decision you might make to hire a personal trainer or a nutritionist to increase your fitness levels or refine your eating habits. 

  • You have a goal you want to achieve (to change your relationship with food, alcohol or exercise). 
  • You’ve likely tried to make changes to your habits and behaviors on your own but haven’t been successful. 
  • And at some point you may decide that it’s easier and helpful to bring in extra support, a new approach and external accountability to help you stay on track and achieve your goal.

Recovery coaches, like personal trainers and nutritionists in their areas of specialty, provide support and resources, expertise in changing habits and harnessing motivation, accountability to follow through on goals, new ways of approaching challenges and creative approaches to situations that you haven’t considered previously. 

There are so many sources of support available when you decide that drinking isn’t working in your life anymore that you can use to create your own recovery framework.

The most important thing is for you to find help and support that is inspiring, empowering and helpful to you.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How life, sobriety and recovery coaching differs from the approach used in 12 Step Recovery Programs such as Alcoholic Anonymous.
  • Why most people need layers of support to stop drinking which may include a combination of coaching, therapy, exercise, 12 step programs, podcasts, books, online support groups and other hobbies, habits and healthy pursuits. 
  • How coaching differs from the work done by sponsors in AA or therapy in being goal and future-focused. 
  • The benefits of the Alcoholics Anonymous as a program which is widely available (with an estimated membership of 2 million people around the world), free of cost and offers fellowship, support and a structured program of steps to take to stop drinking. 
  • The limitations of AA as a program created 85 years ago, in 1935, by two white men. In 1939, the Fellowship published its basic textbook, Alcoholics Anonymous and in 1953 AA’s 12 steps (the guidelines by which to get sober and recover) and 12 traditions (the principles behind the steps meant to keep members focused on the primary purpose) were written. Criticisms of AA have been that it can be seen as a one-size-fits-all approach that is rigid and antiquated.
  • The importance of developing independence in sobriety and why Dennis believes AA’s philosophy and approach can foster dependence on the program.

About Dennis Berry

Dennis is a Life Coach based in Colorado, who has been working with people recovering from addiction worldwide for over 15 years. Dennis has been in recovery from drug abuse for 17 years. His recovery has helped him find his mission in life, which is to help others on their journey through sobriety and achieve inner peace and success in every area of their lives. Dennis is also the host of The Funky Brain Podcast.

The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority, a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose, to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. the name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need to always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Shownotes: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com/29

Grab your Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking

Get the guide on How to find and join my Favorite Private Sober Facebook groups 

Connect with Dennis Berry

Website www.dennisberry.com

Listen to The Funky Brain Podcast

Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson

Website: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Instagram: Casey @ Hello Someday Coaching (@caseymdavidson)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelloSomeday 

Listen to more podcast episodes to drink less + live more.

ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST

The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode.

I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

 

 

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What is Gray ARea Drinking?  

It’s the space where most drinkers live: a place between being able to ‘take or leave’ alcohol and hitting some kind of a ‘rock bottom’. 

In a world where everything seems to be black and white, where either you have a problem with drinking or you don’t, there are so many of us who try to moderate our drinking and struggle to do so. 

  • You might not experience outward consequences from drinking, but struggle internally. 
  • You have silent conversations with yourself about your own drinking. 
  • You intend to have one glass of wine, but then find it easy to finish the whole bottle. 
  • You stop drinking for days, weeks or months, but then start drinking again and find yourself back in the same place.

It’s a really confusing place to live – you realize that the way you drink isn’t helping you have the life you want but you live in a world where drinking is all around you. 

So how do you know if it’s time to make an “early exit” from the drinking life? 

And what does that even look like and feel like? 

Those are the questions we’re digging into today with my guest, Jolene Park. 

Jolene is a functional nutritionist, a health coach, a TEDx speaker, a former gray area drinker and the creator of the gray area drinking recovery hub.

Jolene describes the term “gray area drinking” as the kind of drinking where there’s no rock bottom, but you drink as a way to manage anxiety and then regret how much and how often you drink. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What gray area drinking is. How to determine if you’re a gray area drinker and what to do about it.
  • Why so many of us use alcohol to downshift and calm down at the end of a busy, stressful day.
  • Jolene’s personal alcohol and anxiety story and why she decided to make an early exit from the drinking life. 
  • What drinking does to your body.
  • How to  eliminate alcohol and sugar cravings and reduce anxiety by using real food, high-quality nutrients and cutting-edge mind/body techniques.
  • The functional impact of food, emotions, environment and movement in relation to our physical bodies.
  • The importance of replenishing our neurotransmitters and nourishing our nervous systems in a comprehensive and consistent way.
  • The missing pieces that have been overlooked in traditional recovery programs such as neurotransmitters (GABA, serotonin, dopamine), blood sugar imbalance, and nutrient deficiencies like B6 and zinc (pyroluria).
  • Specific supplements that boost your GABA
    • Holy basil
    • Lemon balm
    • Passion flower
    •  Inositol
    • L-theanine

About Jolene Park:

Jolene Park coaches high achieving professionals who want to eliminate alcohol and sugar cravings and reduce their anxiety by using real food, high-quality nutrients and cutting-edge mind/body techniques.

Shownotes: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com/25

Grab your  Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking

Connect with Jolene Park

Visit Jolene’s Website: https://www.healthydiscoveries.com/ 

Follow Jolene on Instagram @jolene_park

Watch Jolene’s TEDx talk: https://www.healthydiscoveries.com/tedx-talk/ 

Listen to the Editing Our Drinking and Our Lives Podcast with Jolene Park & Aidan Donnelley Rowley

Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson

Website: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Instagram: Casey @ Hello Someday Coaching (@caseymdavidson)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelloSomeday 

Listen to more podcast episodes to drink less + live more.

ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST

The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode.

I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

 

 

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