June 23, 2015

What’s the Difference Between a Support Group and a Coach?

Support groups (2) - 100PedalsA support group can be very helpful in the beginning. You’ve just discovered your beloved child is addicted to drugs or alcohol. It’s quite a shock. In a support group, you’ll find other parents experiencing the same overwhelming emotions. You’re not alone, and it’s an immense relief.

Support groups are the place where you’ll find good information and resources. Those first few months are crucial for learning everything you can about addiction. You’ll also be exposed to lots of parental advice. Basically, what has and hasn’t worked for each member.

And that’s where you need to be careful. Not all advice will be appropriate for your situation.

For example, some in support groups insist the only way to force addicted children into recovery is to kick them out of the house. That’s not true. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

Advice like that can be heartbreaking for parents new to the addiction jungle. At this point, you’re just trying to find solid ground and regain your footing. All the parenting rules have changed overnight. It’s a confusing and highly emotional time for most parents.

A good coach recognizes this. And that’s the difference between a support group and a coach. Like I said, no two addiction situations are the same. Yes, it’s important to set firm boundaries and house rules. Yes, it’s important for your addicted child to be aware of these boundaries and the consequences of breaking your rules.

But that doesn’t mean your only option is to kick your child out. Far from it. Good coaches teach parents to think rationally in chaotic situations.  We encourage them to develop effective communication skills and avoid emotional pitfalls.

It’s never good to overwhelm a traumatized parent.  The best approach is to teach parents specific skills that inspire confidence and healing. They need proven strategies to help them prepare for disaster before it strikes again. A good coach guides parents through the turbulence of addiction, as they define their goals.

No matter where you are on your path, there’s hope. Lots of it! Just make sure the advice you follow is appropriate for you, your family, and your particular addiction situation.


Is your child addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you trapped on the emotional rollercoaster of addiction? Dave Cooke can help. He’s an Addiction Coach and an internationally recognized speaker. Let him show you how to create an action plan that will move you, your family, and your addicted child back on track in a healthier direction. To contact Dave for private coaching, go to http://www.100pedals.com/coaching/ or email dave@100Pedals.com.

Are you on Dave’s email list? If you’d like to receive his monthly newsletter for the parents of addicted children and weekly blog post notifications, email dave@100pedals.com

featured, Parenting and Addiction, Uncategorized , , , , , , ,
About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.