Why You Need a Strategist- It's a Matter of Success or Failure

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Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it's about deliberately choosing to be different. - Michael Porter

So you just completed your first residential recovery center rodeo.  While in treatment you found a half way decent sponsor, ate 3 endorphin rich gourmet meals a day, memorized the 12 steps backwards and forwards,  and became best friends with your  Malibu yoga instructor. With all of that delicious cognitive and physical nourishment (served up daily) you think you are ready to tackle the real world? Yes and No.

Spending  30-90 days at a reputable, competent, and caring facility is always a good idea as it will at least provide  the client the essential medical, psychological, and recovery support services (not to mention a quiet respite to calm the mind).  Most importantly a good treatment facility saves lives.

For many clients a 30-90 day stay is just that, a temporary respite and recovery outpost on the highway of life. Unfortunately  I hear the same the stories of many of my new private clients  (who have relapsed previously) frustrated that they did not have a strategist like myself to help prepare them for their return to the real world. And despite the efforts clinicians provide in post treatment planning while in residential care  my private clients are still unable to see the proverbial 'forest from the trees' when it comes to reconnecting and navigating through the noise of their careers and family life. Moreover many of my private clients, despite their new found confidence in sobriety lack a working strategy to successfully navigate per the demands of work and family life.  And although the client who leaves treatment feels healthy and refreshed  (and filled with hope) still has no clear strategy on how to tackle  the realities of work and family life which is why many (not all) are a risk for relapse.

Getting back to the rigors of life can be overwhelming and scary for many clients especially as their brain and body is still recovering.  Every day life stuff (paying bills, looking for work, finding a place to live) feel overwhelming and 10x more arduous than for someone not in recovery. A strategist is a coach that acts as a soundboard giving advice and reinforcement while holding the client accountable to achieving the milestones set by both the life strategist and client.

Not every recovery client needs a life/career strategist. But for many recovery clients working with a life strategist (or coach) is  the proverbial anchor to both rebuilding and  finding solutions to the fractured professional and personal relationships damaged by the disease of addiction that a sponsor and therapist does not have the time or resources to provide the client.  A life strategist works with the client to create a realistic strategy to help jump over  the obstacles the client is facing while offering gentle and non-judgmental positive encouragement. 

A life/career strategist helps business owners, corporate executives, retired professionals in recovery map out manageable next steps to get the client back on track while holding them accountable for doing the work necessary to get them back on track.

The disease of addiction creates circumstances in life you don’t choose. Healing is about embracing positive change you do choose. That is the principle focus of any talented life strategist.

Editor's PicksJeanne Verger