The Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and GSU's College of Health and Human Services' Addiction Studies and Behavioral Health Program present a series of subsidized training programs (one day per week for four weeks) focused on recovery coaching/mentoring as part of a recovery-oriented system of care for individuals and families dealing with alcohol and/or substance abuse. The Coaching for Recovery Training Program is open to all Illinois residents, as well as GSU faculty and students.

Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care

Recovery-oriented systems of care are designed to support individuals seeking to overcome substance use disorders across the lifespan. They are comprehensive, providing services for individuals before, during and after treatment.
Coaching for Recovery

Goals of Training Program

By the end of this training, participants will:

  • be aware of how a recovery-oriented system of care differs from traditional approaches to addictions treatment;
  • have a working definition of recovery management;
  • be aware of the three continuums of recovery management;
  • be aware of the unique role of the recovery coach in recovery management;
  • be aware of multiple styles of recovery and the role of the recovery coach;
  • be aware of strategies to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue in their role as a recovery coach; 
  • leave with criteria that will help guide ethical decision-making in their role as a recovery coach.

Features of Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care

Recovery-oriented systems of care differ from the traditional approach to addictions treatment, which is often short-term. Other aspects of this system that set it apart:

  • Places a greater emphasis on recovery than treatment;
  • Views treatment as important, and as the bridge to recovery;
  • Comprehensive;
  • Long-term;
  • Strength-based;
  • Gender-sensitive, culturally competent, and able to address trauma;
  • Provides assertive outreach in communities. Over the course of the past 50 years, most addiction services have been provided within facilities;
  • Forms partnerships to help clients remain sober in their natural environments. These partnerships are often between treatment providers, faith-based communities, secular communities, peers in recovery, indigenous healers in a diversity of communities, and recovery coaches;
  • Emphasizes multiple pathways to long-term recovery.

  • Coaching for Recovery Training Schedule


    Coaching for Recovery Training Schedule 

    This training is state funded by DASA at no cost to participants but please note:

    • Participants must be Illinois residents
    • Participants must attend all sessions in order to receive a total of 32 continuing education units:(partial CEU's will not be given).  
    • The GSU Coaching for Recovery Training sessions may NOT be refreshed for additional CEU's at this time. 
    • We do not have the exact dates of our next group at this time, to be placed on a contact waiting list please email Laura Owens at


    Coaching for Recovery:  Training Schedule TBA 
     Stay tuned for our next 2018 group dates coming this Fall

     Please contact Laura Owens if you would like to be put on a waiting list for our next group dates announcement. 

  • Training Session Synopses


    Session 1: Understanding of addiction, recovery, recovery-oriented systems

    Addiction involves biological, psychological, and social processes that need to be altered to
    change the cycle of addiction. This module reviews the processes involved in addiction and what is
    involved in recovering an addiction free lifestyle. This section will also overview the supports
    that can be necessary to establish and maintain the ‘new’ lifestyle.

    Session 2: Engagement techniques and skills: Understanding the stages of change and motivation

    This module will provide an overview of the transtheoretical model of change (TTM), also known as
    Stages of Change (SOC).  Activities are designed for participants to apply the learning to case
    scenarios that will be encountered in the treatment realm.  A staging model will be presented along
    with practical application of the model to addictions.  Motivation for recovery will be discussed,
    along with methods on how to facilitate this with clients.

    Session 3: Building, supporting and maintaining personal recovery support networks and family

    Social systems and networks adapt to the individuals involved and as individuals become addicted to
    substances, their systems and networks change. Similarly, as a person begins a process of recovery,
    the systems and networks can deter or promote their changing lifestyle. Long term success in
    building, supporting, and maintaining personal recovery depends on social networks and family

    Session 4: Relapse prevention/intervention and crisis management/planning.

    When clients recognize that relapse is a process that can be broken into manageable parts, clients
    are empowered to handle it more effectively. This session will provide knowledge on the relapse
    process and skills to help manage triggers, thoughts, urges, and cravings. Myths of relapse will
    also be explored. Elements of an effective relapse prevention plan will be discussed. "Emergency"
    plans will also be discussed and options to manage crises.

    Session 5:  Self-help engagement and personal empowerment.

    When clients come for help, they are often defeated, stuck, frozen, or in a cycle of destructive
    behaviors.  They have lost, given away, or struggle with reclaiming their personal power that
    frequently gave them the strength, ability, and desire to move forward.  In this interactive and
    skill building session, 13 elements of personal power are identified, including sacrifice,
    affirmations, and active vs. passive participation. Strategies and guidelines will be covered to

    assist in reclaim personal power. This session also covers strategies for self-regulation.

    Session 6: Cultural diversity and cultural responsive supports/services
    The cultural diversity will examine the cultural context of substance abuse.  It will cover the
    cultural backgrounds, focusing on people of African-American, Latino/Latina, Native American,
    Asian, European, and Middle Eastern descent, Women, GBLT, Aging, Homeless and Disabilities. This
    session will review competencies required for working with individuals with a variety of cultural
    identities, recognize differences in cultural beliefs and practices among multicultural health
    settings, describe disparities in access to substance abuse treatment across diverse cultural
    groups, identify culturally-specific factors affecting substance abuse among people from a variety
    of cultural backgrounds, and apply multicultural/diversity competencies in addressing the needs of
    clients across health settings.

    Session 7: Special population issues /needs

    This module will cover several special populations, including women, HIV+ clientele (and those at
    risk) and LGBT issues.  The material will cover a variety of issues, including values clarification
    activities, terminology, theory, prevalence, relevance to addiction, and application
    of the material to the treatment setting.  Sensitivity training is a key component of this module,
    and will be addressed through experiential learning activities. Participants will come away with
    increased knowledge, skills and an understanding of how best to serve these populations.

    Session 8: Recovery coaching/mentoring as part of a recovery-oriented system of care for
    individuals and families in recovery

    Recovery/relapse statistics demonstrate that changing addiction lifestyles is difficult and
    generally requires assistance in acquiring new beliefs and behaviors. Coaching/mentoring provides a
    framework for helping an individual acquire and practice the thinking and doing
    necessary to enhance a new lifestyle.

  • Coaching for Recovery Training Documents



    • GSU RCT Session Materials : If you do not have a printer you may read along with the overhead projector and take notes or you may come to GSU early and go to 2nd floor library and ask HelpDesk for visitor password to sign on our computers and print from there (10 cents per page fee).


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