It may seem like a lot of people are becoming ‘life coaches’ or a ‘health coaches’ these days. This may be due to the stimulation and choice offered by our western society. This can sometimes leave us feeling confused about our purpose or “off-track”.
Coaches all specialise in different areas to help people get back on the path to achieving their lifestyle goals. These goals could be around personal relationships, career, body image and weight issues, physical health or mental health.
Coaching is based on a one-on-one conversation that follows certain principles and uses skills to encourage people to explore their current situation. It also helps people to look at aspects of their lives that may be in need of some TLC and inspires them to come up with ideas for creating positive change.
Often coaches first find out where the change is needed (in our case, alcohol use) and why it is important to the person. From there a coach helps them explore what’s stopping them from succeeding and together they brainstorm possible strategies to overcome these obstacles. This helps the coach and person develop a plan to move forward.
Health coaches can also give support with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, stress management and relationship issues – however, if these issues are significantly affecting members they may also recommend face to face treatment with a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Our coaches work on our mobile program, Daybreak, to help people to overcome conditions that have resulted from lifestyle choices. After establishing why the person is reaching out for extra support, the health coach asks them to share a bit about how long it has been an issue. They then explore what kinds of triggers there are, for example, negative emotions, stress, social situations. Once the coach has worked out what role alcohol is playing, they can start to look at ways to manage this.
Generally if the coach and the member can find ways to meet the needs that are currently being met by alcohol, then usually the urges become reduced.
The needs could be around stress management, relaxation or lowering inhibitions.
The main thing to understand when it comes to changing a relationship with alcohol is that different strategies work for different people.
Thousands of people with an alcohol dependency have really benefited from a program where they can attend in-person group meetings or have one-on-one support to help them on their journey of change. Others have changed the way they drink by visiting a psychologist/counsellor to help them unpack the issues underlying the reason that they are drinking in the first place. This could be due to mental health struggles like depression or anxiety, past experiences, PTSD and a vast array of physiological issues that may trigger a desire to drink to excess.
Online coaching also has its benefits and works for certain people who can’t necessarily access face-to-face therapy. This could be due to where they live if they are in remote communities, financial situations or other reasons. Online coaching offers a space where people can access help and support whenever they need it without having to book in an appointment or be put on a waiting list.
If you’re a busy mother with three kids and working full time, you might not have the opportunity to take yourself to a few meetings a week. Online treatment like Daybreak provides people with access all day everyday to support from a community of people in the same situation and the option to chat to health coaches if they need one-on-one advice.
Through Daybreak, we have also found that the safety of anonymity online and the anonymity of the health coaches helps people open up faster and be more honest about their situation and their drinking.
To read more about Daybreak, and find out how our online treatment works, or download the app to chat to a health coach, visit https://www.hellosundaymorning.org/daybreak/