Recovery Coach Spotlight: Leslie Entin a Fellow Journeyer Walking the Path of Recovery
Recently, I had the pleasure to sit down and share a cup of coffee with Leslie Entin, a Recovery Coach with The Lighthouse Recovery 365 Coaching program.
Some days my social anxieties run high and this day was one of them. Leslie (unknowingly) made me feel at ease. We had an enjoyable, and for myself, empowering conversation. Being a member of the recovery community personally and professionally, I think the most significant quality of an addiction recovery professional is the ability to create a feeling of comfort and security. Leslie created this quick bond with me. Leslie’s warm smile, relaxed body language, and genuine excitement about life melted anxiety I was feeling.
I want to give you a glimpse into Leslie Entin’s plan for coaching recovery and building rapport with the women she coaches at Recovery 365. To start, she uses effective case management, accountability, and shows up as a fellow journeyer, who is present in each of her client's recovery plan.
Our conversation started with why Leslie decided to become a Recovery Coach.
“Recovery for me started in the rooms of fellowship. I went to meetings. I watch and listened. I clawed my way through the first year, but I held on. I wanted it so bad. I quieted the voice inside and listened. I believe in AA, but you don't have to. Everything I did in the early days of my recovery, I do today. I wake up, quiet the voice inside, listen, go to meetings and surround myself with others in the recovery community. It is that simple.”
She looks at me with a smile, brushes her hair away from her face and continues, “Can you tell I love it?”
“I’m a watcher. Over the years I’ve watched people come into the rooms from treatment programs, stay awhile, and then go back out. The cycle seemed endless. I knew there had to be a better way. I knew I went through a lot when I was an addict, but I went through MORE, getting and staying sober. Knowing that others could benefit (if they wanted it) from my experiences and what I’ve learned along the way, was the catalyst that intrigued me. I trained nights; still, I wasn’t sure this was for me. However, once I set my foundation, I settled in and started my business.”
Q: What is the experience could a newcomer expect through your recovery coaching?
“Every person is different, their lows and bottoms, lifestyles choices, beliefs are different, so each experience is different. I believe in a universal truth: Openness. When working with me honesty is a requirement. I’m not here to judge, scold or reprimand you. I'll meet you where you are, in your readiness to change, but honesty is the foundation for our relationship.
Once I meet with clients face-to-face, I explain that I can help them achieve what I have, but telling you how to do it doesn’t work. I show clients what I have and how I manifested it. It works best when they meet with me, walk with me, and experience life in recovery upon their path. I am a fellow journeyer and guide. I can't say it any easier. It is that simple.”
My goal is to help my clients believe that any goal in recovery is attainable. My objective is to help them reach their highest potential. And I reduce the steps too small increments.”
Q: Could you give me an example? Imagine I were to call you on the phone. I think I want to stop using heroin, but I’m not sure. I know it is ruining my life, but, I still like heroin, physically need heroin. I’m scared and confused...
A: “I would make you feel comfortable; not threatened by me, but inquisitive. I would help you understand why you called me, and how I can help. However, the smallest increment in this situation is to get your phone number. I would then use this phone to address your readiness to change in the moment.
I would reach out to my network and find resources to help you find a detoxification hospital, medicated assisted recovery, or a meeting close to you.
Before I let you get off the phone I would get your phone number and permission to call you daily to help create a readiness to change.
Establishing rapport and building a strong bond with you is elemental to showing you a better way. But our first goal is getting you to pick up the phone.”
Q: What are several life goals you suggest when first working with a recovery coaching client?
A: “Love yourself...
...I firmly believe recovery works when you learn how to love yourself. I help my clients to learn to put their feelings first. Working through self-doubt and other self-limiting beliefs and become more confident and forgiving of oneself.”
...When I call, I urge my clients to pick up the phone. Phone calls and in-person meetings are the basis of our work. For me to do my job, a client has to speak to me about feelings, desires, needs, frustration, cravings, and triggers. My purpose is to hold my client to her specific goal.
...My clients need to be honest; about personal gains and losses, where they are going and where they have been, how they plan to achieve their sobriety, and what they are willing to do to succeed.
I love AA, but as I said earlier, you don’t have to. However, I do believe you have to build a network of support. It would help if you had a community of peers who have the same interests as you do. You have to develop and nurture an environment of friends who are kind caring and compassionate.”
Q: How do you approach setting goals with your recovery coaching clients?
A: “When it comes to goals, I follow the SMART goal method.
Client goals have to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. I will help my client achieve these goals by sharing my experiences, walking with her along her path, making suggestions for change, and keeping her accountable to her recovery plan.
I am recovering with you on your terms. I use my resources; every resource I have. If you are not sure you want to go to AA, I will help you find meetings and go with you. I strive to get my clients outside and active in the recovery community.”
Q: What do you feel is different about your recovery coaching practice from others?
A: “I immerse myself in my client's recovery program. I urge my clients to give me consent to speak with their sponsor, mentor, family, therapist, clinician, or lawyer. Wherever my clients are in their recovery, I want to be involved.
I am not here to put you back into your struggle but to help you build a path out.
I get involved, so I can help my clients get the most out of other recovery efforts. I advocate for a client. I am present wherever she needs me to be. If she has to go to court and has no one to support her I am there. I will wait for doctors, dentist, and other professional appointments with her. Wellness and self-care are vital to recovery, so if I am needed to help my client get to her meetings, I make myself available.”
Leslie Entin’s approach to coaching recovery: build a strong bond with her clients, be present to support positive changes and goals, and build trust through honesty and open-mindedness.
She is one of two women in The Lighthouse Recovery 365 Coaching Program. Recovery 365 provides recovery coaching services in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York (Long Island, New York City, and Westchester Counties).
If you would like to make a commitment to your recovery and employ Leslie Entin as a Recovery Coach, contact Mark O’Connor at The Lighthouse Recovery 365 at 203-246-9436