Frequently Asked Questions


 

What is a recovery coach and how is having a recovery coach different from other forms of treatment or therapy?

There are many differences between a recovery coach and other forms of treatment. Put simply, Lin and Aaron's recovery coaching method is solutions focused and action oriented with an emphasis on improving one’s present life, reaching future goals, and sustaining recovery from addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches differ from most therapists in that coaches focus on the here and now and moving forward. Recovery coaches are not associated with any particular method or means of recovery, but rather help you discover what methods of recovery work best for you and assist you in implementing and enhancing those methods through motivation, action planning, and accountability. The primary goal of a recovery coach is to be actively involved in the life of a recovering individual in order to prevent relapse. Recovery coaches can work in conjunction with other common methods of treatment, such as outpatient treatment, mental health counseling, and/or mutual-help groups (e.g., 12-step groups, SMART Recovery). 

How do Lin and Aaron differ from other recovery coaches?

Lin and Aaron differ from other recovery coaches. In addition to their multiple recovery coaching certifications, they are also master's level clinicians and Licensed Mental Health Counselors with years of experience working in the addictions field and in outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation centers. Lin and Aaron have firsthand knowledge and experience with various treatment modalities and have subsequently been able to enhance their coaching methods based on their years of therapeutic experience. Through their years of practicing psychotherapy, they have learned the importance of tailoring their treatment to their specific client and limiting the number of clients they work with to ensure the highest quality of care. Lin and Aaron also stand out from other recovery coaches because of their experience with and focus on the recovering addict and their individualized and unique coaching services for family members who are impacted by the addiction of another. They do not look at couples or families as a secondary issue, but rather as a focal point in the recovery process. Lin and Aaron also emphasize a holistic/wellness-focused approach to recovery for the addict and their family and incorporate fitness and nutritional coaching into their practice. 

While most recovery coaches are a “one (wo)man show,” Lin and Aaron differ from these other coaches in that they are a couple and work as a team when useful. Lin and Aaron conduct coaching sessions both independent of each other and together, seeing their clients for individual coaching, couples coaching, and/or family coaching sessions. Lin and Aaron have distinctively contrasting, yet always complementary, personalities and coaching approaches, converging together to bring maximum benefits to their clients. They use their differences as coaches as one of their greatest assets, having been called a “dynamic duo” by their clients. Through their years of working together, and years of being a couple, they understand each other in such a way that they are able to work off of each other cohesively and intuitively, bringing about a chemistry that is difficult to manufacture. Together Lin and Aaron's approach is supportive, challenging, rewarding, eclectic, and engaging. 

What are Lin and Aaron's credentials?

Lin holds master's degrees from Columbia University in Psychological Counseling and Education. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Recovery Coach and is certified in food addiction, harm reduction, fitness, nutrition, and family coaching.

Aaron holds a master's degree from Pace University in mental health counseling with a special focus on substance abuse. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, Recovery Coach, Life Coach, and Nationally Certified Intervention Professional. He holds post-graduate certifications in nutrition, fitness, and food addiction.

How much does it cost to work with Lin and Aaron? Do Lin and Aaron take insurance?

Lin and Aaron do not take insurance. This is to strictly protect your confidentiality and privacy and to ensure the highest quality of care. Lin and Aaron offer a wide range of services and packages. Please contact Lin and Aaron today for a consultation to determine which services or packages are most appropriate for you.

Where are Lin and Aaron located? Where do we meet?

Lin and Aaron are based in the New York City area. Lin and Aaron work in person with clients in New York City and online with clients in other states and countries. Lin and Aaron always meet at a discrete location and are able to travel to your home, office, or other convenient locations.

If I work with Lin and Aaron, how often and for how long will we meet?

Lin and Aaron offer various coaching options for their different coaching services. Each coaching session is generally 1 hour and are offered in several packages. The frequency of meetings is based on the needs of each individual client, and they are available 7 days a week.

What is a Recovery Companion? What is Recovery Transport?

Lin and Aaron offer Recovery Companion and Recovery Transport services for select events and select destinations. Lin and Aaron only offer this service for their Recovery Coaching clients. A Recovery Companion is someone who will go with you to an event that might pose a risk to your recovery, such as a wedding, concert, vacation, etc. They will help keep you accountable and do everything they can to ensure your safety and recovery. A Recovery Transport is someone who will take you to and from various appointments and destinations (e.g., business meetings, dinner with friends and other social gatherings, work events, treatment centers). Our Recovery Companions and Recovery Transports work privately and discretely to ensure your anonymity as a person in recovery. They can be introduced to others as a personal assistant, a driver, a friend, a long-distance relative, a business associate, etc.

Do Lin and Aaron do drug screen monitoring?

Yes. Lin and Aaron do on-site drug screening with their clients using urinalysis, mouth swabs, and/or breathalyzers. Lin and Aaron also work with Quest Laboratory and Lab Corporation, allowing a client to be drug screened at any location that is convenient. This also allows for drug screening to be performed on days that Lin and Aaron are not directly meeting with clients in person. Depending on the needs of the client and the client's family, Lin and Aaron can arrange for random drug screening.

Do Lin and Aaron prescribe medication?

Lin and Aaron do not personally prescribe medication; however, they work closely with psychiatrists who specialize in substance abuse and mental health who will prescribe medications if needed, including medication-assisted treatments for substance abuse, such as Vivitrol® or Suboxone®.

What are Lin and Aaron's philosophy on medication?

In an ideal world, nobody would need to be on medications; however, Lin and Aaron understand that some individuals absolutely require medication to assist them in coping with certain mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. From their years of experience in working in addiction and mental health treatment settings, they have witnessed clients wanting to rely on medications instead of dealing with the root cause of their issues. Similarly, they have also seen clients mistakenly self-diagnose and neglect their need for medications when it has been needed. Both of these cases typically lead to poor treatment outcomes and unsustainable recovery. Lin and Aaron only work with ethical addiction psychiatrists who do not over-prescribe or over-medicate their clients. Lin and Aaron’s focus is always on what is best for each of their clients.

Do Lin and Aaron work with people on drug replacement therapies such as Antabuse or Suboxone®?

Yes. Lin and Aaron work closely with psychiatrists who can assist you with medication-assisted treatments.

What about Vivitrol®?

Vivitrol® can be an effective option for individuals who are having difficulty remaining abstinent from alcohol or opiates in early recovery. Lin and Aaron work closely with psychiatrists who can assist with medication-assisted treatments.

I currently have a legal case, can Lin and Aaron help?

Yes. Lin and Aaron have extensive experience working with the legal system. If you currently have a drug or alcohol related legal case (e.g., DUI/DWI, criminal case, child protective services order), they will work with you and your legal representative to advocate for you.

I'm not sure if your services are right for me or if I will work well with Lin and Aaron. How can I be sure?

Lin and Aaron firmly believe in the importance of matching individuals with the appropriate professionals who can best serve them. As such, if Lin and Aaron’s coaching services are not right for you, they will refer you to appropriate professionals who are better suited to meet your needs. Lin and Aaron can often determine this rightness of fit from an initial phone screening or assessment. And if a client should ever need a higher level of care, Lin and Aaron will refer clients to the appropriate services. Lin and Aaron’s focus is always on doing what is best for their clients.

Do Lin and Aaron do harm reduction?

Yes. While long-tem abstinence is usually the goal for most addictions, especially with respect to substance use addictions, Lin and Aaron recognize that complete abstinence is extremely challenging. For example, in cases with addiction to sex or food, complete abstinence is not possible. Lin and Aaron recognize that many people “fail” treatment or become disenchanted with mutual-help groups (e.g., 12-step programs) because these approaches only believe one is in recovery if they have achieved complete abstinence. As a result, many individuals give up on the prospect of getting help all together and return to full-blown active addiction. Lin and Aaron hold coaching certifications in harm reduction and have special training in harm reduction techniques, so they can effectively work with individuals and lead them on the path to sustained personal recovery and improved health and well-being—physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Do I need detox or rehab?

You may. Lin and Aaron can often determine this by an initial phone screening. If detox or rehab is needed, Lin and Aaron can refer you to an appropriate facility.

Do I have to go to 12-step meetings?

Absolutely not. While Lin and Aaron do believe that 12-step programs are a great pathway to sustainable long-term recovery for some individuals, they do not believe that 12-step meetings are the only pathway to achieve recovery. If you have never given 12-step meetings a chance, Lin and Aaron will likely encourage you to give them a try. However, if you have been to numerous 12-step meetings and have not benefited from them, Lin and Aaron will not waste anymore of your time. Lin and Aaron work well with individuals who have had unsuccessful attempts at recovery through conventional treatment approaches such as 12-step groups and want to try a different approach to recovery. Lin and Aaron also are certified in harm reduction techniques to better assist individuals who are not interested in abstinence-based approaches to recovery. 

What is addiction? How do I know if my loved one has a problem?

Identifying as having an “addiction” or being an “addict” or “alcoholic” can be stigmatizing, shaming, and uncomfortable. Whether you identify as such or prefer other terms such as “have a problem with alcohol,” “have a substance use disorder,” “binge drinker,” “drinking to excess,” “enjoy partying too much,” etc. is ultimately up to you. All that matters is that you notice there is something wrong with your behavior or that you have a feeling that it is becoming progressively worse and want to do something before your life spirals (further) out of control. For purposes of this website, Lin and Aaron use the term “addiction” to be all encompassing and to identify the problematic behavior. 

Addiction involves having a need to continue using a particular substance such as alcohol, drugs, or food; using a particular thing such as the Internet or porn; or engaging in a particular activity such as sex or gambling. Addictions become problematic when an individual continues to engage in their addictive behavior despite adverse consequences to the individual or to those around them. Despite these consequences, the individual is led back to their addiction due to physical compulsion and/or obsessive thoughts. Some common signs of addiction are loss of control, preoccupation with the substance/thing/activity, and failed attempts to stop the addictive behavior. With substance use addictions, these signs may also include tolerance and withdrawal. 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, in order for someone to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder, they must meet specific criteria and are diagnosed according to a sub-classification spectrum from mild (presence of 2 to 3 symptoms) to moderate (presence of 4 to 5 symptoms) to severe (presence of 6 or more symptoms). The various symptoms include the following: 

1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you're meant to.

2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to.

3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance.

4. Cravings and urges to use the substance.

5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of substance use.

6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships.

7. Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use.

8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger.

9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance.

10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance).

11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance.

Whether you meet criteria for a substance use disorder or not, it is not necessary to have an official diagnosis to work with a recovery coach. The only requirement for working with a recovery coach is the desire to change your addictive behavior.

What is the prevalence of addiction?

Forty million Americans ages 12 and older (more than 1 in 7 people) abuse or are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or nicotine. This is more than the number of Americans with heart conditions (27 million), diabetes (26 million), or cancer (19 million). When factoring in the numbers of other forms of addictions such as sex, gambling, food, etc., the numbers grow exponentially. Lin and Aaron recognize that addiction affects everyone, from the park bench to Park Avenue, and that addiction does not discriminate between race, gender, culture, age, income level, educational background, etc. Lin and Aaron have worked with a wide range of clients, including executives, athletes, doctors, lawyers, and politicians, and can give you the help you deserve while respecting your need for privacy.

What is cross-addiction?

Cross-addictions occur when people addicted to one specific substance or behavior cease or decrease the use of that substance or behavior and then replace that substance with a new substance or a new behavior. For example, a person with an opiate addiction may stop taking opiates but may start abusing alcohol, or a person with an opiate addiction may stop abusing opiates but may start gambling. Both cases are examples of cross addiction. Lin and Aaron offer treatment to individuals with addictions to multiple substances or impulsive behaviors and help these individuals reach sustained recovery.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lin and Aaron via phone or email.

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