Interview with Recovery Coach Alida Schuyler
Corey: Hi! My name is Corey Quinn and I am the founder of MyCoachMatch.com. We are a website that matches coaches with clients based on fit. I am here with Alida Schuyler. She is a professional recovery coach. She is the co-founder of the Recovery Coaches International. She is also the director of Crossroads Recovery Coaching. Welcome Alida.
Recovery Coach Alida: Welcome. Thank you for having me.
Corey: It’s great to have you here. So, can you share with us why you started Crossroads?
Recovery Coach Alida: I started Crossroads [in 1998] because once I became a coach, I would find myself in 12-step meetings and just notice that people would be having problems that they didn’t solve very quickly, and week after week, I hear the same thing and I think, “Golly, if they just had a coach, you know, we would have solved that by now.” And so, I just got convinced that there is a really good match between addiction recovery and coaching. So, I started Crossroads. I began, you know, as a personal coach and then eventually began training people to be professional recovery coaches.
Corey: Could you share a little about what Crossroads does?
Recovery Coach Alida: Well, Crossroads primarily trains people who want to be professional Recovery Coaches. There is a grass roots movement, but that’s almost all volunteer or very low pay and it’s really not very similar. But I train people who want to make their living and have a profession of being life coaches to people who are either, you know, starting to address addiction recovery, maybe they are already in recovery and they want to have a higher quality of life.
Recovery Coach Alida: Yeah.
Corey: And so, when should someone consider working with you as a recovery coach?
Recovery Coach Alida: Well, I really strongly believe that problems are easier to resolve when they are addressed early. You know, if you had diabetes, or God knows what, it is better if you deal with it sooner rather than later. So, I think that is true with drinking problems, drug problems, or you know, if there is someone in you family that you are concerned about. So, you know, I just think it is a good idea to get, you know, when you think there is a problem, it is a good time to get started.
Corey: Yeah. And who is an ideal client for you?
Recovery Coach Alida: An ideal client for me is someone who wants to explore their options and find what really works for them, because you know, there is a lot of kind of “one size fits all.” Almost everybody gets into treatment and then in an abstinence-based 12-step treatment, and that works for many people, but there are other people who it just doesn’t work for. So, I can help them sort out. You know, I’m very fond of 12 steps but I also work with controlling drinking and harm reduction and moderation. Wherever they are willing to start, I will support them to do that successfully. If it doesn’t work, we will figure out what does.
Corey: In your experience as a coach, how important is a match between a coach and a client?
Recovery Coach Alida: I don’t work with people that I don’t feel committed to supporting. You know, that is saying that I like them and I believe that I can help them. There are people that I like, but I refer to someone else because they have more expertise. I don’t work with anorexia for instance. So, it is important that the coach have the competency to be able – even though coaching is a partnership model– the coach does need to have some expertise in the topic that they are coaching on. And so, for me an ideal client is somebody who really wants to sort it out and is willing to tell me what they most prefer and care about – because it has to work for them. I mean, it can’t be me telling them what to do.
Corey: That’s right. They have to want it. They have to want to go through the process and do the work.
Recovery Coach Alida: Well, yeah they need to want. I don’t know what they need to want except maybe to stop hurting or stop suffering. That’s a good place to start. They may not be clear about what exactly they want, but we will help them figure that out over time.
Corey: Could you share with us a success story?
Recovery Coach Alida: I’d like to share two success stories because I do work with families and with the people who use drugs and alcohol. So, I wanted to start with one from the family side. I had a client who was the only person in her family who did not suffer from some form of addiction. Both her parents were heavy drinkers, sisters had drug problems and eating disorders, brothers had alcoholism, and you know, chaos. And I worked with her, you know, in part to just kind of sort some of that out, help her business do well, and over time, it was really clear that the place where you know, her suffering occurred, was in around money. She made a good living, but she spent a lot. She used credit cards. She had immense amounts of debt and it was a problem in her marriage. It was a problem for her business. So, we worked really hard on, you know, helping her feel like she had enough and feel safe and happy, but get a handle on how much she got to spend and to start saving and dealing with her debt. And then last year, she was able to buy a house in California, which is not an easy thing.
Corey: That’s right.
Recovery Coach Alida: And she called me up and said this wouldn’t have happened if I had not worked with her on all of those issues.
Recovery Coach Alida: On the side of people who struggle with drinking and drugging, I would say one of my success stories is another young woman, that when I started with her, she had gone through treatment. She had relapsed, and I worked with her for about a year while she was drinking and smoking pot, which a lot of people would not do, but I did. Eventually she stopped drinking and drugging, became a member of a 12-step program and has about three years right now.
Corey: That’s wonderful.
Recovery Coach Alida: Yeah. And I could keep going on and on about her. Yeah. Yeah. So those were two [examples].
About Recovery Coach Alida Schuyler
Alida Schuyler MS, PCC, is a leading expert, trainer, speaker and consultant for Recovery Coaching worldwide. She is co-founder of Recovery Coaches International and Director of Crossroads Recovery Coaching Inc. Her company provides consulting and coaching services to select treatment centers on the cutting edge that wish to be known for protecting their clients’ investment in treatment. Alida Schuyler provides private coaching to select individuals. About her coaching she says:
My coaching reflects my vast life experience. I am in long-term addiction recovery and am a life-long learner. I studied art and psychology at Berea College, and have a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. I also studied pre-med and enjoyed three semesters of Naturopathic medical school. I studied clinical hypnotherapy the Wellness Institute and addiction studies at a Seattle community college.
My training in life coaching came from the Academy of Coach Training (now InviteChange). I am certified by International Coaching Federation as a Professional Certified Coach and have been coaching continuously since 1997. For the last six years I have been training people to become professional Recovery Coaches.