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Finding Recovery Through Shared Experience
What exactly is peer recovery coaching & peer recovery counseling?
Peer recovery coaching and counseling are different from conventional therapy. For starters, it’s more informal than traditional therapy sessions. Of course, you’ll still talk, but you’ll get to know your peer counselor on a personal level because they’ve been through the same things you’re currently going through.
Peer coaches come from a place of their own experiences and apply their knowledge to help others get past obstacles and assist in the recovery process. Since a peer recovery counselor has been in your shoes, they have the capacity and hindsight to look back and say, “what did I need when I was at that place that I didn’t know I needed?”
Rourke’s practice at South Platte Counseling may be new; however, his time helping people in the recovery community is not, and he’s bringing his immense knowledge and years of experience along with him. His goal is to change the stigma surrounding addiction and freely give back what he was given.
What makes Rourke such an incredible peer recovery coach is that he’s been through it. A person struggling to make a change but perhaps doesn’t know how can look to a peer counselor for help and guidance. He’s done it, and he wants to show you how, too. There is no judgment – he’s been there.
Rourke started drinking as a young teen and never let off the gas until he sought out recovery six long years later – and he hit a lot of rocks on his rapid descent to the bottom. At his lowest, Rourke had stopped eating and sleeping and had hallucinations and seizures because of his drinking. Finally, at the age of 21, Rourke found himself in abject misery, homeless, and caught in a vicious cycle of thinking the only way to fix how he felt was to drink more. He thought his only options were to keep drinking or suicide. In his mind, there was no third option. But, at his lowest point, friends checked on him, and that’s when it clicked that he did have a third option.
That third option was recovery.
Rourke thought if he was going to be miserable no matter what, he’d try something different because he knew many people cared about him. He found a program of like-minded people who loved him, held him accountable, and challenged him to do and be better. He’s still sober today because of his peers and their encouragement and support.
That was 14 years ago and counting.
Those last 14 years haven’t been miserable—quite the opposite. Instead, recovery has breathed new life into Rourke. Over the past 14 years, he’s taken on leadership roles at The Phoenix – a sober active community and was the Executive Director at Spero Recovery Center. In recovery, Rourke found everything that he tries to profess today – community, connection, and friendship.
Is Rourke right for you?
Rourke takes an action-based approach to his recovery and counseling work, and sessions don’t have to occur in the office. Telehealth appointments are available, and meeting at a coffee shop or going on a hike are also options. Rourke is a peer and not a doctor, and he comes from a place of advisement and not a clinical hierarchy. You will get to know his struggles as he gets to know yours. Addiction is isolating, but you don’t have to go it alone.
In addition to his direct advice and encouragement, Rourke is also there to create solutions to problems and find resources to assist in recovery. His sage guidance will help get life back on track, build essential life and problem-solving skills, and bolster emotional and mental fortitude. Peer counseling is not about clinical techniques but genuine relationship building and establishing trust through shared experiences.
Rourke’s skillful leadership, sunny disposition, thoughtful demeanor, and cavalier professionalism make him an excellent fit for guys between the ages of 16-40 who want a change in their lives but don’t know how to move forward. His lived experience has made him compassionate, empathetic, and, of course, given him a clever sense of humor about life. His goals for those in his counseling sessions are to empower, gain positive momentum, and build on small victories to accomplish big things.
Help has many faces, and there’s no “one” or “perfect” way to find recovery from substance abuse. No book can say anything about healing as much as a person who’s lived it. The challenges and struggles Rourke has faced in his life have given him everything he has today, and he freely and abundantly gives back what was given to him in recovery.
Peer counseling is the cornerstone of long-term recovery, and Rourke’s life’s purpose is to be a compassionate guide for those who need help finding their way.
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