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Bridging Hearts and Minds: A Journey to Wellness and Recovery 

    On 22 Jan, 2024
By Naetha Uren

A journey towards holistic wellness

Embarking on the path of recovery coaching isn’t just about conquering addictions. It’s a journey toward holistic wellness that touches the lives of individuals, families, and entire communities. The challenge, however, lies in initiating conversations about recovery, particularly in a city like Dubai. Cultural sensitivities add a unique layer to the dialogue. 

Having witnessed the transformative power of recovery coaching, I’ve seen it extend far beyond the realms of substance or behavioural addictions. It delves into the intricacies of relationships, the pursuit of dreams, and the setting of meaningful goals. Through my work with a diverse array of people, I’ve come to understand that the conversation about recovery is not limited to the individual. It encompasses families, employers, organizations, and the wider community. 

Navigating the cultural tapestry of Arabic-speaking communities and countries has been a unique and humbling experience.

Recovery coaching isn’t just about breaking free from addiction; it’s a journey that addresses the entire spectrum of an individual’s life, their family, and their community.

In countries where conversations about recovery may be considered taboo or uncomfortable, I hope to illuminate the positive aspects of wellness and recovery. I wish to dismantle the fear, stigma, and discrimination that often shroud these discussions. 

Drawing inspiration from my lived experience, it seamlessly intertwines with my role as a mother and the adhesive that binds four generations living under one roof. I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact recovery coaching can have on individuals and businesses globally. This narrative goes beyond sobriety; it encompasses establishing healthy boundaries, overcoming impostor syndrome, and assisting individuals in achieving their dreams and desires.   

Fostering resilience

The discovery of Recovery Coaching ignited a passion that became my purpose. Combined with my daughter’s recovery journey and the support of a global leader in the Recovery Movement, I founded Recovery Coach Academy three years ago. What began as a desire to make recovery coaching accessible has become a transformative organization, training professionals, supporting implementation, and creating new recovery organizations. 

Reflecting on my experiences in the UK, where stigma still looms large, I’ve come to appreciate the ongoing support services recovery coaching provides.

Coaching is not merely about initiating treatment; it’s about fostering resilience and offering assistance as individuals navigate the complexities of life, whether it’s a significant career move or a family event. 

In the professional sphere, recovery coaching isn’t just about individual well-being; it’s about creating a recovery-friendly environment. Open, supportive conversations in the workplace and religious and community organizations are essential to breaking the silence born out of stigma and shame, ensuring that individuals returning to work feel embraced rather than judged. 

What is a Recovery Coach?

A Recovery Coach positively promotes recovery, dismantling barriers for individuals seeking their unique path to recovery. They serve as advocates, resource brokers, and, most importantly, guides and mentors for those navigating the journey to overcome addiction. 

Recovery Coaching is a delicate balance of art and science. The “Art” involves heart – empathy, compassion, adaptability, rapport-building, and trust. The “Science” encompasses skills and tools like Motivational Interviewing, Wellness Planning, and active listening. 

The heart of recovery coaching lies in meeting individuals where they are. It’s about understanding their unique journey and providing unwavering support throughout various stages of recovery. Beyond individual coaching, recovery coaches play a vital role in community education, collaboration with diverse entities, and addressing addiction-related issues in multiple settings. 

Introducing recovery coaching conversations in Arabic-speaking countries has been a journey of adaptation and cultural sensitivity. Inspired by my previous work in Qatar, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of creating safe spaces for discussions around wellness and recovery. One particularly poignant moment involved connecting with an Arabic mother through a translator. Despite the language barrier, we shared a profound understanding, and she expressed a gratitude that transcended words. 

The art and science of recovery coaching

My approach, through my work in Recovery Coach Academy, goes beyond skills training. As authorized facilitators, we embody the qualities of recovery coaches. We treat people as resources, actively listening, and asking powerful questions while navigating our own personal journeys. It’s the fusion of the “Art and Science of Recovery Coaching,” a philosophy that imparts skills and offers opportunities to practice and develop one’s unique approach. 

As we create space to connect in Dubai, my mission is clear. I want to initiate conversations about recovery coaching, bring about positive change, and build a space where transformed individuals can, in turn, transform others. The journey bridges hearts and minds, fosters empathy, and unlocks the potential for wellness and recovery. 

In conclusion

My commitment to positively promote hope and recovery globally is unwavering. Whether it takes months or years, the goal is to walk this path with anyone willing to embrace change. The belief is steadfast – fostering a culture of openness and understanding and promoting wellness can sow the seeds of positive outcomes for individuals, families, and communities in the beautiful city of Dubai and beyond. 

I am creating a relationship with the CPD Standards Office in Dubai. Dr. Aref Alabed, GM Middle East & North Africa says, “In the culturally rich landscape of Arab countries, participating in recovery coaching sessions is not just a path to healing; it’s an invitation to embrace self-discovery without reservation. Let go of shyness, actively engage, and unlock the transformative potential within. This journey transcends sobriety, offering a holistic approach to personal development. As you navigate the delicate balance of art and science in recovery coaching, remember: ‘In exploring yourself, you not only break free from addiction but also open doors to a more empowered and fulfilling life.’”


Naetha Uren is a guest contributor to Hoopfull. She serves as the CEO of the Recovery Coach Academy in the UK. Naetha has imparted her knowledge to individuals and organizations across more than 20 countries, introducing the nuanced “Art & Science” of Recovery Coaching to diverse communities. Her most recent endeavour reflects her commitment as she supported over 80 Arabic-speaking individuals embarking on their Recovery Coaching journey. This includes pioneering efforts in Qatar, facilitating the emergence of the first cohort of Recovery Coach Professionals, and extending her influence to Dubai, where she supports the establishment of the first Recovery Coach Professionals in the region.

Naetha and her team of lived experience experts from the UK and USA (and the first Dubai-based Recovery Coach Professional) will all be in Dubai, February 20-28, 2024. If you would like to meet with them, have a conversation or learn more, contact Naetha at [email protected].

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