Five Gates

By Jennifer Chadukiewicz

I believe our CCAR Emergency Department Recovery Coaches are the best Coaches in the World.

They receive exceptional training. They have vast personal lived experience. They are knowledgeable and savvy resource brokers. They are incredibly generous teammates for one another. And, there is excellent leadership here at CCAR. Phil Valentine, our Executive Director and the foundation of our organization keeps it simple, always asking us “What do you think?” Yolibel Lebron, our HR Director, focuses on the employee, always erring on the side of generosity. Rebecca Allen, our Director of Recovery Support Services, helps us keep our eyes on who we are serving. Stacy Charpentier, Director of the Center for Addiction Recovery Training, develops and maintains the best curriculum for Recovery Coaches in the World, always keeping our Coaches on the cutting edge of development. And Michael Askew, Director of Recovery Advocacy, makes sure that the voice of CCAR and the recovery community are heard in places of power all over the state and country, clearing the way for our Coaches to do their job!

With the Coaching Model alive and well at CCAR, especially internally, our model of Coachervision sprang to life quickly and easily. It became apparent to me quite early that these Coaches knew what they were doing. Occasionally they would  ask me a question about a situation, and rather than falling into the trap of treating a Coach like a recipient, or worse yet an object, I found myself regularly imitating Phil, and asking “What do you think?”

There is so much power in this question!

We are literally affirming to a Coach that YOU KNOW THE ANSWER, and allowing the pause, the confident pause, and methodical steps for them to arrive at their answer. The steps that have evolved from this practice in Coachervision is what we have termed CCAR’s Five Gates. The Coaches will gladly walk their situation through these five gates now before ever calling me. Here they are:

1. Self/Knowledge. You, your brain, and your heart!! We hired you for a reason – what does your experience tell you? What do you recall from your life, CCAR trainings, manuals, and shadow training?

2. Intuition. What is your personal practice that allows your “gut” to speak to you? Is it meditation? Is it prayer? Take a moment to connect with that Power greater than you, your capital “S” Self and let that lead your decision making.

3. CCAR Foundational Principles. Can your situation be addressed by these principles? Everything we do at CCAR is based in these principles.

  • Recovery First!
  • You are in recovery if you say you are.
  • There are many pathways to recovery.
  • Focus on the recovery potential, not the pathology.
  • Err on the side of the recoveree.
  • Err on the side of being generous.

4. Your Team Mates. You have a team of the best Coaches in the world at your fingertips, use them. Their unique experiences will have surely covered the situation you are in, or they will know someone who has. No Coach is an Island!

5. Coachervisor. If you have not found your answer yet, which I am sure you have, then call me. But most likely I will ask you, “What do you think?”, and send you right back to the first gate! I am last on this list because I trust the Coach. No micromanaging here!

At CCAR we take great care in hiring the right person and giving them all the tools they need in order to do their job. But most importantly we hired someone whom we trust and our people can take confidence from that. As leadership, it is our job to facilitate that confidence on a regular basis, affirming for the team that with their own unique strengths, lived experience, and each other – they already have all the answers they will ever need.

-Jennifer joined CCAR to provide leadership and project management for the Emergency Department Recovery Coach Program.  She developed a unique set of skills through long term recovery and diversified experiences as a business owner, construction manager, yoga teacher, Compassionate Communication facilitator, and offshore sailor. She brings her passion for recovery and life to the community CCAR serves. Jennifer lives on her urban homestead with her husband Michael, and their chickens and honeybees.

3 thoughts on “Five Gates”

  1. Thank you Jennifer. Your words reaffirm my personal mission and goal to work with all of you.
    Every contact I have with CCAR and all the people involved inspires me onward with joy.

  2. Phil,
    I have heard you speak before at the ASAP CONFERENCE IN ALBANY. Sorry for the caps, any way I get truly inspired every time I read your blog. Or have the pleasure of hearing you speak on person. I am a CARC through CCAR. I also have my CASAC almost. As peers we do just as much work as clinicians maybe more. I do not plan on using it, but I wanna see it through. Before I knew anything about the peer universe I went to school and then went to work for Steve Miccio. I was taught by the incredible Lisa Hope. I was supposed to take this RC’s in the ED training but something mandatory came up. Please let me know if I can get my certificate with that as well whenever another training comes out. Thank you for your service, and making me truly know I was where I should be.

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