Thinking of Life Coach Training in the BALM Institute? Here are some answers to some of the questions we have heard from past applicants about the value of including the BALM (Be A Loving Mirror) Method in one’s life coach training. If you still have questions after reading this FAQ, give Bev a call at 786 859 4050 or click on this form and we will give you a call. If you already know you want to apply, click here to set up an admissions interview.
Thousands of Recovery Coaches have been trained around the world, with more being trained everyday. These coaches, also known as recovery support specialists, peer specialists, or peer coaches, are often people in recovery with a real heart for the work they are doing. They offer vital support for people both in and out of treatment, using a variety of models they have learned to support recovery. And yet, they often lack two components in their training that could greatly increase the positive impact of their work on clients. We already discussed the first component, ICF Life Coach Training, in a recent post. Click here to read that post.
Today’s blog is focused on the 2nd missing component in most coach’s training: The BALM (Be A Loving Mirror) Method of Family Recovery and the BALM Method of Recovery.
What is the BALM Method?
The BALM Method is the loving path to family recovery.
Why do you call BALM the Loving Path to Family Recovery?
BALM(R) (Be A Loving Mirror(R)) programs provide family members and their struggling loved ones with a path to peace and loving kindness that leads to freedom for the family and the user. BALM family members make the conscious choice to BE peaceful, non-judgmental, observers in their loved one’s life. On that basis, they share the facts of what they are seeing and are able to give their loved one the opportunity to hear those facts without getting defensive.
This approach changes the atmosphere in the home from one of fighting and conflict to one of peaceful acceptance of the reality facing the family. Rather than becoming a doormat, the family member has become someone their loved one can rely on to be real with them.
When they hear reality being shared without the anger, bitterness and judgment they have so often had to endure from those who witness their life choices, it is easier for the struggling loved one to digest it.
With this new approach established, family members give the person they love the chance to listen and learn and to potentially choose a new way of living.
Does my BALM behavior guarantee my loved one will get well?
This way does not guarantee your loved one will choose recovery, though it does increase the chances that they will. In addition, it allows the family members to ‘be there’ for their struggling loved one in a way that leaves a loving space open for their loved one to make healthier choices sooner than they otherwise would.
Often, people who practice BALM find that their relationships with their loved one and other family members improve, even when the loved one does not choose reovery.
What does this Be A Loving Mirror path involve?
To Be A Loving Mirror(R) involves:
- Getting oneself in a calm place
- Dropping all judgments, anger, and resentment
- Being a reporter and observer – stick with the facts of what happened
- Sharing what one sees objectively, lovingly, and calmly
- Always treating the struggling loved one with dignity and respect
- Regardless of their response or reaction, letting it go and going on with one’s life
- Beginning to understand, absorb and apply the BALM(R) 12 Principles and 7 Steps of Family Recovery
What does this loving path require?
A Loving Mirror response requires that one:
- Change one’s expectations of their suffering loved one. Trust them to continue to struggle unless and until they have actively committed to recovery. This helps take away the shock when they use or drink.
- Go about living life regardless of the loved one’s behavior, and respect their right to live their life as well.
- Plan how one will RESPOND, NOT REACT, to them when they arrive home drunk or high.
- When they do show up drunk or high, do NOT attempt to have a rational conversation with them at that moment.
- Observe their behavior non-judgmentally and lovingly.
- Do not clean up after them or clean up the consequences of their behavior, even if they throw up all over the house. That is THEIR responsibility.
- When they wake up and wonder what happened, give them an objective report of the facts of what happened, sharing unconditional love and respect for them along with the concerns for their health, safety and well-being.
How will I know if I am a BALMer (behaving in a BALM fashion)?
A person knows they have become a Loving Mirror when they see that they:
- Operate from love rather than anger or fear
- Observe rather than judge
- Respond rather than react
- Allow others to handle the consequences of their own behavior
- Handle their own emotions without assigning blame to others for how they think, feel, speak, or behave.
How does this relate to Coach Training?
Every coach trainee prepares for their work in the BALM Institute with a study of the Information component of the BALM program: the 12 Principles of the Be A Loving Mirror method. These principles, which every BALM family studies in the BALM Comprehensive Family Program as well, provide the foundation to understanding the loving path known as Be A Loving Mirror. Divided into three categories, the BALM Principles open the door to a full understanding of addiction/use disorders, recovery, and family recovery. An understanding of the field is critical for coaches who will be working with families and loved ones and the 12 Principles is where it all begins. Information is a good start, but not enough.
The second component of the BALM Method is that of transformation and is embodied in the 7 Steps to Be A Loving Mirror. In this powerful 8 week class, families and coaches learn how to Be the Peace They Wish to See in the World. This inner work of the first 3 steps includes mindfulness, objective observation of the struggling loved one and inner emotional awareness. Inner transformation is the work of a lifetime, yet in this course, coaches and families get a powerful start that lays the foundation for a lifetime of peaceful relationships with loved ones. The last four steps of the seven are all about learning to communicate with your loved one (or any other challenging person in your life) in a way that opens the door to potential change on their part. We like to say it gives you a way to inoffensively vent while also sharing important information about their behavior in a way that makes it easier for them to hear it.
As the building blocks of the BALM these 12 principles and 7 steps are critical to our coaches. Again and again new coach trainees come in planning to learn whatever they can to help others and before they know it they are reporting the big impact that learning and practicing the BALM is having on themselves and their families!
Many coaches retake these two courses many times over the course of their year in coach training and find themselves practicing their coaching on BALM families who they are assigned to take through the 7 Steps. Plus they can use these hours toward certification, so it is a win-win for them and their intern clients.
Is that all?
Of course, there is so much more to the BALM for coach trainees to explore! They are only required to take the 12 Principles and 7 Steps courses, yet many of them can be found in Coaching Groups, Journaling Workshops, and other offerings of the BALM Institute while they are in the coach training, and interning and teaching many courses for families upon graduation.
Once certified and experienced as coaches, they can also be found teaching coach training courses and guiding the newbies along on the path to being BALM coaches and fulfilling the BALM mission of helping ALL families blaze the trail to recovery in their homes!
When potential coaches choose the BALM Institute, they are choosing a school with the highest standards of coach training and of recovery, a school that respects each individual’s approach to family recovery and recovery, encouraging families to become educated in the many opportunities for recovery and learning how to help families and loved ones along the recovery path as a result of their coach training and their own inner work to Be A Loving Mirror.
To learn more about the BALM Family Recovery Life Coach Training, click here.
To learn how to become a BALM Family Recovery Life Coach, click here.