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Helping Families and Loved Ones

BALM | March 31, 2018

Mike DeForbes, MFA, LCDP, ACC, CBC
Certified BALM® Family Recovery Life Coach
Rhode Island

I have been working in the substance abuse treatment field for over ten years and prior to that was a professor of fine arts at a local community college. About seven years ago, I decided I wanted to add the coach approach to my work. I went to coach training school and soon met Bev, who became my mentor coach. She was, coincidentally, a Recovery Life Coach, which was of great interest to me as someone in recovery and working in the field.

During that time, I was so impressed with the coaching field and the opportunities it presented for entrepreneurship that I began to coach with Bev not only to improve my coaching but also to figure out if there was a way to transition out of the treatment field and into full-time coaching and public speaking.

Bev was a True Purpose® Coach as well as a mentor coach, and when I explained that I was trying to find my calling, she offered to take me through the True Purpose® process. We spent the next six months exploring my destiny. What started as a search for an escape out of the career I was planted in at that time evolved into a deep communicative relationship with a trusted source that I could call on to guide me through the ups and downs of my career and my day-to-day life. I also began to deepen my own spiritual work through classes, prayer, meditation, and self-inquiry that allowed me to experience a deeper appreciation of each moment.

As a result of my purpose work and other inner work, I was able to find out that I was being called to help addicts through my new skills as a coach exactly where I was planted.

The work I have been able to do with my clients has deepened over the years through my inner work, my purpose work, and my work with the BALM, even though the time I have been given to work with individual clients has decreased. This is because of my growing ability to deeply connect with them in each moment of our time together.

In 2013, when the BALM Family Recovery Life Coaching program opened its doors, I was in the first cohort of advanced students. I was able to give vital input to the development of the 7 Steps to BALM because of my own inner work and experience, and I became Bev’s assistant teacher in the course and eventually the lead teacher. This program has opened up opportunities for me to help families around the world through my teaching, coaching, and writing in an area dear to me: deepening recovery through inner growth.

As one of the original BALMers, I have a powerful understanding of how this program can help those affected by another’s use disorder as well as their own, and I look forward to the addition of the Life Purpose in Recovery for individuals as I am already using the principles and steps with my clients at work and know it will be an important addition to the BALM program.


If you would like to hire Mike as your BALM® Coach, please email info@familyrecoveryresources.com or call Tracy at 1-888-998-BALM (2256) option 2.