Frequently asked questions about the BALM Family Recovery Programs and Professional Training Programs

When the BALM was being created, people in the recovery community would ask:

The BALM became an answer to these questions. The following FAQ is designed to explain the answers to the above questions and to put the training on this site into context.

The BALM (Be A Loving Mirror) is a method of family recovery that provides both education and coaching using the ITS (Information, Transformation, Support) model. (see below) 


We call the BALM a Fast Track to Family Recovery because it allows us to implement what the  research has since named ‘evidence-based practices’ for families into an easily accessible program of 12 Principles and 7 Steps. 


They are the missing link.


When they understand what is going on with their loved one and learn how to respond and why, things often get better

There are many ways to approach recovery.


The classic misunderstanding in the recovery field has been that the identified patient needs 1-3 months of treatment followed by 6-12 months of aftercare, sober living, outpatient care, etc. and AA and the family just needs education at the treatment center and Alanon. Alanon is helpful but it is not treatment, nor does it provide a curriculum to help the family learn a new way to communicate with the person coming out of treatment. It is self care of the highest order. We posit that more is needed and that is what we have been providing for the past 10+ years.



  • BALM – stands for Be A Loving Mirror
  • ICF – International Coach Federation
  • ICF-PCC – International Coach Federation Professional Certified Coach
  • ICF-ACC – International Coach Federation – Associate Certified Coach
  • ITS  Model – Information, Transformation, Support
    • Information (on addiction, recovery and the family’s role)
    • Transformation (through our core 7 Steps Communication process)
    • Support (through coaching and small group facilitation) to bring these ideas into families lives.
  • ICF-PCC Training – Level 2 – Preparing coaches to be ICF Life Coaches at the Professional Certified Coach (PCC)  level and to be Certified BALM Family Recovery LIfe Coaches. See the web page for more information
  • ICF-ACC Training – Preparing coaches to be ICF LIfe Coaches at the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) Level and to be Certified BALM Family Recovery Life Coaches. See the web page for more information
  • ICF-CCE Training – allowing ICF trained life coaches who want to work with families to immerse themselves in BALM without having to retake their life coach training
  • BALM Coach training without ICF certification for previously licensed and or certified professionals who want to apply BALM to their field without gaining life coach certification. Also open to others not wanting certification.

Practices that research has indicated work best to help a certain demographic, in this case, families

  • We are currently being researched by a large university in Florida and should know more soon.
  • We do however use evidence-based practices throughout our program and have done so since before we had even heard the term.
  • The BALM Holistic Model of Family Recovery Development is a model that describes how families develop in their recovery before, during and after they utilize the BALM. 
  • Understanding this model is critical for BALM Professionals as it helps them understand the family journey and provides tools to utilize it in their work with the families they serve.
  • Facilitate the 12 principles online or in person at a treatment facility, church, RCO, workplace, etc. 
  • Speak about many aspects of BALM Family Recovery at recovery centers, treatment centers, churches, RCO’s, as a subject matter expert. (We give you premade slide shows to share.)
  • Have booths as conferences
  • Partner with grantors to get grants to run their classes
  • Work with the BALM Training Institute to sponsor professional trainings at treatment centers and other agencies. When you bring the BALM to an organization you become their BALM rep.
  • They are also BALM 12 Principles Facilitation Specialists and can do all that a CBFS can do. In addition, they become certified to:
    • Work one-on-one with family members 
    • Do group coaching 
    • Provide support groups
    • Life Coach anyone about anything (Level 1 and 2 graduates)
    • Facilitate the 12 Principles for their clients
    • Work with the BALM Training Institute to sponsor professional trainings at treatment centers and other agencies. When you bring the BALM to an organization you become their BALM rep. This is especially important once you become a coach because the organization will often refer individual clients to you.
    • Speak in public venues as a BALM Family Recovery Coach subject matter expert
  • Facilitation Specialist Certification indicates knowledge of the BALM, which is the foundation of all of the work we do with families. 
  • We decided to change the structure of our professional training so that all professionals we train will first become facilitators including going through supervision and observation piece so we can help them get started on their facilitation journey
  • Being a CBFS (certified BALM facilitation specialist) also gives the graduate an offering they can share at their place of work or independently. 
  • Coach trainees often find that their 12 Principles students become coaching clients and that they can put their own coaching clients through their 12 Principles classes
  • This gives our BALM professionals a ‘go to’ path of sharing the BALM with agencies, treatment centers and community organizations

Founded in 2012, BALM Family Recovery has helped thousands of families find peace and bring recovery to their homes.

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