Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway©

Authors: Jim Wuelfing & Dean LeMire​

Owners: The LeMire Group, LC & Jim Wuelfing

Length: Three days (18 training hours)

Flyer: download here


"I was able to shift my conception of recovery and viable pathways to include and celebrate harm reduction." Participant, August 2019 training, Kalamazoo, MI 

Training of Trainers, Austin, TX

August, 2019 

Information Packet: download here

About This Training

Tens of thousands of people are trained as peer recovery coaches; many now work in a rapidly growing and changing Peer Recovery Support Services field across a wide variety of service settings. Several of the key tenets in peer recovery coaching are: ‘Meet people where they are at’; ‘You are in recovery when you say you are’; and ‘There are many pathways to recovery’. Still, harm reduction as a pathway to and of recovery from addiction remains widely misunderstood. Abstinence-based pathways have for decades dominated the helping services of addiction recovery. Recovery coaches may struggle with coaching a harm reduction pathway for many reasons, including: Lack of understanding about harm reduction; personal, institutional, and cultural bias; and/or lack of exposure to people achieving recovery outcomes through harm-reduction-based means.


Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway© comes just in time for a new phase in recovery coaching development alongside a swelling harm reduction movement across North America. A handful of leaders in both the peer recovery supports and harm reduction movements collaborated to bring this curriculum to its current form. RCHRP utilizes adult learning theory concepts and modalities to address knowledge, attitudes, practices, access to resources, and coaching skills. As this training explores sensitive topics, its design and delivery are highly trauma-informed. Each class becomes a safe place for self-examination and practice from the outset.


Participants will be able to...

  • Define harm reduction as a practice and as a social movement

  • Examine one’s beliefs and values around a harm reduction pathway of recovery

  • Compare and contrast principles of harm reduction and recovery coaching

  • Define and locate opportunities for improving a Recovery-Oriented System of Care that serves People Who Use Drugs

  • Discuss advocacy and practices around social justice issues as part of harm reduction

  • Practice newly acquired knowledge and skills supporting a harm reduction pathway of recovery

  • Develop a personal action plan for further development of harm reduction recovery coaching skills


Completion of a recognized 30-46-hour recovery coaching fundamentals training, such as CCAR Recovery Coach Academy, is strongly suggested.


Active or prospective peer recovery coaches; Recovery Community Organization personnel; recovery housing service providers; substance use disorder treatment providers; medical and psychiatric services providers; peers and family members in recovery.


Jim Wuelfing is owner and principle associate of the New England Center, dedicated to exceptional training, facilitation and consulting services for nearly 40 years. In the recovery supports arena he has been a major contributor in the design and delivery of several curricula including the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy and CCAR Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches, as well as SOS Developing Excellence in Recovery Coaching and Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway. He has aided in the formation of several statewide recovery community organizations and has served on the board of the Massachusetts Organization of Addiction Recovery. Jim also has a decades long experience working on social justice issues focusing on racial inequities and understanding the dynamics of power and privilege. He co-wrote with Arthur Woodard, Jr. the nationally well-received training Racism of the Well-Intended.

Dean LeMire is owner and principle associate of The LeMire Group, LC, a recovery services consulting and training agency based in Austin, Texas. In his various roles across the substance use disorder continuum of care Dean has facilitated expansion of improved, person-centered, and community-based service delivery. In New Hampshire Dean was instrumental in forming a statewide network of Recovery Community Organizations, as well as a statewide network of harm reduction service programs as a founding board member of the New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition and as co-founder of Hand Up Health Services, a multi-county syringe services program. Dean has trained recovery coaches since 2015 and co-developed Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway© with Jim Wuelfing in 2019.

Kevin McLaughlin is a person in long term recovery.  For him this means almost 15 years without drugs or alcohol. Kevin has seven years’ experience in training and presenting and he has facilitated over sixty 5-Day CCAR Recovery Coach Academies.  In addition to training, he has five years of experience in prompting system change through Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care educational presentations.  As an individual in recovery, he loves to empower peers to play integral roles in systems change as well. Kevin was Executive Director of Recovery Allies of West Michigan, a Recovery Community Organization, for four years.  He has also represented the recovery community within several groups including the Kent County Substance Use Disorder Advisory Council, the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, and the Lakeshore Regional Entity Advisory Council. In 2017 Kevin started Art Of Coaching Inc to provide training, education, consultation and coaching.  Through this medium he is able to meld his love for training with his experience from five years in the non-profit sector, and ten years’ experience with private coaching.



William White, Michael Galipeau, Tom Hill, Jenna Neasbitt, Kevin Irwin, Hannah Rose, Joseph Hogan-Sanchez, Devin Reaves, Kevin McLaughlin, Christie Mokry, Michelle Reilly

Upcoming Trainings

May 6-22
Twice weekly (Wed & Fri)
3.25-hour sessions

Austin, TX 

August, 2019

RCHRP graduates

Nashua, NH 

June, 2019

RCHRP graduates

Rochester, NH 

June, 2019

RCHRP graduates

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