The 51-year-old Montreal-based sobriety coach and interventionist Bob Marier found himself in the headlines in 2014 as the late Rob Ford’s personal sober coach. His role in the former Toronto mayor’s life helped inspire a Vice documentary series about his work (Marier has recently just signed on to do 22 additional episodes of the series, detailing his exploits). A big personality with a clear passion for his chosen field, Marier has also been on AfterPartyPod.
Openly sober for 12 years, Marier does not necessarily come from a clinical background but cites his personal journey and sobriety experience as his qualifications. Marier began offering interventions, sober coaching, sober companionship and counseling services through his company Hired Sobriety in 2012. He offers a non-traditional form of sobriety coaching that eschews familiar clinical modes and personalizes a client’s recovery experience.
Marier’s services are open to all but he’s had measurable success with those who have made previous recovery attempts and fallen short, particularly successful “alpha males” and young people who have already been to treatment.
Given his self-described non-traditional outlook, Marier frequently combines aspects of the two most common intervention techniques, namely the ARISE and Johnson methods, to tailor his program to each individual. Marier prefers to avoid surprise interventions, save for extreme emergencies, and typically meets with family members for as long as needed beforehand, gathering as much information as possible. He keeps intervention gatherings small for maximum effect, often just meeting with the client and one concerned family member. His interventions have lasted everywhere from 20 hours straight to just a few minutes. Out of his 180 clients, 176 have gone on to treatment afterwards.
While Marier is employed as a national interventionist for the Montreal-based Edgewood Health Network, he has no obligation to steer a client to a particular inpatient facility. Marier frequently escorts clients to detox services, preferring Montreal’s Chatsworth Pavillion when applicable, though again, Marier has no arrangement with any one particular rehab. While occasionally an intervention will result in the client agreeing to an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Marier prefers residential treatment as the most effective step for his clients. While Marier does believe in 12-step recovery, he positions it as a resource rather than a requirement.
Post-Intervention and Summary
It makes sense that since Marier is best known as a sobriety coach, his services frequently extend far beyond the initial intervention. Even among clients who have not sought his sobriety coaching or companionship services, he is still in touch with around 85 percent of the people with whom he has worked. Marier also continues to collaborate with family members in the wake of the intervention. Above all, Marier is most concerned with results, finding this to be more important than any one particular clinical approach, strategy or facility.
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