The primary question you may have is this: how does personal life coaching differ from psychotherapy?
Coaching differs from psychotherapy in several important respects:
1) it begins in the reality that you are facing in your life today;
2) it is oriented to a specific set of circumstances;
3) it is based in action planning;
4) it is positive and supportive of the plans we develop together to meet your own unique needs;
5) it is not rehashing of your past or seeking the deeper roots of psychological distress;
6) it can be done in conjunction with work you are doing with your psychotherapist;
7) it is a means of developing your own expertise in managing your life, just as you would improve your game with a tennis coach.
Some other questions that may occur to you include the following:
Can someone really help me on the telephone or online?
Yes! I have found that working with clients on the telephone provides a unique environment for confidential exchanges of information in the intimate setting usually encountered in an in-office session. The difference, which is positive, is that the telephone allows me a much greater ability to hear nuances in your voice - pauses, sighs, changes in tone, changes in cadence, changes in your energy. I find it easy to read these changes and to tune into the personal space of my clients with the telephone. It is a unique relationship, and becomes very satisfactory for clients as well.
Online, there is the additional advantage of visual images. This can be very gratifying and comforting for clients who prefer to see me as we speak.
Either way, your comfort will determine which method we use for our sessions.
If you live in the Seattle area, you may come into my office, which is located in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle.
How long does coaching take?
You are the only person who can answer this question. Our goal will be to help you identify where you are and where you would like to be, and then I will support you as you build the roadmap to the destination you choose. I will hold you accountable to your choices, and I will remind you of your dreams and goals if you have days when they seem distant or impossible. I am your personal cheerleader, your guide, and your companion. I will keep you on track. How long does this take? How long would you like to spend on this very important aspect of your life?
How do I know you can do what you say you can do?
Our first conversation is an opportunity for you to gauge whether you trust me, whether you believe you can work with me, whether you feel that our styles are compatible, and whether you sense that I have talents and abilities that will be helpful and supportive to you as you undertake this new look at your life and your dreams. My credentials and my statements about my reasons for doing this work are here, and you can follow my blog for updates and new perspectives on my way of working with clients. And, of course, you are welcome to ask me as many questions as you like in order to feel comfortable with your decision to work with me.
Many clients tell me that the only problem they have is wishing they had started this work sooner. But you are the only person who will be able to determine whether this is the right thing for you, and whether this is the right time.
How will we know when our work is finished?
Coaching clients usually begin with a commitment of three to six months. After that, most clients choose to continue indefinitely. Some clients stay with their coaches for years, because the relationship develops into one that is supportive across all domains of a person's life. Some clients choose to go to a session every other week after they have reached a certain level of comfort with their progress. After that, some clients choose to move to a monthly conversation.
The format is intense in the beginning due to the nature of your needs and the nature of the coaching experience. I will be here for you as long as you want to continue working with me. You will decide when to move on.