What is a life coach?
A life coach is a professional who is dedicated to helping you reach your goals. Think of an athletic coach - they help you practice different tools and techniques so you can gradually improve and experience more success. They offer a trained, third-person perspective to identify your blind spots, help iron out your form and overcome persistent obstacles. A coach also provides emotional support during challenging moments. That’s what I do...except I won't make you run laps (I promise). But I will lead you through other types of drills that allow you to practice your new skills in a supportive, low-stress environment.
What qualifications does a life coach have?
Life coaches come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Although there are organizations like the International Coaching Federation that strive to organize and raise the standards for coaches worldwide, there is no specific credential you need to be a life coach. This has pros and cons. The primary con, of course, is that anyone can say they are a life coach, without having the knowledge and expertise needed to work successfully with clients. The pro, however, is that people who do have this knowledge and expertise, derived from a variety of sources rather than specific, more formal training, aren't forced to dedicate time and money to attend an accredited program. For example, I was trained as a therapist, and therefore have the skills needed to work with clients in a coaching capacity. The best way to ensure that you have success with a life coach is not to assume that a credential guarantees a particular result, but rather to spend time looking for someone that suits your personality and working style.
What is the difference between a life coach and a therapist?
The primary difference between a life coach and a therapist is that therapists have received specific training in psychology and mental health counseling, and have had years of supervised, clinical experience. Although life coaches can be a great resource and help you overcome emotional difficulties, if your mental health is a primary concern, you will be better served by seeking out a qualified mental health professional. Therapy is also covered under most health insurance plans, so it's a great place to start if you are looking for a low-cost option to feel better. I have been in therapy for years and highly recommend it to clients and friends alike. However, working outside of the therapeutic model, I'm able to offer a more flexible, individualized approach that I believe helps my clients more quickly see change across multiple areas of their lives.
Other, more subtle differences between life coaching and therapy depend on the professional's style of working and the client's circumstances. Both coaches and therapists have an arsenal of tools and best practices they use to address clients' difficulties and support them in finding success. Some coaches and therapists have particular specialties based on their experience and training, and, like with a friend or partner, personality fit is a major factor. I always recommend that people don't swear off either coaching or therapy based on one bad experience. It's like tasting a kiwi and saying you don't like fruit.
How do you work with people?
My specific style of coaching is grounded in my background as an art therapist, which exposed me to a wide variety of modalities for cultivating physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Though mental health counseling serves as the model for my practice, mental health treatment is not the aim. As a coach, YOU are the inspiration for my methods, which means the structure and strategies I implement revolve around your needs.
Generally speaking, we meet regularly, for an hour at a time (virtually or in person). Together, we paint a picture of the life you want to live, then map out a path to get you there. That path may involve fostering profound self-discovery, overcoming physical or emotional obstacles, developing the self-confidence you need to thrive in your career or relationships, or injecting more joy and vibrancy into your daily routine.
It's about getting to the core of who you are and what you want out of life, then collaborating to make that a reality, one step at a time. Committing to meet consistently (usually every week or every other week) is also essential for building a routine and mindset around personal growth.
Is life coaching the right thing for me?
If anything I've said has resonated with you, I'd wager that coaching would benefit you tremendously. If you consistently feel stuck, stalled out, exhausted, on autopilot, anxious, defeated or directionless, and something has been nagging you to make a change (even if you don't know what or how), hiring a coach is a great first step. Ultimately, the only way you can know if it's right for you is to give it a try. Reach out and let's see if it's a fit.
How do I find out if I want to work with you?
Choosing a coach is an extremely personal decision. Let's get on the phone and discuss your particular needs and whether or not I can fulfill them. Once I know a bit more about your specific situation, I can give you a better idea of how I would work with you, and from there, you can reflect on our discussion and decide for yourself. Contact me to schedule a free consultation call. If we determine that I'm not the right coach for you, I will happily assist you in finding someone better suited for the job.
Can I afford it?
You can find my prices here. Although life coaches don't accept insurance, I am eager to help as many people as possible and discuss alternative payment structures, like an extended payment plan or a commitment to more sessions at a lower price per session. Let's discuss how we can make it affordable for you.
Deciding to hire a coach is an investment in yourself. Making that commitment should feel good - not like you're being bankrupted. If you're reading this, you probably know you're craving a change, but may be unsure if the outcome of coaching justifies spending the money. Speaking from my own experience and on behalf of my clients, I can assure you that there is nothing more worthwhile than taking care of yourself.
Still have questions and want to talk? Let's get in touch! You have nothing to lose and I can't wait to hear from you!