Coaching has grown in popularity over the last couple of decades and encompasses a myriad of specialties and techniques, including business, career, finances, health, relationships, and spirituality. The international Coach Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Coaching does this by helping to build the client’s awareness and responsibility by using a process of inquiry and personal discovery. Essential to this process is the structure, support and feedback the coach provides the client. As a result of professional coaching, clients set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and more fully use their natural strengths.
I have been coaching clients for well over a decade, after receiving my Coaching Certification (2-year program) from The Coaching Training Institute in San Rafael, CA, an accredited institution by the International Coach Federation (ICF), which is recognized as the leader in establishing the profession’s best practice standards. When chosing a coach, it is important to note that, unlike psychotherapists, calling oneself a coach does not require any specific training, certification or licensure, and is not regulated by any state board or entity. While I maintain very strict boundaries between my work with clients as a coach and my work with clients as a psychotherapist, I have found that my specific education and training in each of these two very distinct disciplines does add to my effectiveness in both roles.
One of the most important aspects in my coaching is assisting my clients in clarifying what they desire in their lives, as well as what they
do not desire. While this sounds like a no-brainer, this process often brings up many challenges and provides a blueprint for what our coaching work will entail. Other important aspects of my coaching work are assisting my clients in creating very directed goals, defining the steps that need to be taken to achieve these goals, breaking down these steps into doable actions, creating effective support structures, and building appropriate accountability. As a coach, I bring many useful tools to my clients that help them to set better goals and that focus them to produce results more quickly than if they were not working with me.
Often obstacles, fears, and self-doubt arise during the coaching process as clients move toward achieving their desires. My training as a psychotherapist provides me with an advantage in my ability to coach my clients in working through obstacles, fears, and self-doubt. This is another very important aspect of coaching. Let’s face it, if all it took for us to do something that we have wanted to do for a while (but somehow not been doing) was to say to ourselves “just do it,” most of us would probably have already done it and would not be hiring a coach.
In my experience as a coach, not only do I see my clients achieve many of their goals, I also see them develop a more balanced life, do more than they would have done on their own, take themselves more seriously, stop putting up with what is holding them down, create momentum for positive change, and live lives that are in alignment with their personal values.