What does a life coach do?
A life coach helps clients clarify, establish, and move toward personal or professional goals. We offer structure, insight and objective feedback as the clients address any fears, limiting beliefs, or mental blocks that are keeping them from moving their lives to the next level.
My belief is that every client holds the key to their own right life, and my job is to help them access that.
Why use a coach?
We tend to set bigger goals and follow through with them when we are accountable to someone else. We also all have “blind spots” where we don’t really hear what we say or recognize the limitations of our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves.
I listen deeply to my clients and help them see more clearly what they have actually known all along — and I help them begin to live from a place of deep personal integrity and joy.
How does coaching differ from counseling or therapy?
All of us could benefit from good coaching at various times in our lives. Although coaching and therapy elide in several ways, coaching is designed to focus on the client’s present and future goals, rather than concentrate on past traumas or issues.
If appropriate, the coach will recommend the client receive therapy rather than or along with coaching, particularly in the case of chronic depression or other minor mental health issues. There are other times when it is unethical for a coach to accept a client and will refer them to a licensed mental health professional.
What training has a coach received?
At this time there is no official regulatory board for life coaches. I trained with the Dr. Martha Beck Institute (marthabeck.com). The training involved 9 months of reading, peer coaching, working with Dr. Beck and other Master Coaches, and an internship period.
How long will it take for me to achieve my goal(s)? / What can I expect to achieve?
This varies from client to client. I encourage my new clients to commit to 6 sessions, with the option of adding more, should that prove useful. So much depends upon the readiness of the client to be open and honest with themselves, and to do the work.
It is important to work with a coach who is able to help you clarify what you REALLY want. Some clients know something needs to change, but aren’t sure what. Others come in with a strong idea of the change they want, but discover over several sessions that their real desire is quite different from what they’d first thought.
For example, a client may hate their job and seek career coaching. After a few sessions they discover the job isn’t the issue at all! Perhaps they needed to develop the courage to be more assertive, or address a difficult colleague in a productive manner. Or maybe they really DO want to write the next great novel!
Either way, the coach helps the client create strategies to move forward.
What about confidentiality?
Certified coaches follow a strict code of ethics. We do not discuss our clients with others (unless a client has requested that the coach work in tandem with a client’s therapist). We also will not work independently with a client who needs a licensed mental health professional.
What does coaching cost?
The fees can vary considerably among coaches, although most personal coaches charge between $100-$300 per session, with corporate coaches receiving far more.
I encourage my clients to commit to 6 sessions, at a cost of $750, with the option for individual “check-ins” later. I am aware of career coaches, equine coaches, and other types.
Do you have a specialty?
My “specialty” is my ability to listen deeply and help the client to trust themselves at a far deeper level. I have found that most of us struggle with the same basic fears and limiting thoughts.
My job is to help each client begin to ferret out the roots of these, to learn to take care of themselves (which enables them to take care of others in a healthy way), and to trust,trust, trust what they already know at a very deep level. This can result in a remarkable transformation.
What do you mean by "transformation"?
All of us go through transitions – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual – several times in our lives. But a true transformation, or metamorphosis, occurs when we are able to connect with the essence of who we ARE – not who we think we are supposed to be.
It is at that point that we discover a more profound freedom, more joy, more genuine relationships, and greater creativity in our lives. We shed those things that have trapped us in our old life and can finally fly.
Your name is followed by D.M.A. What is that?
I earned the Doctorate of Musical Arts from The University of Arizona. I served on the voice faculty at New Mexico State University for 23 years as an Associate Professor. During those years I taught classes as well as worked on a one-on-one basis with voice students.
It was a privilege to guide not only the students’ vocal growth, but their academic and emotional growth, as well. The study of singing requires tremendous vulnerability, patience, and self-acceptance, as well as musical skills and dedication. For me, there was a natural connection to the world of coaching.