Acknowledging the past.
Welcoming the future.
Life transitions can feel stressful, scary, and disorienting. They also offer us the opportunities we need to grow more fully into our selves – deepening our human experience, and expanding the possibilities for what is yet to come.
My work in this world is holding space for people moving through life’s transitions – helping you to explore, understand, and make sense of the challenges in your life.
What is Life Coaching?
Simply put, coaching (of any discipline) is a process that supports people in moving from where they are to where they want to be. Life coaches typically focus on helping people to identify and achieve personal goals. My work as a coach centers on supporting clients as they move through life transitions, which can be particularly challenging. I help people make peace with the events that have led to this transition, identify where they want to go next, and work through the steps to get from here to there. Along the way, we acknowledge and celebrate the transformation and growth that comes from these challenges.
What is a Life Transition?
Life transitions are the spaces in between times of stability – shifts that impact our relationships, routines, assumptions, and roles. Each of us will experience many transitions over the course of our lives, and some of these changes will feel more unsettling than others. While these shifts may feel uncomfortable, they can also be the catalysts for moving forward, growing into a more fully lived existence.
Some of the more common life transitions:
- getting married
- getting divorced
- having a baby
- going to college
- starting a new job
- retiring from a career
- moving to a new place
- grieving the death of a loved one
How Does Change Happen?
At its core, the coaching process is grounded in our co-created relationship – we work together to understand the challenges you’re facing in this transition and identify the desired outcomes of this experience. We then develop a plan for getting from here to there, and I provide support for you as you move forward. Sometimes, it’s helpful simply to have an outside, non-judgmental witness as you externalize your process and make changes on your own. Other times, I may make more concrete suggestions for activities that can effect change.
I draw on a transition framework developed by Nancy K. Schlossberg, whereby assessments and goal setting arise from an exploration and understanding of your existing resources, and activities are geared toward strengthening those resources. I work from a holistic perspective, which invites aspects of mind, body, spirit, and culture into this process.
Our sessions are conducted via Skype or phone call, making it easy to connect wherever you are in the world. I’ll also offer email support between our twice-monthly sessions. A minimum commitment of three months is strongly recommended to make the most of our time together.
How Is Coaching Different from Therapy?
I’ve heard coaches say that therapy examines the past, while coaching looks toward the future. That’s a catchy tagline – but it’s simply not true. Effective coaches and therapists alike understand that all individuals carry stories from the past that impact the actions they take in the future. As someone who views wellness from a holistic perspective, I believe in exploring the full catastrophe.
From a technical perspective, psychotherapy is a profession that is licensed by the state (denoted by designations like LPCC, LMFT, LCSW, etc.), and the legislature defines the practice. This may vary from state to state, but a typical feature is that psychotherapists provide diagnosis and treatment for mental illness. A life coach is not qualified to provide this service, unless s/he is also licensed as a psychotherapist. Also, it’s important to understand that there are no state regulation or licensing requirements for coaches. Because of this, the vast majority of life and wellness coaches have no formal training or certification. (You can read more about my training and experience here.)
In practice, both fields have evolved to encompass a number of different styles of working with people, and a lot depends on the individual practitioner. For this reason, it is important to talk with your therapist or coach to understand her background and qualifications, her theories and/or philosophies, and – perhaps most importantly – how you feel when you’re talking with her.
The cost for this service is $199 per month, with a recommended commitment of three months. Each month, we will connect via Skype or phone call for two 50-minute sessions, and I’ll provide email support in between.