Could you use a coach?
Do you want help reaching a goal?
Would being accountable to a coach help?
Could you use some help navigating a big change in your life like a job change, relocation, or divorce?
Could you benefit from some coaching on how to have more effective relationships either at work or in your personal life?
Many of my clients come to therapy not because they are suffering from some particular clinical problem, but because they know they can benefit from having someone objective and unrelated to them to talk to. Even people with large and connected support systems find a different kind of help comes from talking to a therapist who’s focused on them and what they are going through. This is sometimes called life coaching.
Anyone can benefit from coaching
Life coaching isn't just for when things are bad
Most people find that, even when they’ve thought about and researched a problem they’re dealing with, they can only get so far on their own. Verbalizing problems and goals out loud to a life coach is vastly different and much more beneficial than doing this all in your own head. And being accountable to another person like a life coach is dramatically more motivating than simply being accountable to yourself. It’s easy to break a commitment you’ve made only to yourself in your own mind; but much harder to break a commitment you’ve made to another person, a person you know will hold you accountable.
Life coaching can be helpful when trying to navigate large changes or transitions in life like job and career changes, relocating, retirement, and changes in relationships related to divorce, marriage, loved ones dying, and the so-called "empty nest" when kids leave home. Life coaching can also be of great value to those wanting to improve the quality or effectiveness of their relationships. This might be a desire to have closer more intimate romantic relationships or connections with friends or family, or it might be an interest in having better relationships with colleagues, direct reports, or managers.
Many of us think the only time to see a therapist or life coach is when things are really bad or when we are suffering. But it’s actually very healthy and helpful to talk with an objective expert when things aren’t horrible but we want to focus on making them better. I believe that all of us could benefit from this at any time in our lives. In these cases, of course, therapy feels like much more of a luxury, but it can be a worthwhile use of time and money.
Often men have a hard time reaching out for help even in the form of this sort of consultation. At least in this culture, we men are not raised to ask for help. We are taught that we’re supposed to handle our own business, to keep our own counsel. We think we're supposed to figure out or think through whatever comes our way. This is a real strength in many areas of our lives, but we usually benefit when we push back against this training, especially when facing an important life change or trying to reach a meaningful goal.
A Psychotherapist is uniquely qualified to be a coach
Though I’m a licensed psychotherapist and a certified alcohol and drug counselor, with some clients I’m more like a life coach than a therapist: working on and supporting them on achieving concrete goals that we establish together. The life coaching approach can be very concrete and goal-oriented with you making commitments to which your coach holds you accountable.
Coaching is a largely unregulated industry with no barrier to entry. Anyone can call themselves a “life coach” and hang up a shingle. It’s estimated that life coaching is at least a billion-dollar industry in the U.S., so there are a lot of people out there calling themselves “coaches”. As a licensed therapist for nearly 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of people, many of whom I helped reach goals or develop better relationships. Sometimes we call it coaching and sometimes we call is therapy, but the intention is the same: to achieve important goals in life and to navigate major life transitions.
Among the many reasons clients meet with me for life coaching include life transitions like moving, job changes, or retirement; issues in relationships with friends or family members; wanting to find more meaning or sense of fulfillment in life; and wanting to be healthier physically and / or psychologically.
Talking to someone can help you reach your goals
Most of us find that, though we may avoid it at first, talking to someone else about what we're struggling with and asking for help or coaching in reaching our goals actually helps. And the data supports this. The research is pretty clear that talking to someone, a professional or anyone, does help with almost everything we might struggle with. Some studies have shown that talk therapy is as effective if not more effective than medication for some issues.
Can’t I just figure this out on my own?
For the type of issues people come to see me for coaching, this is not the case. Even if you’re smart and thoughtful, there is something unique about verbalizing your goals out loud to a life coach, something you simply cannot duplicate in your own head. And there’s something uniquely helpful about being accountable to a person other than yourself.
Why can’t I just talk to a friend or family member about my goals?
You can and should, but it’s not the same as talking to a life coach. Most of us aren’t comfortable asking a friend, even a close friend, to spend hours talking about and working on our goals. And being accountable to a professional life coach just seems to motivate people more than being accountable to friends and family.
If you are ready to work on life coaching, I invite you to call me at 512-590-9868. I look forward to hearing from you.
You may have some questions about coaching