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About Coaching Coach Interviews Life Coaching

Life Coach, Dr. Charles Glassman, Coach MD

MyCoachMatch.com founder Corey Quinn interviews life coach Dr. Charles Glassman about why he became a life coach and the importance of a match between a client and coach.

INTERVIEW WITH LIFE COACH: DR. CHARLES GLASSMAN, COACH MD

Corey: Hi! Welcome, this is Corey Quinn from MyCoachMatch.com. Today, I’m with Dr. Charles Glassman, Coach MD. He is a life coach and medical doctor. Welcome Charles!

CoachMD: Thanks for having me on Corey.

Corey: Anytime. So tell me, why are you a coach?

CoachMD: I’ve been a medical doctor for many years and I’ve noticed that when people come in with various medical problems, it’s never really about the medical problems. It really is about something that’s going on in their life or that has happened in their past history, and I decided that, you know, I have to look a little bit further and that’s really how my coaching developed, and it happened about four years ago when a patient of mine said, you know, I feel really motivated after I sit down and talk with you and really (Inaudible 00:55) goes back to his life same day, gets a call from his boss, sees bills piling up on the table, some problems with the family, and he said, you know, it unravels. Can you do something to help me, guide me, maybe between office visits? So we started on a weekly email message and that kind of got me going on the coaching and after that, people come and just don’t really come to me a lot of times with medical problems, they come just to talk and just to be coached.

Corey: That’s a great story. I love that. So when should someone consider working with you as a coach?

CoachMD: I think if there is something in their life that they want to change, that they just can’t seem to make it work, maybe it’s a bad habit, maybe it’s bad habits that they’ve have for a long time, and every time that they make steps in making a change, something happens, where self-sabotage occurs, and those are the people who are really right there now, ready to make a change, but just can’t seem to make it work, those are the people who I want to talk to. Those are the people who aren’t just going to chalk it up to you bad luck, not going to chalk it up to you, well I just have a bad medical history, family history. I am destined to have all these problems. Those aren’t the people – when people are ready to talk with me, they are ready to admit that there is something that they need to discover, that can help them make the change.

Corey: Okay. And so, who’s the ideal client for you?

CoachMD: Really, mostly adults, I would say and those adults who are in their mid 20s and older, I would say. Although I do have teenagers myself, and you know, I have been working a little bit with teenagers, but I would say those people wanting to make a change, not only whether a career change, whether it’s a change physically, mentally, spiritually, those people really an ideal client will be somebody who says, “You know what, things are not going as I want them to go. Things are not going the way my life really is unfolding. My life is not unfolding like the way I really want it to unfold at this point in my life.” Those are the people who I would love to work with, who really are ready, ripe, to look into themselves and to make some substantial changes.

Corey: So since you’ve been a coach, I imagine you can appreciate the value of a match between you and your client. Can you tell me a little bit about the importance of a match between a coach and a client?

CoachMD: Well, first of all, I think it’s brilliant what you’re doing. Honestly, okay. You know, without sounding too hyperbolic or whatever. You know, it’s great that – because it’s kind of like, you know, you’ve talked with people and they’d say they’ve gone to therapists okay, but they just didn’t connect. They didn’t match up and it’s like with anything, with any type of interpersonal relationship, with any relationship, there needs to be some type of match. There needs to be a connection that’s made and a lot of that has to do with personal belief systems, has to do with demographics, has to do with cultural experiences, and lifestyles, and all of those boil down to a level of trust, and that level of trust opens up the door because it allows people to open up with you. It allows people to be able to look deep into themselves and share what they think about in their quietest moments, and those are the things that really will shortcut any type of progress and growth. So a match is very important.

Corey: I agree. Thank you for that. Could you share a success story with me?

CoachMD: Sure. So many people come to me and they think that – they come to me for one problem, and it turns out that it’s an entirely different set of circumstance, and a lot of those have to do really with mental health. A lot of people have come to me recently with, let’s say, bipolar disorder, okay, and that’s a very popular diagnosis these days, slapped upon people and medications are prescribed for it, and I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m an internist. I’m a conventionally trained doctor. Although I am very integrative and think outside the box, or I wouldn’t be doing this kind of thing… so this one person came to me, really the father was a patient, told me about his 30-year-old son who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and my feeling is that anybody who has a very serious mental illness, has a very serious substance abuse problem, it always means that there is a severe danger memory that is lurking in their past. What do I mean by danger memory? A danger memory is something which is stored away usually between birth and 12 or 13 years old, and this danger memory is what your brain does as a reference point to what you are going to view as an adult… to view as dangerous, and anytime that somebody has a severe mental illness, or has been diagnosed with that, or has a substance abuse problem, it always, 100 percent of the time, and I don’t care what any psychiatrist says, it always means that there had been a severe, serious danger memory that has occurred, that has been stored when they were a child. Most of the time that is sexual abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse from somebody whom they’ve trusted. In this case, that I’m talking about, this person had a trauma where without going into too many details, he at 11 years old, was in a car – well, I’ll go on a couple of details. I mean, he was on a car. It was a sad story, and he switched the car in to drive and his mother ran out, and he accidentally ran over his mother, which was horrific. Well, I’m talking to this gentleman first time and I said to him that, you know, you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I didn’t share with him that his father told me what had happened, and I said there, I am not going to treat you as somebody who is mentally ill, but what I’m going to tell you is that I know that something, that there had to be a very strong danger occurrence. I explained to him what my idea of what I call a primitive brain or automatic brain and how that brain would automatically try us to protect us and relies on danger to do that, and I said to him that there has to be some strong danger that your brain processed and stored away when you were a child. Was there? And he shared the story with me, and how he told me that in all of his institutionalizations, and all of his therapy, and all of his talking with psychiatrists – nobody made the connection between his bipolar disorder and the event that happened where he quote in his brain, killed her mother, and how could he now live a life that’s happy and joyous and successful, when he is a bad person? When he is a horrible murderer? Okay. So his brain, what does it do? It fights or flees danger. The fight is mania. The flight is depression. Just that revelation and bringing that up to the awareness, the level of awareness and consciousness that there was a connection was an epiphany for him, and this is something that has helped him greatly in just a conversation that we had in 30 minutes, he was a changed person. I’m not going to go and say that I cured his bipolar but because… or his mental illness or whatever, or I would like to say, the dominance of his automatic brain. I didn’t release that entirely because it will do whatever it takes by any means possible to protect us from danger, threat, or vulnerability. So that danger is still there, that danger memory. But now, working with him, and he is, I mean, so much better than he ever was, I mean, this is someone who is not functioning. Just by bringing that up really helped him a great deal. There are so many other lesser levels of help. My feeling is, if I could figure that out and help somebody, you know, the kind of mundane issues that we all suffer from, whether it’s fear of success, or money issues, or getting into better fit body, and all that kind of stuff, that’s easy! That’s easy stuff. But that is just one of stories I have to share.

Corey: Wow, that’s really great. It sounds that you were really able to help him to understand sort of the real context of what was going on in a very profound way. I think that’s very powerful.

CoachMD: Yeah. Very, very touching… very… you know, I was really… when I’m talking with him on the brick of tears obviously because I could feel his pain, anybody’s pain and nobody could really feel that what it could mean to be in that position as a child. I mean, it’s just so, you know, so damaging, you know, and for not to be acknowledge as the number one source. Instead of saying that someone has a chemical imbalance that they have been born with it, their gene caused it or whatever.

Corey: Stuck with it.

CoachMD: Right. Exactly.

Corey: Yeah. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time today.

CoachMD: Yeah. Thanks a lot Corey.

About Life Coach Dr. Charles Glassman:

life coach doctorCharles F. Glassman, MD, FACP, has practiced general internal medicine, for over 20 years, in Rockland County, NY, a suburban community 30 miles north of New York City, designing his practice to be patient-centered instead of problem-focused. He has seen the shift of medical practices from patient focused to problem focused; from health care to sick care. Dr. Glassman specializes in personalized, patient focused care, with an emphasis on wellness and prevention.

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About Coaching Business Coaching Coach Interviews

Business Coach Chris Allen Interview

 

Why are you a coach?

When I first started, I’d say it was for two reasons: 1) I had a great career at Procter & Gamble which proved to be a fantastic training ground for what I’m doing now as a business coach and I wanted to own my own business after I retired which made this business such a great match, and 2) I wanted to make an impact in the business community … I have become my own personal stimulus plan … but, one that works! Now, that I’ve been doing it a while, a third reason has come to light … I love to see the impact I make not only in the businesses, but more importantly, in the lives of the business owners with whom I work!

When should someone consider working with you?

The most common reasons I’ve found tend to be more emotional: 1) Many times a business owner starts with a lot of hope and promise for the future. They’ve risked everything to start up their business and are relying on it to provide not only for their standard of living but also for their future and their family’s future. Especially during difficult times, it’s easy to get discouraged. Because of my optimistic outlook, … “I truly believe this is THE greatest time in history to be in business!” … I can help them to regain their confidence and to really believe their business can thrive. 2) A number of business owners have lost the passion for the business they started. They originally had an idea for a product or were good at providing a particular service. They started a business and were very excited about it. They worked long hours to get it off the ground. But, Somewhere along the way, the business became a job again and was mostly focused on things they really didn’t enjoy. I help them regain their passion and turn that passion back into their business. 3) Frequently, business owners find themselves alone. They don’t have a trusted advisor who listens, provides perspective based on their experience, acts as a sounding board and generally stands by their side and helps them achieve the success they desire [AND celebrates with them too!]. 4) Sometimes business owners need someone to hold them accountable to their commitments. Believe it or not, people perform better and stay focused much easier when they feel they have someone who will follow-up!

Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client is a professional who is in a solo practice or small practice with 1-3 partners. A particular niche, on which I’ve focused, is non-litigant attorneys. They are well educated in their chosen field but usually don’t have much in the way of business training. They work a lot of hours and they’ve not noticed a significant positive change in their business over the past couple of years because they are so focused on being the technician in their company; the expert who delivers the service; versus the entrepreneur who develops the vision and strategically plans for the direction they’d like their business to grow.

How important is a match between a coach and a client?

As with most top athletes, you need to have a great rapport with your coach. You need to have mutual respect. The coach also needs to be able to provide for the wants and needs of the client. There are many different kinds of coaches and sometimes people are confused or overwhelmed with the choices. As a business coach, the main things I offer that are not available from other coaches are: 1) proven content and curricula to help a business owner successfully improve their habits and their business and most importantly, along with that, the ability to customize the program to meet their specific needs, 2) my own experience as a retired P&G executive which allows me to help them scale up their business regardless of their starting point, 3) the FocalPoint brand powered by Brian Tracy and a large network of business coaches world-wide from which I can draw for ideas to solve issues, make quick wins and step-change their business, and 4) a Return On Investment not offered by other coaches … we typically expect to provide 5x-10x ROI for every dollar invested! Tell me how many investments you know of that consistently produce those kinds of returns.

Could you share one success story?

Many of my clients choose to remain confidential for various reasons, however, I can discuss a chiropractic client who gave me a great testimonial I can summarize in one statement: “Chris helped me literally to go from survival mode to growth mode in 60 days.” We did this through a combination of focusing on foundational items for himself and his business, including: clarity on himself, his ideal client, what he uniquely provides and the key benefits to the clients — essentially answering the questions: “So What?” and “What’s In It For Me?” We also worked on better planning, task management and task prioritization and creating written goals and integrating them into his prioritization process. As a result of working through these things with me, he changed location of his practice to an area more amenable to his ideal client and saved some costs along the

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About Coaching Coach Interviews Recovery Coaching

Recovery Coaching with Alida Schuyler

Meet Recovery Coach, Alida Schuyler:

What is your definition of a Recovery Coach?

A Recovery Coach is someone who works with clients who are in recovery or seeking recovery, and partners with them in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential while recovering from addiction.

Why would someone hire a Recovery Coach?

People hire Recovery Coaches for a variety of reasons. Here are a few:

Many people need support when they leave treatment to beat the odds of relapse. Recovery Coaches are hired by people who want support but don’t want to be told what to do. Recovery Coaches provide ongoing recovery support as long as is needed or wanted.

People often struggle to truly enjoy life in recovery. They want to figure out how to solve the problems that bug them, how to reach goals that will make them feel happy, and they know they will figure this out quicker if they have support. They want to work with someone who can help them with their whole life, including relationships and money and health and work, not just the addiction part.

Quite a few people have specific goals they want to reach—to finish their dissertation, to pass an exam, to save enough to buy a house. They hire a Recovery Coach to help them reach these goals because they want someone familiar with the patterns and struggles of addiction rather than having to explain themselves to someone who doesn’t understand the nuances of addiction and recovery.

How is Recovery Coaching different from other types of coaching?

First, it is important to distinguish between professional Recovery Coaches and the peer recovery support specialists, who sometimes also call themselves coaches. Professional Recovery Coaches have taken training in life coaching and training in addiction recovery. To hire the best coach, chose one credentialed by the International Coach Federation or by Recovery Coaches International (coming soon).

Recovery Coaching is different from other types of life coaching because recovery clients are different. People dealing with addictions experience variable self-esteem—they feel good about themselves one day and not so good the next. They experience variable confidence and motivation—jazzed one week and discouraged the next. Coaching recovery clients requires advanced coaching skills and in depth knowledge of addiction.

A Recovery Coach must have a deep respect and love for people facing addiction and a firm belief in their intrinsic strengths including resilience and creativity.

How did you become a Recovery Coach?

From the moment I heard of coaching I knew it was for me. I hired my first coach in 1997 and within a week began coaching my friends. I loved that coaching addresses the client’s whole life, from where they are now to where they want to be next. I loved that coaching is future-oriented and strengths-based rather and not about fixing the past or figuring out what is wrong with someone.

By the way, the first time I googled the term “recovery coaching” there were no hits. It didn’t exist. I knew from my own experience that coaching is extremely beneficial to people in recovery so decided to invent Recovery Coaching. I started by creating the Great Life in Recovery special interest group to find other coaches in recovery, and then co-founded Recovery Coaches International. Later I wrote the first curriculum for training people who want to become Recovery Coaches.

What is unique about your coaching practice?

I bring a wealth of life experience to my coaching. I farmed and trained horses in Kentucky, studied medicine, addiction counseling and practiced massage in Seattle; Jacque Metheany, M.Div. (deceased) trained me for five years in energy and consciousness.

I grew up in an alcoholic home, and drank for eighteen years and have almost thirty years in recovery. All of this contributes to how I listen compassionately as a coach and to the wisdom, insight, and discernment I bring to coaching.

By now I have over three hundred hours of training and education in coaching, and over two thousand hours coaching addiction recovery clients. Since 2003 I have been training others to become professional Recovery Coaches.

I coach over the phone, and offer a complementary coaching consultation to prospective clients.

Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client is someone ready to work to change his or her life for the better. I appreciate humor and intelligence but know those qualities can be masked by drug use and/or the chaos that goes with it. I always learn from my clients and have a deep respect for the process they take to recover. My ideal client is someone who wants to be healthy and happy in recovery—as they define it—and is ready to do something about it.

I work with both men and women on a variety of addiction issues (money, relationship, family, as well as alcohol and other drugs). I work with people who use the 12-steps, with those who are looking for alternative support, and with those who interested in harm reduction.

When is it time for a person to start working with a Recovery Coach?

There are several logical times for a person to start working with a professional Recovery Coach. Here are three times:

  • When you are wondering if you should do something about your drinking or drug use. This is a good time to hire a Recovery Coach because you can sort out whether you really do want to make any changes, and if you do, what sort of changes make sense to you. If you decide you want to try cutting back I’ll help you chose the safest and most effective ways before you begin. If you want to quit you we can explore the many options you have for immediate and ongoing support. Sorting this out with a coach will save you a lot of stress and money.
  • For those coming home from treatment, having a coach will help you stay in recovery and protect your investment in treatment. We will help you chose and find local recovery support that will help you avoid relapse, or come up with a plan to do it on you own. We’ll also look at what will make staying in recovery worth it for you.
  • When you have time in recovery but are still not satisfied with your life, hire a coach. People with years or even decades of abstinence go back to drinking and drugging because they are unhappy and satisfied with their life. It is way better to hire a coach and start improving your enjoyment than to go back out. A Recovery Coach really can help you figure out how to feel good while staying in recovery. We’ll help you figure out what you want, how to get it, and coach you through the process of reaching your goals and dreams. Get in touch for a complimentary coaching consultation today.

About Alida

Alida Schuyler is a Recovery Coaching pioneer and is called the “mother of Recovery Coaching.” She is director of Crossroads Recovery Coaching Inc, which trains professional Recovery Coaches and provides coaches to addiction agencies or persons with addiction issues.  Alida is co-founder of Recovery Coaches International, is a credentialed member of the International Coaching Federation, co-chair of their Great Life in Recovery Special Interest Group, and a participant in Recovery Coaching forums and e-communities. Alida earned a B.A. in Psychology from the Berea College and a M.S. in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. She is trained in clinical hypnotherapy by the Wellness Institute. Alida has a small private practice of addiction recovery client and lives in Port Angeles, WA where she skis, does Fair Isle knitting, and writes both fiction and nonfiction about addiction recovery.

Thanks Alida!

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About Coaching Coach Interviews Grief Coach Life Coaching

Grief Coaching with Charlotte Foust

What is your definition of a grief coach?

A grief coach works with anyone suffering from a loss, large or small. Grief is a normal human reaction to change, and we all experience it much more frequently than we may realize.  Unfortunately, we aren’t taught to deal with grief, we’re taught to suppress it. From our earliest years, we’re told to tough it out, to avoid being “crybabies”, to distract ourselves with activity, and to hide our grief from others.  A grief coach works with clients to discover the old ideas like those that might prevent the full experience and acceptance of loss so that healing can finally occur.

Why would someone hire a grief coach?

Good question!  Coaches usually select the niche because of their own experiences of grief and loss.  However, we don’t presume that we know what a client is feeling.  In fact, even with identical losses, we can only know what we felt, and it will not be the same as someone else experiences because each relationship is unique.  A psychologist or counselor can also work with grief, and that route is a viable alternative.  Where coaching differs is in its duration and its direction.  Therapy or counseling is usually a longer term approach to emotional pain.  Coaches readily refer clients to therapists and counselors when they see that coaching simply isn’t enough to meet a client’s needs.  In most cases, though, individuals who are ready to start living again after loss are good candidates for coaching; and the results are seen in short order.  A question I ask my clients is, “What would you like your life to look like going forward?”  Then we work toward that goal.

How is grief coaching different from other kinds of coaching?

All coaching clients typically want to make changes in their lives to improve quality and satisfaction.  However, a grief client is suffering and may have lost the ability to define quality and satisfaction.  That means that a lot of tissues and handkerchiefs get used up in the coaching process for grief, and the coach has to be ready and willing to maintain a safe space for those emotions.  Grief coaches can relate to the suffering because we’ve had our own, but we don’t get caught up in a client’s pain.  We are willing to listen and ask questions that probe that ache and allow it to drain.  The agenda belongs to the client, as in all coaching; but in grief coaching we always have to remember that the goal is peace and completion, not just an aspirin for the pain.

Why did you become a grief coach?

I didn’t start out to be a grief coach, but as I neared the completion of my training, I realized that it was my own losses that made me want to be a coach in the first place.  That was when I knew that whatever other coaching I might do, I really wanted to work with clients who needed a safe place to learn how to come to terms with their losses. My father died in December of 2001 and my younger son in January 2003. My son’s death was the real catalyst, but loss is cumulative, so the back-to-back losses left me reeling.  Approaching the 6th anniversary of my son’s death, I discovered that I still had some pain to resolve, and so I worked with a grief coach.  After that, there was no question in my mind about what kind of coaching I wanted to do.

It isn’t only bereavement that results in grief.  We grieve over being rejected by someone we’re attracted to, over moving to a new town, over losing a job, failing a test, suffering financial set backs, and on, and on.  This is a normal part of life, but we’ve been socialized to think of it as isolated experiences.  The same skills apply in handling large losses as in small ones.  The trouble is, we’ve been taught to ignore small losses and pretend they didn’t happen.  When we try to use the same logic on major losses, we wind up in an emotional nightmare. My own experience suggests that grief underlies many, if not all, of our emotional issues.  And that, of course, means that helping someone learn to handle their loss equips them with skills to live their lives more fully.  That’s what a coach wants for any client.

What is unique about your coaching practice?

I’m a survivor and I remind my clients that if I can do it, so can they.  I absolutely know that they can deal with their losses, and I help them notice the old, useless thought patterns they carry forward from the past and challenge them to find alternatives that are more appropriate in the here and now. If we discover an old loss along the way, we deal with it; but the real focus is on forward momentum.  I try to help clients learn that pain and suffering aren’t the same thing.  Pain is nature’s way of saying, “Pay attention!”  Suffering is something we impose on ourselves in response to pain.

I fractured my shoulder a couple of years ago.  It was very painful, but the actual suffering was from fear of falling again, from helplessness, from not knowing how long it might take to heal or what the long-term consequences might be.  I dealt with it by beginning physical therapy as soon as I could, by using the arm as much as possible without causing further damage, by figuring out how to dress myself and get into and out of the restraints one-armed, and I took practical precautions like using a trekking pole when I took a walk. I asked friends for help when I needed it, and I hired someone to feed my cats and clean my house while I recovered. I addressed the real, practical issues and discovered that the emotional issues evaporated because I didn’t get trapped in them.  My question to myself was always, “What else can I do to deal with this right now?”

Who is your ideal client?

Everyone experiences grief, but my ideal client is a mature adult, 30 and above, who is dealing with a loss of any kind.  I enjoy clients who are ready to put joy back into their lives.  And that also means clients who are themselves dying or facing a possibly lethal illness. Life is a juicy, messy experience, so we can’t limit ourselves to the tidy parts.

When is it time for a person to start seeing a grief coach?

Whenever they feel overwhelmed and ready to do something about it. Some losses sneak up on us, such as when we’re dumped by a romantic partner.  Others, we see coming, like the long illness of a dying parent.  It isn’t necessary for the loss to have already happened to be a good time to start looking for help.  Proactive grief, as in the case of the dying parent, is painful and debilitating too.

Charlotte Foust

How do people contact you?

They can leave their contact information on my website at www.spiralingup.net or email me at charlotte@spiralingup.net.  I can also be reached through Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sacramento-CA/Spiraling-Up/194768830552616.

 

Categories
About Coaching Coach Interviews Life Coaching

Meet Divorce Coach, Accountability Coach & Marriage Coach, Dr. Michael Brooks

What is your definition of a Life Coach?

This is a great question and one I am asked many times. The best definition of a Life Coach is someone who has traveled down the road our clients are about to embark upon and tap into lessons learned from past mistakes, misfortune and failures. We draw out old ways of thinking, bad habits, hurts and hang-ups and discover new ways of achieving a fulfilled life. A Life Coach can help a client look at the consequences that may result in a life-changing decision and evaluate the best plan of action.

For me, Life Coaching flows out of my own story. Growing up in an abusive, alcoholic home, I bring an awareness and understanding of human pain and suffering. I also understand and share the fundamental steps that need to be taken to effectuate a happy, successful life. I see myself as a lifeline and a source of wisdom and knowledge as I help my clients find their way to a better understanding and appreciation for life. Timing and sensitivity is essential in addressing the issues my clients face. I partner with them as they work through their challenges.

What types of coaching do you provide?

There are three areas of coaching that I am passionate about. My first area of expertise is Divorce Coaching. As a divorced person who did not want to divorce, I have personally experienced the aftermath and devastation. Divorce coaching can be tough! I’ve heard the sad stories, witnessed the grief and have felt my client’s pain. When a client considers the effects of a pending divorce, they experience shock, disbelief, denial, anger, and the loss of their spouse. As a Divorce Coach I help my clients through all of these emotions. I strive to understand their personal life experiences and ask questions that lead them to

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the answers they’re looking for. This is when they start seeing progress. If necessary, I collaborate on their behalf with their divorce attorney. I also coach couples and individuals who are contemplating divorce and aide those currently going through the process as well those who have been divorced, but have yet to recover from it. The issues I have identified in divorce coaching are as follows:

  • Managing the early emotions of divorce.
  • Moving towards acceptance of divorce.
  • Processing the grief and loss.
  • Understanding the grief cycle.
  • Forgiveness and letting go.
  • Building a new life.
  • New beginnings and the 5 keys to starting over.
  • Barriers to new relationships.
  • Finding new relationships.
  • Living successfully in blended families.

The second area of expertise is Accountability Coaching. This service is offered exclusively to professionals, including athletes, doctors and lawyers. Accountability Coaching helps prevent the trouble that often follows professionals such as run-ins with the law, cheating spouses, bad attitudes, bad behavior and any other behavior that can land them in a negative spotlight. Accountability Coaching can be very difficult when dealing with professionals. Many have money and fame and very few people to hold them accountable for their actions and lifestyle. Over the years I have coached professionals from all walks of life and have found their attitudes are very similar. They have wants, desires and needs that sometimes get them in trouble. My job is to steer them away from the behavior the frenzied news media loves to report and coach them to live lives worthy of honor and respect. Many professionals need someone that will confront them and help them stay the course. As an Accountability Coach, these are a few of problems professionals face:

  • Establishing a strong and positive support system.
  • Goal setting, planning and positive decision-making regarding family and career.
  • Dealing with life under the spotlight where “Image is Everything”.
  • Keeping relationships healthy with a spouse/partner, children and family.
  • Preventing affairs in the work place that destroy family, reputation and career.

Finally, the third area of expertise is Marriage Coaching. Couples contact me for Marriage Coaching when they are interested building a better marriage or improving a marriage that may be failing. As a Marriage Coach I help couples strengthen their marriages by giving them the tools they need to improve communication, create the marriage they have always wanted, and help them find the secrets to a deeper love. I see couples with unresolved anger and witness the negative results of what I call “marital disease.” Many couples have no idea how their anger produces distance between them which ultimately sabotages their marriage. My goal in Marriage Coaching is to teach couples how to use the power of forgiveness to heal and resolve problems. Over the years I have seen how

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forgiveness improves and strengthens relationships. With a 50% divorce rate in first-time marriages, we need Marriage Coaches trained to help couples build strong, lasting relationships.

Why did you become a life coach?

While treating patients in my sports rehabilitation practice, I would take time to talk and get acquainted with them. Many wanted to share their personal struggles and find ways to solve their problems. Most patients would talk about broken relationships and failed marriages and needed advice but had nowhere to turn for answers. I learned to listen over the course of 25+ years and realized I was drawn to being a caring Life Coach. Listening and then painting a realistic picture for them was fulfilling to me. Simply speaking, I care about people and I want to help them.

When should a person consider working with a Life Coach?

When they’re not sure what they need to do or when they get that “deer- in-the-headlights” look. This is the beginning stage where most people need a life coach to help them through the minefields of life. More often than not, many will make some mistakes before they realize they need a Life Coach. I’ll be there to help them pick up the pieces of their shattered marriages, dreams, and broken expectations of life. Most of my clients say that when they hit bottom is when they decided to get help and called me.

Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client is anyone who walks through my office door or calls or Skype’s me. No matter who they are or what they have done, I am here for them. An ideal client is someone who is open, honest, straightforward, and will allow honest communication to foster a strong Coach and client relationship.

About Dr. Michael Brooks:

Mike BrooksApplicable Solutions Life Coaching Services is led by founder Michael Brooks Ph.D., AACC Board Certified BCBC Counselor, LCI Certification and AACC Board Certified BCMCLC Master Life Coach. Mike utilizes his coaching skills of 25 years in the areas of Personal and Marriage Relationships, Divorce Coaching and Professional Accountability.

Mike’s background is steeped in all kinds of endeavors: living in Europe as a child, raised in an alcoholic home, and being an Army brat. He was a college athlete, a college football coach, a corporate business owner, a health practitioner(retired 18 years ago), a counselor, a regular guest on radio and television shows, a writer, author and seminar speaker. Mike has been involved with and impacted many lives across the country. Mike’s clients will tell you he is a great encourager, very compassionate, a good listener and is goal oriented and he gets lasting results.

I think one of the hardest things that I have ever had to go through as an adult was when I was a health practitioner (retired 18 years ago), then became a patient from a serious accident. Until I was a patient, I’d never imagined the pain and struggles that my patients went through. I had to learn how to walk again after my accident. I went through months of operations and rehab. It was hard getting up and starting over each day. I think that’s where I best expressed mercy to others…I was able to encourage others while I was going through rehab myself. I knew that I was making a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to make them laugh and focus on getting better. I love using humor as I work with clients. It’s a medicine all by itself!

What have I learned from working with all kinds of people? Personally, I can help you dig deep into struggles that you face everyday and help you see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been in your shoes, and I know that if you have someone who can walk with you each and every step, the road is much easier to travel.

In my rehab clinic, I treated athletes and walk-in patients. I spent lots of time with my clients while treating them. We often talked about everyday problems they were facing: bad relationships, health issues, and business decisions. I felt for these people, and we would engage in problem-solving while they were being treated for specific injuries. That’s where my coaching began: 25 years ago with my patients. Listening to their needs, problem-solving, educating and making a game plan that would work for them! Going to a university will get you the skills that you need to build a foundation for your career, but sitting down face-to-face or on the phone and getting to know that person you want to help, can’t be learned in a classroom. You get that by building relationships!

Categories
About Coaching Coach Interviews Relationship Coaching

Interview with Relationship Coaching Institute Founder David Steele

Why did you start the Relationship Coaching Institute (RCI)?

Two reasons:

  1. When I fell in love with Coaching in 1996 as a Marriage and Family Therapist I wanted to specialize in Relationship Coaching and I was shocked to find absolutely no training program.
  2. I quickly built a highly visible and successful relationship coaching practice in my area and my colleagues requested I conduct a relationship coaching training workshop to share my
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    methods. That first training was the birth of Relationship Coaching Institute.

Here’s a bonus reason… when I entered the coaching profession it wasn’t my intention to train anyone. However, the coaching field at the time was like the wild west and was attracting “outlaws” who were marketing “coaching” without any specialized training or understanding of professional coaching. I felt an obligation and responsibility to promote a model of relationship coaching that was aligned with the methods, practices, and standards of professional coaching as defined by the International Coach Federation. I saw coaching as a huge advancement in the helping professions that could make a real impact in the world.

What is the mission of RCI?

To provide innovative, high quality relationship coaching training and help our graduates get clients and build a successful business that helps singles and couples have successful relationships.

What is relationship coaching?

Relationship coaching is a professional client-focused service where an individual or couple is assumed to be healthy, powerful, and able to achieve their relationship goals with effective support, information and guidance.

What professional background is appropriate for a career in coaching?

While training is necessary to become a coach, no professional background is necessary to start coach training.

Why should a prospective coach choose RCI?

In addition to being the first and largest international relationship coach training

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organization, RCI provides unparalleled marketing and practice building support for our graduates. We intentionally organized as a membership organization so we can provide on-going support to help our graduates get clients and build a successful business. We are committed to the success of our members and provide dozens of member benefits and resources beyond relationship coaching training.

For a list of our member benefits and resources-

http://www.relationshipcoachinginstitute.com/resources-members.htm

What are the top three pieces of relationship advice you can offer?

  1. Believe that you deserve to love and be loved. When you truly believe that you deserve to love and be loved you will pull or magnetize the love you want and stop (unconsciously) pushing love away.
  2. Honor your deepest needs and requirements. Acknowledge your requirements, needs, and wants, and take responsibility for getting them met. If you settle for less, you get less, and you won’t experience the love and connection you really want.
  3. Take emotional risks. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Your understandable desire to stay safe and hope love and connection somehow happens will not work. A successful, fulfilling relationship requires leaving your comfort zone and putting yourself out there authentically to others. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and take emotional risks.

About David Steele

David Steele is a California-based Marriage and Family Therapist who fell in love with coaching and in 1997 founded Relationship Coaching Institute, the first and largest international relationship coach training organization. RCI is committed to helping you get clients and have a successful practice coaching singles and couples to have successful relationships. To learn how you can become a relationship coach or add relationship coaching to your existing practice sign up for a free Introduction to Relationship Coaching tele-training at the Relationship Coaching Institute

Categories
About Coaching Coach Interviews Coaching for Women Relationship Coaching

Relationship Coaching with Leslie Karen Sann

What is your definition of a relationship coach?

A relationship coach helps you learn how to be authentic and true to yourself while participating with another in creating shared beneficial experiences. A relationship coach is someone who supports you in learning how to do this so you can find fulfillment and joy in your relationships and in your life. One of the keys to finding love in life is learning to love yourself first, so you can share your love with others. A relationship coach helps you discover ways to enrich the relationship you have with yourself while teaching you life and relationship skills so you can resolve issues, achieve goals and succeed in creating healthy, joyful relationships with others.

Why would someone hire a relationship coach?

I love when people hire me when they realize they are stuck and they want to learn tools for success so they can thrive in their relationships. Relationships are alive, growing and dynamic. Positive relationships can be nurturing, supportive and deeply fulfilling. When our relationships are troubled they become a drain and a distraction from living a life of joy and creativity. Yet creating positive relationships is not always easy as most of us are still learning how to truly love and be real.

No one teaches us how to have healthy, successful relationships. When things get hard and they can’t figure out what to do to make things better many people leave the relationship, whether it is a job, a partnership, a marriage. They give up too soon. Life is complex and continuously changing. Learning how to negotiate positive relationships that stay strong, even in the face of challenges, is part of the human maturation process. Just because a person hasn’t figured out how to do this on their own doesn’t mean they’re doomed. It may mean it is time to ask for help. It might not be the relationship that is the problem but the approach.

We can learn how to approach a relationship from the perspective of inviting and promoting powerful and positive change in you and in the other. A great way to learn is through the process of coaching. When you want one type of experience with either yourself or another, yet you keep creating something else, it is a good time to ask for help and hire a coach, someone to mentor and guide you in changing and growing in positive ways.

There are many opportunities for learning to create positive change available through coaching. Skills can be learned, such as:

  • authentic and effective positive communication
  • making powerful requests
  • negotiating clear agreements and keeping them
  • saying no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes
  • taking 100% healthy responsibility
  • setting and maintaining healthy, loving boundaries
  • learning to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually
  • telling the truth in a non-blaming, loving manner
  • resolving issues, problems or differences and finding a third right answer, a win/win solution
  • listening to connect
  • the power of forgiveness, empathy and compassion
  • . . and more

Not only do I teach these skills and more, I also coach my clients to apply these tools to make positive lasting changes.

What do you see is the gift of relationship struggles?

You are the only person you can count on spending the rest of your life with. Learning to love yourself is key to learning how to love anyone else. You can’t give or receive love if you don’t love yourself. Each relationship brings an opportunity to learn how to be a more loving, creative, authentic you. What a gift!

 

It’s not easy to see distress in relationship as a gift when it is occurring. Most people are understandably distracted by the discomfort of the problem, unresolved feelings, and limiting behavior patterns that have been provoked. Many imagine that if the other person would just change, the situation would resolve itself. It’s about them, not me. It sets us up to play Victim. Yet have you ever noticed that whenever you are disturbed in a relationship you are there? If you are there, you can do something. Turn the focus back to yourself and you have empowered yourself to make a difference in your life. There are so

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many choices when you turn your attention to yourself. Take new action, produce a different result, and learn from the experience. You are now Victorious.

When you see relationships from this vantage point you will discover difficulties and obstacles in life are often blessings for, in reality, we grow through adversity. This process of growth liberates energy bound in unresolved issues, energy that can now be invested in creating a life of your own design. Living by design is what living victoriously is about.

How is relationship coaching different from other types of coaching?

All coaching is about implementing change and inviting more of what we want into our lives. With relationship coaching we are working in the realm of you and another, whether it be your spouse, your business partner, your child, your employees, your boss. The focus is on nurturing connection, authenticity and honesty within ourselves and sharing authentically with others.

Why did you become a relationship coach?

Learning to live in loving relationship with myself and others has been a life long passion. I love to learn and grow. I am also inspired to share what works in service to the well being of others. Over the course of my more than 25 years in practice as a certified coach and a licensed therapist, I noticed most if not all issues my clients deal with have to do with relationship in some form. They may be looking at how they are valuing themselves, if they are going for their dreams and/or finding fulfillment. They may be ready to find an intimate other and wondering how to create a lasting loving relationship. Perhaps they are already in a partnership and either are having challenges or want to deepen in intimacy and love. Then there are relationships with children, parents, coworkers, bosses, and employees. When are we not in relationship? Even when alone, we are in relationship with our self.

If you are like most people, there is at least one relationship that is a bit irritating. As much as we want relationships to be harmonious we often meet with challenges. Relationships trigger us. This is an inevitable part of life. The question is not how to avoid relationship issues, but how to handle the challenges that arise. When issues arise our first reaction is to feel like a victim. Victims are powerless to effect change.

My clients want to move from victim to empowerment. They know that for relationships to thrive they must be nurtured and cared for. They want to learn skills and deal effectively with the challenges they are facing. They are looking for clear direction and practical guidance in navigating the mysterious and often challenging realm of relationship.

I know that circumstances can change and I love assisting my clients in doing what it takes to make a positive, loving difference in their lives. When each of us chooses to invite more love, peace and harmony into our lives, in a very real way we are making a positive difference in the world. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” To be part of the process of peace is a joy for me indeed. I became a relationship coach because it’s a way for me to serve what is most important to me: peace, goodwill, joy and love.

 

What is unique about your coaching practice?

I am a transformational coach. I work with change from the inside out. Love is really the guiding force in my practice. I show my clients how to listen to their heart and follow it’s guidance.

I support my clients in seeing how they are participating in the situation they want to change and in creating positive outcomes. They learn to recognize where they have influence to make a difference. I believe this is an essential understanding. Freedom is discovered when we realize it is not the other person that is the issue, but it is how we are relating to that other inside of ourselves that is the issue.

As in all my work, shifting from Victim to Victorious is key. You have the power to invest your creativity in making a difference in ways that can lead to success. I assist my clients in exploring possibilities: doing more of what works, less of what doesn’t and trying new things. Learning new behaviors and taking leveraged action is key to success in any domain of life, including relationships.

Many believe that if your partner, boss, child, doesn’t actively engage in the change process there is no hope for the relationship. Yet there is research, and I personally have witnessed, that this is not at all true. We may not have control over another, but we have influence. In my coaching practice, I have seen that when one person changes the way they engage the relationship changes. Learning how to do this skillfully and from love is the key to a joyful life, and the unique perspective motivating my coaching.

 

Who is your ideal client?

I am interested in working with people who are willing and ready to invest in making a positive difference in their life. My clients come to coaching ready to change and are willing to invest in doing what it takes to support what they want in happening. The choice to hire me is often motivated by the realization that they are stuck in repetitive patterns invariably creating the same miserable results. They want to learn from their mistakes and are therefore open to guidance and mentoring.

My ideal client is any person who is willing to say, “YES”, to taking responsibility for their own joy, who is willing to stop blaming life, people, jobs, bosses for the situation they are in and instead is willing to look to themselves to do something different; someone who is ready to turn Victim into Victorious.

When is it time for a person to start seeing a relationship coach?

Any time they want support to move to the next level of their relationship. That could be now! Relationship issues arise over the course of a life. We may be married to a great partner for us, yet life happens. We mature, our values change, what we want shifts, children are born, parents grow older. How do we negotiate changes as they happen in a relationship? Many people want support in navigating through tough times.

Work has its own set of relationship challenges. Coworkers come and go. Bosses change. Job responsibilities shift. The only thing constant in life is change. Yet whether the challenges are at work or at home, relationships are always in flux. Therefore, we are required to change in order to meet the challenges before us.

For example, I work with one particular couple every two weeks. They started working with me when they began to get serious, even before they were engaged. She had been married before and wanted support in creating a successful, lasting, loving marriage. They use our sessions as a time to get current with each other, learn new skills, and come to a place of deeper connection. I appreciate the clear intention this couple has, now married for two years, to do what it takes to learn to live together in love, honesty and connection.

If you are struggling, the loving and wise thing to do is to ask for help. Find a coach to assist you in learning skills so you can move forward in life. Learning and growth support health and a deeper sense of well being and fulfillment in life. Making new choices and experimenting with creative action is the key to success. If what you are doing isn’t working, try something different. Why suffer when there is ample help available for the asking?

Remember, relationships can be very powerful and can trigger deep issues, issues that seem unrelated to the circumstances. It is important to hire a competent person to be with you on your transformative journey. If you are interested in exploring the possibility of relationship coaching please call, 312-409-0686, or email, leslie@living-bydesign.com. For more information about my coaching practice please visit my website: http://www.living-bydesign.com

ABOUT LESLIE KAREN SANN, MA, LCPC

An innovative and inspired counselor, educator and coach for more than 25 years, Leslie uses her gifts to awaken possibility, authenticity and joy. She has been helping people just like you resolve problems and achieve happiness since 1986. Board Certified Professional Counselor and Certified Coach, Leslie gently helps individuals, couples and groups resolve personal problems, manage stress and achieve happiness. She is available to meet with you either in person in her Chicago or Geneva office, or by phone or video conferencing.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

I have included resources on the topics of Loving Self, Loving Others, Learning and Empowerment taken from my Living by Design Tips newsletter archives here: http://www.lesliesann.com/LivingByDesign/CoachMatch.html

Additionally, I invite you to sign up for the biweekly Living by Design Tips as a way to support your process of empowerment. Along with receiving the biweekly eZine, you will also have access to the Insider Guide to Creating the Life you Want eBook. Go to: http://www.lesliesann.com/LivingByDesign/JoinOurList.html and sign up now.

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About Coaching Coach Interviews Health Coaching Life Coaching

Health Coaching and Eating For Well-Being

Meet Caspar Poyck, with whom I have eaten with.  He is an amazing man with a passion for well-being and balanced eating.

What is your definition of a health coach?

A health coach inspires and motivates the healthiest and happiest YOU to the foreground.  By sharing insights, experience and education and exploring what your goals for health, balance and happiness are, a coach gives you tools and keeps you motivated to stay on-track to fulfilling these goals.

Why did you become a health coach?

I have always had a fascination with the connection between the body and the mind. In 2003, I changed my life-style from being a stressed-out network television producer to enjoying my life as a holistic therapist in Ojai.  While studying clinical hypnotherapy, I chose to work as a whole food, organic chef for some of California’s most prominent yoga retreats and self-development groups.  During this time, I noticed the profound connections between our emotional and mental attitudes and the way our body functions.  This led me to researching biological mechanisms and how they relate to stress, perception etc.  I love helping people release their daily worries, (re)discover the value of a good meal shared and nourishing the body, mind and soul with healthy food.

What is unique about your coaching practice?

Consciously Culinary is the first coaching modality that uses the inherent neurological connection between eating and psychological well-being.  We work on stress management, anxiety relief, attention deficit problems, allergy management, weight-loss etc. Methods range from cooking as art therapy to walking sessions for exercise, breath and cognitive work to EFT and hypnotherapy for stress release and retraining improved behaviors and conditioning.

Who is your ideal client?

My clients range from foundations like The Joyful Heart Foundation (abuse survivors) and The Foundation for Living Beauty (breast cancer survivors) to people on my 3-day retreats to share eating, cooking and wellness experiences to those looking to manage anxiety, food intolerance and weight.

When is it time for a person to start working with a health coach?

As soon as we become aware there is room to improve the way we eat, when we eat and what we eat. When the day comes we decide we want to get more satisfaction out of our time with friends and family.When we are ready to let go of stress, anxiety, tension or worries. The day has come to call a coach and live a lighter and happier life!

About Caspar Poyck:

Caspar Poyck is a whole foods, organic chef with a catering company in Ojai, CA called Consciously Culinary.

He is also a certified hypnotherapist and uses this to uncover and heal sub-conscious patterns and assessments around self-image, emotional eating, mindless eating etc.  Even WHY we feel drawn to certain foods often has a fascinating story to tell!

Combining the two; Caspar teaches 3-day cooking, eating and yoga retreats, is a keynote speaker and takes on private clients and helps them in their home-kitchen, renewing the relationship to food. This is done in a combination of coaching, walking therapy and cooking classes to effectively implement the changes.  Caspar believes in food, nutrition and making time for the “real-things” in life. We need to Eat, Drink, Breathe and Sleep to survive……let’s do them well !

All this said, it is important to enjoy, have fun and appreciate.

The Consciously Culinary motto is: Be Healthy and Celebrate the Way You Eat; Without Dogma or Hang-ups.

Categories
About Coaching Coach Interviews Life Coaching

Action Oriented Life Coaching

Meet Dr. Sharon Tucker, life coach and licensed psychologist. In this interview, you’ll learn about how she helps her clients move through their fears, develop new skills and achieve their goals.

How would you define life coaching?

Life coaching is less concerned with healing old wounds and more focused on what to do now. The emphasis is on the client’s present and future life. A coach will help clients move through the challenges that are interfering with their life in the moment by breaking down their goals into practical, do-able steps without being overly concerned with the past. Issues from the past may come up in coaching and they will be addressed. Coaching sessions are primarily action-oriented and help clients develop the skills and tools necessary

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for creating forward movement.

Why did you become a life coach?

I am a licensed psychologist in California and one question I was repeatedly asked is “Now that I understand why I behave the way I do what can I do to change?” I wanted to be able to take my clients through the next step and that is implementing everything they have come to understand into their everyday life. Coaching has allowed me to do that because it is about developing skills and tools that will support the life they want to live now. The first question I ask is “Where do you want your life to go?” and off we go. My clients love this because they don’t feel they are just continuing to spin their wheels with the same information. The sessions revolve around “where are you today and where do you want to be tomorrow?”

Tell us about your coaching practice?
My focus, when I coach clients, is to look at how fear impacts their life and how fear motivates their choices. As they begin to look at fear as a friend rather than foe they start to realize how much control they really do have over their lives. A client decides what they want coaching on and that becomes our starting point. My job is to provide additional support as they move into the next chapter of their life. That means I will help them brainstorm, get clarity, explore how fear is showing up, and all of the different opportunities and possibilities that exist in this moment. I go wherever the client needs me to go. Nobody has to create their life all by themselves.

Who is your ideal client?
I don’t have one. If someone comes to me and is still upset about their past I may suggest some therapy before we move into coaching. Since I am also a licensed psychologist, I can do therapy before we switch over to coaching.

What client issues do you prefer to work with?
I work with all issues because I am looking at how fear is showing up and impacting a client’s life. I guess my specialty is fear and since fear impacts most of our lives I am able to coach most issues.

Where did you do your training?
I am a program candidate in the Fearless Living Life Coaching Program. I am anticipating becoming certified within the next month. It was developed by Rhonda Britten who was the life coach on the show Starting Over. She has written many books about fear, and a book that I use when I begin coaching clients is Fearless Living. It has been a rigorous training. I started the training in June of 2009 and I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Much of my training was also about being coached and I love that. I didn’t learn how to be a therapist by reading a book and taking a test. I learned by undergoing my own therapy. The same is true for me with coaching. I learned how to coach by being coached. I love this work because I have seen, in myself and others, a profound change in our lives. The one thing I learned is that in our mind making different choices seems so much harder and scarier than they are in reality.

About Sharon Tucker

I have been a practicing psychotherapist for 10 years in the Greater Los Angeles area. I completed my degree while working and raising a family, so I’ve personally experienced relationship problems parenting issues, and just feeling depressed and alone. I’ve also had my share of accomplishments and successes. I know that it is important when you are faced with obstacles that you have a support system, and that’s why I became a Psychotherapist and Certified Life Coach. I am direct in my approach as well as compassionate. It can be hard to see what your options are and to be proactive–when you are focusing on everything that is wrong. You can take control of your own life. Let me show you how.

Categories
About Coaching Coach Interviews Life Coaching

Life Coaching and Psychotherapy

Learn about life coach George Lough, how he became a life coach and his unique approach of combining life coaching and psychotherapy in helping his clients achieve their goals and improve their lives.

What is your definition of a life coach?

A life coach is a guide who gives you direct advice about your life. Perhaps the best way to understand life coaching is to contrast it with traditional psychotherapy. In psychotherapy the therapist allows the client to proceed at their own pace, typically using active listening to encourage clients to explore their feelings. But a life coach directs the client by helping them establish goals, identify and

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overcome the obstacles to these goals by setting up a disciplined program and monitoring the client’s progress. While a therapist is primarily helping you heal from past traumas and deal with psychological symptoms, a life coach is assuming you are psychologically healthy enough to make progress towards your life goals by utilizing the coaching.

Why did you become a life coach?

After many years of personal therapy I still had problems to overcome and I sought out a life coach for a change from supportive and reflective traditional therapy to a less gentle, more direct approach that works well for certain people at certain times. When I came to this coach I didn’t realize what an angry man I was, on the verge of irrevocable bitterness, my wife and daughter tired of my arguing and negativity; my relationship with my parents still fraught with trouble; unhappy in my career and lacking friends. It is a mistake to think that your friends and/or family members will necessarily tell you the bald-faced truth about they feel about you and your behavior in your relationship with them and in your life in general. They often have too much to lose by confronting you and risking your getting angry. And sometimes we don’t listen to those closest to us, feeling they have their own agendas and that’s why they are “criticizing” us. But a life coach is in an objective position and it is his/her job to tell you the truth, even if it offends you or makes you angry. Since we can be blind to our faults, there are times, more often than we’d like to admit perhaps, when it is essential to have someone tell us the truth about ourselves. The coach I chose immediately and strongly challenged me: when I said I loved my wife, he said, “Well you’re not acting like you do.” Along with his confrontation he made suggestions, even gave dictates about what I needed to do to change and as a result my life transformed. This personal experience convinced me of the value of life coaching and I incorporated it into my counseling practice. This is not to discount traditional supportive psychotherapy in any way because it was my previous personal therapy experiences that helped prepare me for the more direct confrontation of coaching.

What is unique about your coaching practice?

I’ve been a traditional therapist for 32 years and in the last 7 years I’ve incorporated life coaching into my practice. I use a blend of therapy and coaching, especially when the client needs to address issues from their developmental history that are keeping them stuck. Sometimes deeper emotional issues underlie our inability to formulate, work toward and reach our goals. I’ve been trained to work with people who’ve had developmental and shock trauma and I find that at times we need to work through traumatic issues as a way to remove the blocks that are preventing progress towards goals. Once these issues are addressed and resolved, then our energies can be freed up so we can reach our goals. When a client does not have significant unresolved personal issues from the past then we will work directly on outlining a strategy, staying on track and completing the goals they want to accomplish.

Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client is a person who has the ability and willingness to seriously consider whatever his/her coach suggests as ways to help him/her evolve. For example, at one point early in my experience being coached, my coach suggested that I do ten gigs of stand-up comedy at a nightclub’s “open-mic” hour. Well I don’t even like to stay up late and the whole idea seemed frightening. But I gathered myself and my few jokes together and did it. It turned out to be an amazing experience. I didn’t become George Lopez (I remained Doctor George!), but learned that I could get some laughs and more importantly, that I actually had the self-confidence to get up there and try, something I had not known about myself; and that lack of self-knowledge had negatively affected my professional life (something the coach perceived from our first session). So the ideal client has to have some courage and ability to be psychologically honest and act on the coaching, even when it seems contrary to common sense, trusting the coach’s judgment about what he/she needs to do to move forward.

When is it time for a person to start seeing a life coach?

At any time in your life you can always benefit from the input of a good life coach. You may have some specific problem you want to work on or you may have a vague sense that you could do more with your life than you are presently doing. If you have goals you’ve been trying to attain but have procrastinated or not had the motivation to

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accomplish them, a life coach may be able to help you.

About George Lough

George Lough, a cancer-survivor who still surfs, has been a licensed psychologist and university lecturer for 35 years and is co-author of the book What Men Are Like. He has extensive training and experience as a life coach. He lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Cheryl Purdue, who is also a psychotherapist. They have a daughter who is about to graduate from college and they recently adopted a puppy to help them fill the empty nest.