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:
Charles 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.