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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.

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About Coaching Coach Interviews Life Coaching

Relationship Coaching For Gay Men and Women

Meet Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach, who has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships.

What is your definition of a relationship coach?

When an individual or a couple desires support, guidance, and accountability toward defining and achieving their relationship goals and dreams, they seek out the services of a relationship coach. Together, they partner as a team to collaborate on how they can reach their potential in their dating lives and relationships through defining a vision, developing goals, overcoming barriers, learning new skills, and building their “muscles” to cultivate and ultimately live their ideal, healthy, powerful, fulfilling life and relationship.

How is relationship coaching different than other types of coaching?

As humans, we have a strong need for attachment and bonding. But the divorce statistics indicate a significant disconnect in the ability for many couples to sustain that intimacy over the long haul. Thank goodness for relationship coaching! This form of coaching helps to promote the success of long-term relationships through needed education and support. This specialized type of coaching targets one of the most important aspects of life that can make us feel fulfilled and passionate—love and relationships—and teaches us how to be successful at it!

Why did you become a relationship coach?

As a therapist, I see people every day struggling with relationship issues and see the need for more focus in this area. That being said, as a gay man “coming out” to myself in the 90’s (oh boy am I dating myself!), I felt completely lost with how to navigate the dating waters of the gay community. While relationship material abounds for heterosexual men and women, very few resources exist for the gay community on how to establish and build healthy intimate relationships with each other. So after getting myself in “tip-top” shape and gaining some additional training (in addition to my master’s degree in social work, I also have licensure as a relationship coach and obtained a doctorate degree in human sexuality), I decided to launch my own relationship coaching practice to help fill the void that is present for gay men by offering education and services to meet the unique needs that our community has pertaining to dating, relationships, and sexuality. And it’s been a raging passion of mine ever since to help teach and support the development of fulfilling intimate partnerships among gay men and women. Love what I do!

What is unique about your coaching practice?

One of the contributions that I’ve made that makes me feel proud is having helped to make a “splash”  by putting love coaching on the map specifically for gay men. Helping to pioneer this new field with other professionals has been very rewarding and it’s still quite new and in its infancy. More and more are beginning to join the ranks of gay love coaching and it’s extremely satisfying to help make a difference in the lives of the community that I’m proud to be a part of. My practice offers individual and couples coaching sessions over the telephone on an international basis, I offer various groups and classes throughout the year on various topics related to gay dating, relationships, and sex, and provide workshops and presentations across the country as well. I also offer a free monthly newsletter on my website that’s chock-full of relationship and sex tips. My mission to get the message out about affirmative gay relationships is the driving force that motivates me forward and I’ve been very fortunate to yield media attention and offer my insights and message through print and online media publications.

Who is your ideal client?

I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.

I work predominantly with gay men, but I also partner with motivated people of all sexual orientations and genders to help maximize their success in relationships. Whether they are single or coupled, I love working with enthusiastic clients who are empowered to give their love-lives a boost and who want to collaborate on creating an action plan that will help them reach their goals.

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

At birth! LOL! Our society does not train or prepare us for the work and challenges involved in cultivating and maintaining long-term healthy relationships. We go to school and learn all about the various academics that will help us succeed intellectually and in our careers, but there is very little emphasis, if any, on how to date and relate with significant others. This is where a relationship coach can come in handy! Whether you’re struggling with a real-time relationship issue or just want to learn how to be the most fabulous partner you can be for personal growth and enrichment, relationship coaching can benefit anyone at any stage of development to learn how to succeed in this very critical and important part of life.

About Dr. Brian Rzepczynski

Dr. Brian Rzepczynski holds a doctorate degree in Human Sexuality from  the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s  degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University. He’s also a  Certified Personal Life Coach through The Coach Training Alliance and  a licensed Relationship Coach through the Relationship Coaching  Institute. He launched his private coaching practice, The Gay Love  Coach: Man 4 Man Coaching Services in 2003 and works with gay men,  both singles and couples, on developing skills for improving  fulfillment in their dating lives,relationships, and sexuality. He  publishes a free monthly ezine called “The Man 4 Man Plan” that has  helpful articles, tips, resources, and an advice column relating to  gay relationships and dating. He is also the co-author of the 2005  self-help book “A Guide to Getting It: Purpose & Passion” and is  frequently interviewed for articles in “The Chicago Tribune” and  “MSN.com”. To sign up for your free monthly newsletter filled with  tips and strategies for boosting your love-life, go to  http://www.thegaylovecoach.com.

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For coaches General Life Coaching

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Launches

January 1, 2011 isn’t just the start of a new year – it’s also the start for Oprah Winfrey’s new cable channel OWN. Although running her own network appears to be a new venture for Oprah, the truth is that Oprah has been running something akin to a network for a long time in the form of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Similar to a network that features different shows that share a particular theme, Oprah’s show featured regular segments that crossed into multiple genres while remaining true to an overarching brand and theme.

For Oprah, life coach to the masses, these themes include celebrity role models and self-actualization. Oprah’s lesson to us all seems to be that if you observe and adopt the habits and practices of Oprah and of her celebrity endorsees, you will be able to “be your best self.” This concept, which proved successful for her talk show, is what defines OWN. Many of the shows airing on OWN follow the Oprah formula that calls for celebrities, inspiring stories, and best of all, celebrities with touching tales. Oprah’s special touch is to take those celebrities and stories and spin them in such a way that makes it personal for the viewers.

The biggest problem Oprah faces with OWN is distinguishing it from the competition. Cable channels have had decades to adopt Oprah’s tactics for their own shows. But Oprah has an edge over the rest of them – 25 years of being on air. If she can capitalize on the personal relationship she has with her audience of millions, there’s no reason why OWN shouldn’t be as big as a success as the Oprah Winfrey Show.