enchantedWhat Is Life Coaching?

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as an ongoing relationship between the professional coach and the client, which guides and assists clients in moving toward the realization of their vision, goals and desires.  Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build awareness and responsibility, providing the client with non-judgmental support, structure and feedback.

Coaching is not consulting, which is more advice-based. It is also not psychotherapy or counseling. Coaching is not focused on resolving older, deeper issues, nor is it diagnosis- or pathology-oriented. Instead, coaching focuses on the present and future and is action-oriented. It is a “co-creative,” collaborative partnership in which the client drives the agenda and the focus of the sessions.  In this powerful alliance, clients find themselves:

  • Doing more than they would on their own.
  • Feeling more confident, in charge and successful.
  • Tuning into and learning to trust their intuitive self.
  • Creating momentum toward desired outcomes.
  • Discovering and acting upon their creative potential and inner resources more fully.
  • Becoming more balanced, content and fulfilled.

What to Expect

Coaching can be in person (if you live near Santa Cruz, California), phone or via video Skype. Confidentiality is assured.  We will begin with a session of 75 to 90 minutes so that together we understand your story and what is important to you as we begin to give shape to what you want to focus on and achieve in coaching.

Appointments after that are an hour 2-3 times a month, depending on your desired momentum and goals. I also provide email support and check-ins. By the end of each session, we will have developed a homework assignment for you to take the next step toward accomplishing your goals. Coaching is typically at least 3 months to a year, though it is not unusual for a client to reach certain goals and continue coaching related to other goals or areas of their lives.

I try to create a safe, uncritical and supportive environment to help you feel open and comfortable as you clarify and prioritize your goals and vision for your life. I want you to come away from each session feeling hopeful, energized and ready to take the next step.

Your commitment to the process is key to your success.  I see coaching as a process and discourage too brief an encounter because I fear that could set you up for failure if possibilities are opened up with no follow-through or support when the road gets bumpy. Understanding and moving through or around or over what is getting in your way, both internally and externally, is as important to change as figuring out what it is you want to do differently in your life.

It is common for clients, too, to develop new ways to think about and deal with problems in the future and develop more empowered and self-loving ways to see themselves.  Thus, I am a guide, a sounding board, a cheerleader, and an accountability partner to help you achieve your goals to enhance your life.

My Philosophy of Coaching

If you are my client…

I will respect and affirm your autonomy, not foster dependency or set myself up as an authority who knows better than you what is right for you. I  don’t believe the answer is “out there” or that we should give over our power to anyone else, believing they have the answers. Our answers are inside of us and rooted in our past, our values, our aspirations and our unique talents and interests. Even the pain and disappointments are an unavoidable alloy in forming and then transforming how we want to be in the world and what we want our lives to be about.

Together we will work to enhance your clarity and confidence in discovering and pursuing your own answers…and the right path for you. We will fine-tune your radar in order to know what you feel and what you want and look at the options in order for you to make good decisions for yourself. I will champion your efforts and bear witness to your successes — small, medium and large. (Big steps typically start with little steps.)

I will strive to understand what drives you and mirror back your authentic self in a nonjudgmental, supportive way.  Growing up, many of us had distorted mirrors showing us who we were, and often still do. It can be a lifelong task constructing a true and accurate mirror for ourselves.

It’s normal to lose sight of the full spectrum of who we are…or expressed another way, to miss the aerial view of our lives as we busily tend to our own individual ant hills. As a coach, I try to bring forth that aerial view so that the expanse of who you are, where you have come from and where you want to go can come into sharper focus.

Insight is necessary, but not sufficient, however. I will help you become more aware of how you may be getting in your own way, and open up options you might not have known were there or were ready to pursue. But you also need to take action. Change won’t happen otherwise. By the end of each session we will figure out what your next step is and what you are going to do differently to reach your goals and manifest your vision. And then, if resistance bubbles up as you take those steps, we will look at that too. Remember,  if this were easy, you probably would have already done it.

I think that the basis of contentment, inner peace and self-acceptance lies in believing we have options, taking responsibility for our actions and our choices — past and present — and feeling like we are in charge of our lives.

If my values and approach to coaching resonate with you, if a bigger dream for your life is stirring and you are ready to go on a journey of self-discovery to explore and manifest that dream…I would love to work with you.