The primary question you may have is this: how does personal life coaching differ from psychotherapy?
Coaching differs from psychotherapy in several important respects because coaching;
1) begins in the reality that you are facing in your life today;
2) is oriented to a specific set of circumstances;
3) is based in action planning;
4) is positive and supportive of the plans we develop together to meet your own unique needs;
5) is not rehashing of your past or seeking the deeper roots of psychological distress;
6) it can be done in conjunction with the work you are doing with your psychotherapist;
7) it is a means of developing expertise in managing your life, just as you would improve your tennis game with a coach.
Some other questions that may occur to you include the following:
Can someone really help me on the telephone or online?
Yes! I have found that working with clients on the telephone provides a unique environment for confidential exchanges in an intimate setting. Relative to an in-office session, the difference, which is positive for many of my clients, is that the telephone allows me a much greater ability to hear nuances in your voice - pauses, sighs, changes in tone, changes in cadence, changes in your energy. I find it easy to read these changes and tune into the personal space of my clients with the telephone. It's a unique relationship and it works very well for many people.
For clients who feel it's useful to have a visual exchange too, Skype and Facetime have the additional advantage of having that contact without the stress of “getting to the appointment” on time. Low stress is really important at every step, so getting together on line is usually very useful and comforting for clients who prefer to see me as we speak.
If you live in the New York area, we can always meet in my office at 200 Park Avenue and sometimes, that's an important along the way. Above all, you determine which method we use for our sessions.
How long does coaching take?
The answer to this question depends on how you view the coaching relationship itself. If you need assistance with one concern it can usually be accomplished in a few weeks. Other clients, and those seeking executive coaching, who wish to transform their style or learn to manage up and down by mastering communication and conflict resolution, will have an ongoing relationship until the goals have been achieved.
You are the only person who can answer this question but I can tell you this; My job is to build, and get you on, the roadmap to the destination you choose. I work fast because I see clearly where problems are and what needs to be done. I will hold you accountable to your choices, and I will remind you of your dreams and goals if you have days when they seem distant or impossible. I am your personal cheerleader, your guide and companion.
How do I know you can do what you say you can do?
Our first conversation is an opportunity for you to gauge my character, my way of being. It is important to see if I am a fit for you. The questions is - are our styles compatible? Are you comfortable with my language, my energy my way of working. Many clients tell me that the only problem they have is wishing they had started this work sooner. Like them, you are the only person who will determine whether this is right for you and whether this is the right time. That's why I suggest a one-on-one conversation in which you you can ask as many questions as you like in order to feel comfortable about your decision to work with me.
How will we know when our work is finished?
Coaching clients usually begin with a commitment of three to six months. After that, many clients choose to continue indefinitely. Some clients stay with their coaches for years, because the relationship develops into one that is supportive across all domains of a person's life. Some clients choose to go to a session every other week after they have reached a certain level of comfort with their progress. After that, others choose to move to a monthly conversation. Still others reserve the right to call as needed for what I call a, "Tune up!!"
I will be here for you as long as you want. You decide when to move on and with the insight and strengths we'll develop together, you will certainly know when and how,