Personal / Life Coaching
About this course
Sometimes we need a guide to help us go through some of life’s challenges, and life coaching provides such support and guidance. It could be that you
- have a difficult decision to make
- want to find solutions to a problem that is affecting you
- feel lost and want to re-calibrate yourself
- chart your life to be with purpose and meaning
- or simply want encouragement and support to believe in yourself
Life coaching is a process in which we build a trusting, safe and empowering relational space in which you can explore what is going on for you in your life. Questions of who you are, who you want to become, what you want do and how you can achieve your dreams and goals are explored through this relational process.
Our approach to coaching has a strong foundation in narrative coaching, narrative therapy and narrative inquiry. Which means that we invest in building a safe space to encourage our clients to share their stories. In doing so, we help clients
- understand how they make meaning of their life stories (storying and re-storying)
- and also explore lived experiences that don’t make it into the way they tell their stories (dominant vs. alternative stories).
This opens up the possibility for the client
- to widen and deepen their understanding of how their personal, familial, social and cultural history stories them, and to find spaces to change, choose, own the stories they want to create and be part of towards their own well-being
- and to consider how they can incorporate alternative stories that are in the service of their own growth
What are some of the typical reasons people choose life coaching?
This varies from person to person. Here are some examples or reasons why some of our clients have sought us
- I am not happy with my job, and I want to figure out what I want to do, and what would make me happy
- I am struggling with balancing my personal and professional life
- How do I find meaning and purpose in my life?
- There are big decisions I have to make and many options. I need help to figure out what’s best for me.
- My relationship with my partner (or parents/children/friends/colleague) is really challenging. I want to be happy in it again.
- How do I have relationships that are fulfilling, honest and real and caring?
- I am tired of people taking me for granted. I feel like I do so much for others, but I don’t get the same back.
- Sometimes there is so much I want to say, but I am afraid to speak up. I want to find my voice.
- There has been big life change for me recently. It has been hard to cope. I want to deal with it and get on.
What happens at a session?
The first session is mostly about getting to know each other, and sharing expectations, and setting some key areas for development. After that, each session is generally guided by the goals of development or change, and whatever else is coming up for the client in their personal and professional lives that are relevant to be addressed. In our personal experience, goals and areas for change and development evolve as the client goes through the process of coaching and as our relationship develops and deepens.
How many sessions should I sign up for?
It is up to you. Typically a first time client signs up for up to six (6) sessions at a time. And meet every 4 to 6 weeks. Then they re-contract again as per their needs. We have many clients with whom we have worked with over a long period of time, where they come for a couple of sessions as and when they need to.
Is coaching the same as therapy and counselling?
There is a big debate about it with some conflicting answers. Most coaches and therapists claim it is not the same. One of the big arguments for this is that therapy deals with the past and coaches deal with the future, and that therapy works with the unconscious mind and coaching with the conscious mind. The debate is often to avoid issues with being licensed, as therapists are licensed and coaches are not required to be.
One of the important differences we see in therapy and coaching is that coaches are not trained to diagnose or pathologise problems. However, like in any trusting and intimate relationship, many issues come up for exploration or are surfaced. If we feel that the issues are such that require a mental health practitioner, we will advice the client to seek the help of such a professional. One of the important elements in the first encounter with the client is to help them (and us) assess whether coaching or working with us is the right path for the client. We will always have your best interest at heart.
That all being said, we feel, that most relationships (including our personal relationships with our friends, family and loved ones) where we are acknowledged, held with love and respect, and are able to talk openly, feel supported and feel safe, is often a healing space. However it does not replace the need for professional mental health care should you need it.
Our work around coaching, leadership, communication focuses a lot on how to be build caring and supportive relationships, how to be compassionate and caring to others you are in relationship with and how to create a community that will hold you through life.
What do you mean by a relational space/process?
The quality of the relationship that is built in the coaching process is the foundation on which everything else happens. Mutual respect, and care and trust are important ingredients. It is a place for compassion and not judgement. When we invest in building the relationship, you can be more open and experimental with yourself. We trust that the client eventually knows what is in her/his best interest. Coaches do not force actions on clients, only suggest ones for exploration at times. The client chooses how he/she wants to act in the world. As coaches, we don’t always know more about life than you do. What we bring to the table are years of practice and skills in helping people explore themselves. In the end we are both human beings on a life journey.
We strongly believe that caring relationships are vital for our well-being. As such our work around coaching, leadership, communication focuses a lot on how to be build caring and supportive relationships, how to be compassionate and caring to others you are in relationship with and how to create a community that will hold you through life.
What about confidentiality?
Everything that gets discussed in this space is confidential. We do not divulge nor use the stories and information you share with us to anyone, and if we are required to do so we will do so with your express permission.