Learn More about counselling and life coaching and how it works

What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is a process of working through goals and challenges as defined by you, the client. It is about moving toward a specific goal working through challenges that may impede that process. There is often an educational component as well. In one-on-one sessions we work together, creating solutions to life problems or goals in a peer-like relationship. Coaching is not meant to assess or treat specific mental illnesses/disorders or work through past events*.

While I use many life coaching tools, I primarily used TEAM developed by Dr. David Burns, MD adjunct professor at Stanford University, world renowned psychiatrist, and best selling author. TEAM is a cutting-edge, evidence based method for the treatment of depression, anxiety, troubled relationships, habits/addiction and more. It draws heavily on the techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) adding the warmth of empathy and the powerful effectiveness of agenda setting (making sure you are truly ready for change). This approach focuses on rapid change to bring about the results you desire. TEAM is being used by therapists and life coaches around the world because it has been proven more effective than other models because we use any tool that works. We don't limit ourselves to one favourite formula or specialty.

*While life coaching is not the same as therapy, an amazing healing that can take place when working on the present. Fractal theory states life has infinite patterns broken into small segments, deal with one and change the whole picture.

What Is It Used For?

Life coaching ranges from dealing with general mental health and wellbeing to specific issues.

This combination works especially well for specific problems such as: depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, habits & addictions, procrastination, trauma recovery & PTSD, unmanaged stress, working through painful emotions, as well as for personal growth, health and wellness goals, developing coping skills, and exploring one's life purpose.

Life coaching does not work well with those looking for a traditional therapy model such as: looking at their past in great detail, dream interpretation, those hoping to change their external environment rather than themselves, or those unwilling to put effort into the process.

How does it work?

When we get bogged down with one thing in our life journey it has a ripple effect on the rest of our life. Dealing with that one thing can often unravel the self-defeating beliefs that get us stuck. TEAM works because it combines the best of several disciplines. But besides that philosophical look, there are three more reasons coaching and TEAM-CBT are effective.

First, it provides structure and focus which is vital for recovery and/or goal accomplishment. Often we can’t see the forest for the trees and this approach provides a safe environment to just stop, look, and listen to our inner voice. If we don’t like what that voice is saying, we can provide a way to rewrite your own destiny and self-talk through effective tools.

Secondly, coaching and TEAM-CBT allows for variety while getting specific. Many self-help programs are rigid and don’t provide room for particular challenges you may face. One-on-one coaching/therapy gets right down to the specific needs you have and how to fill those needs with the tools you have in your reach.

Thirdly, it is a team approach, just as the acronym implies. No one has all the answers. I'm not the expert, I'm here to guide you to your own solutions. We work together as a team. But more than that, while we need doctors,researchers, fitness experts, and other health professionals for various purposes, if anyone has the solutions to the problems you face, it’s you! TEAM takes the expertise of the coach/therapist and combines it with the client’s conscience and unconscious skills, desires, and solutions. Did you know you often have the answers you need within yourself? So how do you unlock them? That’s what good coaching/therapy does. Often we can’t see solutions until we process information by having a dialog with someone else that has experience in that area.

Coaching/therapy works because it gives you the focus to make specific goals that are real and attainable, it empowers you to accomplish those goals through education and skill development, all the while helping you work through the challenges that impede the success of goal attainment.

Similarities with counselling

Both counselling and life coaching use many techniques that overlap. Some counsellors work more like coaches, while others use more traditional forms of therapy. Interestingly, how a session looks will vary from life coach to life coach, but it varies even more from therapists to therapist. Both are supportive roles intended to help a client find clarity and move forward. Both coaching and counselling work with a client:

  • on personal growth
  • dealing with life challenges
  • building better relationships
  • dealing with current painful emotions
  • moving past trauma and working through grief
  • work through road blocks to success
  • discovering life purpose or a career path
  • moving on past a loss or unhealthy relationship (after it has already ended)

Differences from counselling

When you search the internet for the difference between coaching and counselling you'll often see it stated, usually by coaches, that counselling focuses on the past and coaching on the future, and other arbitrary lists of differences. But counselling is very much about moving a person forward, and there are many therapists that do little deep diving into ones past, but focus on current issues. It is the role of the relationship and legal matters where coaching and counselling diverge. The biggest difference between them is the relationship of client with the practitioner. Life coaching is a flexible, unregulated relationship best suited to people who are functioning at least at a minimum level. Counselling is best suited for those with several mental disorders or those having difficulty functioning. There are some other regulatory and legal differences that vary from area to area. *NOTE: At this time coaching is not regulated in any country that I am aware of. This page is not legal or medical advice.

How long will it take?

How long will life coaching take? Every individual is unique, so it can take a few or many sessions. Mood problems like depression and anxiety often recover anywhere from a few double sessions to a few months, whereas relationship issues can take several months or more to resolve.

Most of my clients see some improvement in the first few weeks if they do their homework. Homework is about 10 to 20 minutes per day, and you can decide how much to do. The more you do the faster the results.

If you don't see some kind of improvement in at least 3 sessions (not including consultation and intake), I'll give you the fourth session free of charge.

What does it look like?

Each session will consist of getting a base line of where you are at then we'll talk about where you want to be and how to get there.

First, you'll book a free 15 minute online consultation. You'll have the opportunity to tell me briefly what your needs are and ask questions. If we feel it's a good fit, you'll do an intake session. During 90 min intake we will talk in more depth about your current situation and personal history. We work each week to define solutions that work for you until your issue has been resolved to your satisfaction. We meet one last time to do relapse prevention so you have lasting results for years to come. Plus you are always welcome back for a tune up or to work on new goals.

Who Am I?

I am a registered professional counsellor, a certified plant based nutritionist, and a certified life coach. As a certified master life coach I have certificates in several specialties including life purpose, goal success, happiness, health & nutrition, CBT (cognitive behaviour techniques) as well as general life coaching. I also use principles from the book, The Ministry of Healing, and as mentioned before I am certified in TEAM methods.

Want to check it out? Book a free 15 minute session today.

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