Counselling takes place against a background of problems and clients are seen in a clinical context treating symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety that often follow a traumatic or stressful life event. Many individuals are referred to counselling by their doctor or other health professional.
Life coaching as very different, it is about working with the well population enhancing their wellness and for me working in a truly preventive role. Many skills are transferable and I build on skills I use in counselling. It is just as important when looking for a coach as it is a counsellor to make sure you have a professionally qualified practitioner so as to be assured of the extent of confidentiality and that codes of practice are adhered to. I use evidence based therapeutic approaches including solution focussed brief therapy and strategies from cognitive models as well as integrating several of the humanistic counselling models into my practice.
I bring 30 years experience as a health professional. My qualifications including a Masters Degree in Counselling from Leeds University, a teaching certificate as well as a certificate in professional and clinical supervision. I bring from my background in the health services common sense and one foot firmly on the ground.
Life coaching is not about personal training and gym workouts. It is however about taking the next step forward and building on what emotional strengths and ambitions a person already has. It is about finding clients strengths and using them to the full.
It is about building an individual’s confidence and self-esteem enabling them to take a risk outside their comfort zone sometimes in order for those individuals to achieve goals and find their full potential. It is about working in the present and looking towards the future.
Much of my life I’ve been surrounded by solicitors, accountants and bankers I understand them to be talking of and advising on complex company situations, the starting up and developing of business plans and balancing sheets. Yet to me the central skills that will make most difference in a successful new business are the very personal ones.
The commitment, ideas and the creativity can blossom, presentation and interpersonal skills are sometimes undervalued or even overlooked.
I realised that what many clients are valuing in attending for life coaching is the challenge of working with someone independent and external to their business I am not a colleague a family member or friend. I work on an individual’s own plan and together we set achievable goals. The client is the expert. I work in a supportive, encouraging and positive way. I know that if I can develop with my client a strong therapeutic relationship the client can free him or herself and open up the creativity within themselves. We look to possibilities and what we would be doing if we knew we could find success.
Anybody setting up a business needs to look at business planning balance sheets and projected sales and marketing. What I can facilitate and teach are skills of balancing life and work. I build on strengths and the commitment of each individual.
Individuals with senior management positions within large organisations often use coaching, they often find themselves unable to discuss situations and their ideas with junior staff so the space to take breathe and explore then apply their knowledge and ideas against in a wider context is most welcome. Individuals who have attended life coaching find it exciting and rewarding they begin to look forward with optimism and excitement just sharing part of that journey with people is exciting and rewarding to me.
I think I’ve been ahead of my time when twelve years ago when I started developing my independent practice I called it counselling and life skills, this is now known as coaching it was for everyone. One doesn’t need to have a problem to start with. We work on where we are not working on history and where we have been.
If we always do what we’ve always done we get much of the same if we make a changes in the now things begin to change and the future is different.
When I went into nursing more than thirty years ago I realised it was about treating, curing people of their ills so I decided then to train as a health visitor in order to work with a ‘well ‘population and to work in a much more preventive role. I trained in adult teaching and lectured in counselling for several years again in my aim of looking forward. My shift into counselling was to work at a deeper level with individuals and enable.
I now balance my own workload in counselling work by offering professional supervision to other therapists and in developing my coaching practice. I feel I have found a truly futuristic focus and a very good balance for myself. I am really enjoying sharing the dreams and aspirations with others. I feel privileged and excited to have developed for myself such a rewarding career.