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An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.

Arnold Glasgow

What is coaching?

How does it work
why would you want it?


Life coaching a still relatively new and many people don't know what it's all about so this page is designed to be a sort of beginner's guide. You might also want to look at the life coaching FAQ.

What Is Coaching?

Coaching is a CBT - a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - talking therapy, aimed at increasing human happiness.

Through conversation, clients are helped to understand why they find themselves in their current situation and then to find strategies, motivations and focus to design and move towards new, better situations.

Different life coaches work in different ways, but pure life coaching is not mystical, it's down-to-earth. It's primarily cognitive - in that it's main tool is the client's own thinking mind. But it is also informed by the un-conscious and emotional components of the human psyche. It is a "cognitive behavioural therapy" (CBT).

Life coaching differs from counseling in that it is primarily focused on the present and the future. It may be necessary to look back to find the route causes of some unhelpful thinking patterns, and then untie some knots, but then we come back to the "where are we now?" and the "where do we want to go?".

Who is Life Coaching for?

You! It's for anyone who wants to improve some aspect of their life. You might want a new job or career, or promotion in the one you have. You might want to write your novel, or find your perfect partner, or find new self confidence, or get rid of a destructive habit. You might want to get more balance between your working or private lives. Maybe you want to start your own business, or find the focus necessary to pass important exams. You might just be unhappy without knowing why.

Whatever you want to change, coaching can probably help, with just a couple of notable exceptions. If you have a mental illness or a hard drug problem, then coaching is probably not the best option for you - you're more likely to get the help you need from a therapist specifically qualified in those specialisms.

How does Life Coaching Work?

Most is done by phone (or internet telephony), in sessions running for between 30 minutes to an hour. Sessions usually happen weekly, but they can run less frequently. Clients may have just one session, or they may work with their life coach for many months. Every case is unique, but as a rule of thumb, major change happens between session 4 and session 8.

What you pay varies widely - my menu of services and prices is here.

So what happens in the session? Well, again, every case is unique. Exactly what we do depend on the client, the issue being worked on, and where we are in the process, but here are some things which are almost always true:

  • The sessions are relaxed, friendly, fun and positive experiences
  • The sessions are completely confidential
  • Clients remain in charge at all times - you can set any boundaries you need
  • Life coaches do not tell clients what to do
  • Professional life coaches have a raft of techniques available to them. Through listening in special ways and by asking careful questions, coaches encourage clients to find understanding in their lives, and the answers they need
  • Many coaches, including me, also use a branch of psychology called NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). This provides a range of tools to help clients change their behaviour and the underlying thinking which drives it. For example, anchoring helps you to call up useful mental states (like confident happiness) easily. Re-framing allows you to take a situation you cannot change and see it in a radically different way.

You can explore this extensive website to find a great deal of information. There are many free life coaching resources, too, including some videos.

But perhaps, the fastest and easiest way to learn first-hand what life coaching is about, and to see how it can help you personally, is to contact me to arrange a 20-minute initial consultation for just £10.


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