Positive Psychology Coaching
for the New Year

Why Coaching?

Coaching gives you time and space

Life moves by so quickly, doesn’t it? When was the last time you had the time and space to reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going? A coach can help by reminding you to keep sight of what’s really important to you.

Coaching provides a trained ear for listening and reflecting

Sometimes you just want someone to listen with compassion and without judgement. Sadly, not all coaches or counsellors do this but we commit to providing a safe and supportive environment. We also highlight your strengths and successes to remind you that you are more than just the problems you face.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is Coaching?
  2. What is Positive Psychology?
  3. Is Coaching like Counselling or Therapy?
  4. I have a lot of problems. Does that mean I cannot work with a coach?
  5. What does a coaching session look like?
  6. What are your qualifications?

What is Coaching?

Coaching is exploring. Speaking with a trained coach gives you the time and space to explore different parts of your life. Coaching can help people explore:

  • feelings of boredom or “stuckness” in life e.g. “going through the motions” at work but feeling none of it matters.
  • the next big goal to work towards e.g. after completing and celebrating a goal, some people are curious what they could do next.
  • what’s really important to them in life e.g. instead of feeling they are wasting time handling unimportant matters, they want to disover and focus on what truly matters to them.
  • situations that occur again and again in their life e.g. never standing up for themselves and allowing others to walk all over them.
  • possible ways to overcome a large obstacle in their life e.g. brainstorming ways to handle the challenge of a family member suddenly getting very ill.
  • etc…

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology is an area of scientific research and application focused on well-being, flourishing and optimum human functioning. Some areas that Positive Psychology is concerned with are:

  • The benefits of experiencing positive emotions on a regular basis,
  • Living a more fulfilling life through engaging in meaningful activities,
  • Building stronger, healthier relationships as a buffer against stress,
  • Discovering and living out one’s true values,
  • Encouraging constant learning and growth by pursuing goals,
  • Taking care of one’s physical and mental health.

Is Coaching like Counselling or Therapy?

Coaching, Counselling and Therapy share some similarities:

  • They provide a safe, supportive environment for their client.
  • They using talking as the method to help the client. This requires the coach/counsellor/therapist to have trained listening skills.
  • They prioritize the client’s life and plans in addition to helping them get better.
  • They require a strong, working relationship with the client; it is quite common to refer a client if the coach/counsellor/therapist is not a good fit.

There are, of course, some important differences between them:

  • Coaching does not aim to remedy psychological conditions (e.g. bipolar, schizophrenia). That is the role of Therapy. Coaches may work with individuals who have psychological conditions only after they have been cleared by their doctor. Counsellors, depending on their training, may work with individuals who have psychological conditions.
  • Coaching and Conselling are strongly inquiry-based; they ask questions for their clients to reflect on and explore. Therapy also involves asking questions but at times it may be directive e.g. giving specific instructions for the client to carry out as part of their healing process.
  • Therapy helps individuals who have experienced something so bad that it affects nearly all areas of their life (e.g. post-traumatic stress which makes an individual unable to leave their house). Counselling helps remedy existing problems in a client’s life (e.g. helping them face and overcome abandonment issues). Coaching focuses on helping clients add something important and meaningful to their life — improving their health, strengthening their relationships, writing a book, finding a career that matches their strengths, discovering activities that express their values etc…

    It is normal for a client’s problems and difficult experiences to come up as a natural process of coaching. Coaches are trained to handle it but if the pain is clearly preventing the client from taking action towards their goals then the coach will encourage the client to seek counselling or therapy.

It is important to note that neither profession is better or worse; they all work for the benefit of their clients while focusing on different areas.

I have a lot of problems. Does that mean I cannot work with a coach?

You can still work with a coach even if you haven’t solved all your problems. Coaching is about adding important and meaningful things to your life, something we can all do even while we handle our problems. If we waited to live a meaningful life only after we solved our problems, none of us would start!

Imagine someone breaks their arm. That’s a problem they have to deal with for a while but after a doctor puts in a cast they can carry on with their daily life. Naturally, some tasks will be a little more challenging than usual (e.g. eating) but they don’t have to wait for their arm to fully heal before getting on with their life. Similarly we don’t have to wait to solve all our problems before adding meaning to our lives.

In fact, our problems are often where we can build our strengths; working with a coach can help you see your growing resourcefulness as you handle the problems that come your way. A trained coach will also keep an eye out for bigger problems that may require a counsellor or a therapist.

What does a coaching session look like?

Coaching sessions are usually spaced a week apart with each session lasting between 45 and 60 minutes. At the start, the coach will check-in on how the client is doing and how things have been with the goals they are working on.

The client always sets the agenda for the coaching session. It could be exploring unexpected obstacles that came up as they worked towards their goals, exploring feelings of discomfort that they recently noticed, exploring events that made them feel uneasy or something entirely new and unexpected. The coaching session is whatever the client wants it to be and the coach will flow along with that.

The client will be doing most of the talking during the session. The coach may take notes but they will always be listening to what the client is communicating verbally and non-verbally. At appropriate times the coach may bring up points and perspectives for the client to consider. This helps the client gain a better understanding of themselves, the things they hold important and how it affects the many decisions they make. This process leads the clients to see different changes they would like to make in their life. They are then free to make those changes in any way they see fit.

What are your qualifications?

I also complement my coaching with information, tools and techniques from Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Schema Therapy.

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