The way I work is tailored to your particular needs, so I will work differently with each client. In the first session I will get an overview of what you want from coaching and the kinds of issues you need to address. Then I will usually speak with you fortnightly, either in person or on the phone. On the whole I prefer to meet in person if that is possible, as meeting face to face gives me the most information about you, but if this is not feasible we can talk via phone or Skype. I have a therapy room upstairs or a studio in the garden, we can meet wherever suits you best. If you want to do mandala drawing as part of the work I have plenty of art materials – you can use pastels, paint or coloured pencils. Or if you would prefer to meet in a café that is also possible, there are plenty in Chapel Allerton.
I have done extensive research around self help, relationships, creativity and spirituality. I will sometimes recommend a book for you to read, as it can save a lot of time and effort, and give you the specific help and insight you may need for your particular circumstances. I have plenty of books and am happy to lend them out. In each session we will look at what you want to accomplish by the next session, and clarify the particular intentions you have and the goals you may want to set. The main pitfall is being too ambitious in your goals and having too many at once, so I will pay careful attention to pacing so that you experience success and satisfaction rather than overwhelm.
My aim is to accurately diagnose what is holding you back, either physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, and offer appropriate ways forward. Research has shown that the most rapid change happens when we improve our physical fitness first, so I will always ask you about that and encourage you to make changes if that is what you need. With the right food and exercise you will have more energy and better mental alertness. My aim as a coach is to enable you to move up a gear in all areas of your life.
I will take notes during the session and email you afterwards with a summary of what we have discussed, so that you have a record and are clear about the things you have agreed to do or to look at. We will start the next session looking at how you have got on, what worked and what didn’t, and how you may need to adjust your goals. If you have not managed to do what you set out to do, it doesn’t matter. It is just more information we can use. Coaching is about encouragement and support, and I promise you won’t get told off! I am here to help you find processes that work for you in improving your life. There is a lot of trial and error involved, so it is important to give it time and experiment with different ways of doing things.
On another level, as we work deeper issues may come to light about why you are finding it difficult to feel satisfied about certain areas in your life, or why you keep getting derailed in the same way repeatedly. My experience as a psychotherapist will help me to understand why this is happening, and help you clarify what to do to sort it out. If I think therapy would be more suitable for you than coaching, I will refer you to someone else – although I still work as a therapist it is important to keep the two functions separate so if I start with you as a coach, that is what we will do. But coaching can work with the deeper issues as well, and provide a lot of containment and support. We can look together on what holds you back and how you can overcome negative habits, fear and procrastination.