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Other considerations favouring face-to-face meetings are when coaches and clients prefer to work that way, when there is a focus on demonstrating and rehearsing bodily com- munication, and when clients need personal contact to maintain the relationship — as with some teenage clients, for instance. The other main method of life coaching is by phone contact. For instance, a coach may initially meet face-to-face with a client and then engage in a phone relationship in which the client phones the coach at a fixed time for a fixed period, commonly 30 minutes. For busy clients, this has the advantage of saving them time.

Furthermore, certain clients appreciate the opportunity to talk by phone over current and emerging issues with skilled coaches on an ongoing basis. E-mail messages are also used, though they have the disadvantage of not being as immediate as face-to-face or phone conversations. In time, with advances in communication technology, it is likely that coaching sessions can be held with coaches and clients seeing one another on screens in their separate locations.

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Life coaching can be can be conducted with individuals, couples, groups and in classrooms. This book focuses mainly on working with individuals, though a chapter on working with groups is included. Life coaching is also a self-help or self-coaching process. A major reason why this book focuses on a life-skills approach to coaching is that, ultimately, clients have to become their own coaches if they are to lead their lives soundly. The aim of all good coaching is effective self-coaching. Where possible, clients should be coached in such a way that they understand the skills well enough that they can monitor their performance and, where necessary, make corrections in how they are thinking and communicating.

Life coaching can also take place through reading and working with self- help books and watching self-help videos and CDs. Such self-coaching can take place in conjunction with, or independently of, personal or phone sessions with coaches. Differences between Counselling, Psychotherapy and Life Coaching Before suggesting some differences between counselling or psychotherapy and life coaching, I stress that there are many similarities.

Both counselling and life coaching aim to help clients lead fulfilled lives.

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In addition, they leave the client with the right to choose what sort of life they want to lead. Some counselling approaches, in particular the cognitive and cognitive-behavioural approaches, contain a large coaching element within them. Though they do not emphasize the word skills, approaches like rational emotive behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy aim to teach and coach clients in key mind skills and, to a lesser extent, in communication skills so that they can deal better with the problems for which they came to counselling.

Life coaches can gain much from being familiar with theories of counselling and therapy Corsini and Wedding, ; Nelson-Jones, a. The goals of life coaching are both positive and stated in the positive. There is an assumption of seeking mental wellness rather than overcoming mental illness. Such people require psychotherapy. Coaching clients are not worked with in psychiatric hospitals. Often very competent people seek life coaching; they want to be even more effective in leading their lives.

Essential Skills for Life Coaches | Life Coach Certification Institute

Normal people also seek life coaching to maximize aspects of their potential and get more out of life. Life coaching does this by bringing psychological knowledge to address everyday issues and problems such as relationships, health, career, finances and spiritual concerns, among others. Though there is some overlap, the clients for life coaching differ from those for counselling and therapy.

Clients come for counselling very often because they are suffering and in psychological pain. They want to feel, think and act at a level that they regard as normal for the society of which they are a part. At the very least, they want to stop continually feeling very low. Approximately 10 per cent of the population will need counselling at some stage of their lives.

However, even normal people can feel unfulfilled. Clients seek life coaching to gain ways of or skills for becoming even more successful and happier than they already are. Rather than being motivated by pain, they are motivated by gain. Their problems are often more to do with achieving their positive potential than dealing with negative issues. They may realize that, during their upbringing, they were not systemati- cally trained in many of the skills for leading a successful life. In addition, they may want coaching to face new challenges in their lives. There is a vast potential market for life coaching in the 90 per cent or so of people who do not need counselling. In addition, many who have been counselled may later want life coaching to become even happier and more skilled at living.

There are many broader reasons why there is a need for disciplined life coaching.

With the increase in economic affluence in the Western world, there does not appear to have been a corresponding increase in overall happiness. For example, the divorce rate in countries like Britain, Australia and the USA is about 50 per cent of first marriages, with many also failing at subsequent marriages. In addition, the increased mobility and time spent at work by both sexes has contributed to a breakdown in traditional support systems, such as the extended family and local church.

Arguably, this is a more challenging time in which to live. Not only are the former sources of support in decline, but there is a whole new range of problems with the rapid increase in changes brought about by technological invention. However, there is also a whole new range of opportunities with the increase in psychological knowledge and the pos- sibility of using this knowledge to help not just therapy clients but also the rest of the population to lead happier lives.

Alongside the difference of life coaching goals to those of counselling and therapy, the ways of attaining them also differ. With its main empha- sis on working with non-disturbed people, life coaching is less likely to be conducted with a psychodynamic approach. Mutual goals are established quite quickly in life coaching. If anything, life coaching directly encourages and trains clients in how to deal with and improve their present and their futures, rather than to understand their past.

Already I have mentioned that life coaching may be conducted over the phone as well as in person. With coaching clients in general being less disturbed than counselling clients, coaches need spend less time in helping clients listen to themselves. Though good active listening skills are still vital for effective coaching, and though clients are regarded as the main sources of information regarding how to lead their lives, coaches can be more active in making suggestions about areas that require work and what skills clients need to attain in them. The assumption is that so long as the coach is not overbearing, clients are well enough to discuss issues with coaches rather than automatically agree.

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Though some clients may want to be coached in a person-centred way, many clients are prepared for the coach to take a more active coaching role than that in traditional coun- selling. Once client and coach settle on objectives, they agree on ways to attain them as quickly as possible. While many counsellors work within an educational approach, coaches can often be seen as emphasizing the train- ing of clients in skills even more than in counselling. Thus the coaching relationship is both facilitative and didactic, the exact mixture between the two depending on the needs of the client at any given moment.

Another issue is that of the language of coaching. Some counselling approaches, such as the person-centred approach, have counsellors con- ceptualizing clients in a different language to that in which counselling is conducted. Psychodynamic counsellors also do not fully share their language or their approach with clients. In life coaching, coaches use every- day language to describe and train clients in how to become more effective.

This is a similar attitude to that taken in cognitive-behavioural therapy. However, cognitive-behavioural approaches like rational emotive behav- iour therapy and cognitive therapy tend not to focus on a full range of mind skills, and also tend not to use the word skills. One of the ways coaching can differ from counselling and therapy is that often clients do not mind other people knowing that they are being coached. Many life coaching clients see their coaching as something posi- tive to share with others rather than as a sign of weakness.

Sometimes coaches meet with clients in public places, such as cafes or restaurants. Indeed some coaches ask former and sometimes current clients to recom- mend their services. In the business world, being coached is frequently viewed as a normal activity rather than something unusual or demeaning.

Life Coaching Defined for this Book Life coaching has numerous facets and is conducted in many different ways. The ultimate aim of life coaching is to help clients become skilled at self-coaching. This book is primarily about life coaching for individuals in their personal lives rather than about executive, business or performance coaching.

This chapter discusses the concept of lifeskills that was only briefly mentioned in the Chapter 1. One of the most valuable insights that can come from the psychotherapy literature is the emphasis on thoughts or cognitions that mediate behaviour. In addition to their extensive writing of therapy books, leading cognitive psychotherapists such as Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck have written self-help books Beck, ; Ellis, , However, they have failed to write books directly about how to coach nor- mal people.

This is despite the fact that their work has much to offer coaching. As a coach, it is possible to help a person or client handle a specific situ- ation better. The coaching focuses on getting the person to behave in ways so that they can cope with the situation but has no emphasis on assisting them to retain what they have learned. Nevertheless, if they are successful, they will likely repeat some of their newly coached behaviour to help them cope with future similar situations.

Life coaching goes beyond this form of coaching oriented to a problem sit- uation in some important ways. Life coaching is about coaching people in skills to give them a better chance not only in handling immediate situations but also subsequent situations throughout their lives.

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As such, it does not leave the longer-term outcomes of coaching to chance. Furthermore, life coaching is positive in helping people lead happier and more fulfilled lives by being more skillful in how they live. In life coaching people can be helped to develop skills to fulfill their potential and not just to make up for past depri- vations, which tends to be the main focus of counselling and psycho- therapy.

The following are some examples of people in the early stages of life coaching. What are Lifeskills? Anne, 27, is getting to the stage in her life where she wants to get married. She has had a number of relationships but now wants one with real commitment on both sides.

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She sees Denis, 42, a life coach to help her develop her skills of knowing herself, knowing the sort of person she wants to marry, having the confidence to be her real self as she looks for a mate, and developing the skills of dropping her facade and letting herself be truly known when she finds someone who might be suitable.