Life Coaching is different than therapy. But I find myself doing it a lot anyway in my practice. Here are my current thoughts about it.
Life coaching as a specific profession is a relative newcomer in today’s counseling market. It’s not really psychotherapy, of the type where deep level change comes from a re-enngagement with one's past, especially as it remains in the subconscious as an inhibitor to a fuller life in the present. Rather it begins with what is, as the engagement point for a deeper and enhanced ongoing life. It’s a type of counseling that is frequently marketed to help people succeed, especially in businesses or personal relationships - more like a consultant or mentor. At this time it’s not a licensed profession, and no uniform professional standards have emerged.
My son Michael (also my webmaster) is a Life Coach and Life Coach Trainer in San Francisco, and keeps feeding me with the lively aspects of it's development. Perhaps in a month or so, I'll be re-writing this section.
I list it here because I find that some of my client relationships come to involve what I will call mentoring. I am now old enough to be considered an elder in our culture. And it is from this sense of history and the cultural heritage that has formed over the generations, that I have inherited a deeper wisdom.
At times I see psychotherapy as a newer model, with a medical model attachment, whereas life coaching is the re-emergence of a more ancient life wisdom.
For purposes of definition, I consider knowledge to be the gathering of facts and information. Wisdom is the ability to use that knowledge for the sake of getting important things done, for the improvement of the self, and for to the betterment of the larger community. The former we can learn in school and from books. The latter we gain basically with age and experience - from Living.
In earlier times, knowledge was not as fragmented into various fields like psychology, sociology, theology, anthropology, biology, and numerous other ‘disciplines’ that study what it means to be human and a part of the natural world. In those times, it was often the story-teller that carried the wisdom of the ages implicit in his or her story-telling - and those stories themselves were many many generations old. My own heritage and development as a story-teller often becomes the tool of both deep change and practical wisdom for clients.
For example, one very useful area of such 'coaching' is my expertise in the nature and secrets of male/female relationships. For some clients who are single or newly single, I can become a 'dating coach.'
In fact, I've been tempted to include an additional section here about my skills as a Relationship Coach.
January 4, 2015