Surprisingly, I get this question a LOT.
The short answer is "no - working with me will not change a person's personality".
The longer answer is yes, coaching will change you, but not in the way you may think.
You see, the process I use is designed to awaken you to your deeper potential and get the ball rolling on creating a life that you love to live.
It's about redefining how you see yourself and giving you the tools to express your authentic self more freely.And it's about changing your experience from one of brokeness to one of strength and healing.
So will that change you? Absolutely!
But what it's really doing is allowing you to find You and be You without all the fears and worries that may be stopping you from being, doing and having everything you want.
In other words..... Who you are will always be the same, but your ability to express and live your life as You may be suffering which means the coaching process is designed to breakthrough the layers that are preventing you from BEING your authentic Self.
Which means Coaching doesn't change you; it allows you to BE you.
Unlike traditional cognitive behavioural therapy, which focuses on the Why of your problem, my transformational coaching programs focus on How you are creating the problem so we can release you from it. Because of the depth of the tools that I use, results can often be achieved in as little as 3-6 months, depending on the complexity of the original problem.
Traditional therapy is wonderful and helps a lot of people, and it has some limitations. While it is wonderful to stop you from driving off the cliff of your issues, it fails to teach you how to turn your car around and drive away which means the best you can hope for is a life looking out over the cliff you want to avoid. Not very much fun.
Transformational Coaching is all about giving you the tangible tools you need to learn how to take control of your car, do a three-point turn and drive away. This opens up immense possibility and puts you back in the driver seat of your life. And isn't that what we all want?
Traditional therapy vs. Empowerment CoachingTherapy assumes people are broken and attempts to "fix" them. Coaching knowns you are whole and supports you on your life journey.
Therapy deals with the past. Coaching deals with the present and the future.
Therapy asks WHY. Coaching asks HOW.
In therapy the therapist has the answer. In Coaching you have the answer.
In therapy the progress can be slow and painful. In Coaching growth and progress generally are rapid and enjoyable.
Empowerment Coaching is about generating the life you want and removing the old emotions and limiting beliefs that are holding you back. People come to coaching because they crave inner growth and change.
Empowerment Coaching is based upon the belief that you are whole and complete, resourceful and creative. As your coach, I am your partner and provide you with support, insight, tools and strategies to help you to access your own inner wisdom.
Empowerment Coaching is a forward-moving and action-oriented process designed to assist you in recognizing what is holding you back so you can move beyond it.
If you are looking to bring more balance, clarity and fulfilment to your life or are frustrated with other therapeutic modalities that make you feel broken and unfixable, Empowerment Coaching is for you.
I had a very interesting conversation the other day and I wanted to share it with you.
I was talking with a very good friend of mine and he was adamant that doing emotional work cannot help depression or anxiety because "depression and anxiety is the result of a biochemical deficiency" which means medication is the only thing that will provide long-term help.
I remember when I was in deep pain and I sought help from my doctor for my anxiety and he explained to me that, much like a diabetic, people with depression and anxiety just don't have enough serotonin and taking an anti-depressant simply helped to rebalance the brain.
Which is true.
But here's the thing....
Emotions are biochemical messengers that are transmitted via neurotransmitters and hormones, right? So emotions change our biochemistry, right?
Which means that repressing anger (or any of our emotions) regularly will cause a specific shift in the brain biochemistry which we will then experience as depression or anxiety.
But - and this is important! - while depression does involve changes in biochemistry it is not the cause - it is the symptom.
Working on the emotional level allows you to heal the biochemistry imbalance from the inside out and so achieve real healing (versus symptomatic management).
Is this making sense?
And let me say this: better medicated than dead. Seriously. Medications 100% saved my life.
And, I no longer need them.
So if depression and anxiety are just the result of a chemical imbalance - explain me. Explain how after 13 years of fistfuls of drugs and cognitive therapy and hospitalizations I have been medication free for close to 7 years.
You see, here's the thing: antidepressants are great because they stop you from driving off the cliff of your life. And that's a really, really important thing.
And once you've brought the car to a stop you need to learn how to turn your car around and drive away.
Because there is a whole world out there that is not the cliff and you can rewrite your story any time you want to.
The other day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across this post:
"Depression is REAL. People can smile all day & still be broken inside!".
And I have a real problem with this...
First of all, no one is broken. I know it doesn't feel that way and, heck, I even had a doctor tell me I was broken so I get why it's so easy to believe this. But I'm here to tell you it's bullshit. Straight up, you've-been-lied-to bullshit.
Second, the fact that we have to still assert that depression is real makes me sad because it means that there are still people out there that think that having a bad day and suffering from depression are the same thing. That depression and anxiety are things that can be "snapped out of" and that if you can just figure out why and get more information you would surely see how much better life is without it.
So let's talk about this for a moment.
Depression IS real and it has absolutely nothing to do with someone's intelligence or ability to recognize all the reasons why they are suffering. This is one of the pitfalls of traditional cognitive behavioural therapy which believes that if you spend enough time exploring the WHY of it all, eventually you will have no choice but to change your mind and therefore heal.
The problem is that after 13 years of traditional therapy and 4 years of studying and obtaining my BA in psychology I could tell you all the reasons WHY I felt so shitty but I still had no idea HOW to make the changes.
I remember telling my psychologist at the time that my head knew exactly what she was talking about, but I didn't know how to make my heart believe it.
And therein lies the problem with traditional talk therapy.
You see, at the end of the day Why is a useless question to ask because all it does is satisfy our curiosity while providing absolute no clues as to How to start making changes.
But here's the cool thing: you can begin to work on the How without ever knowing the Why and find the healing you have been searching for.
When was the last time you got mad?
No really. I want you to stop. Take a moment and really think about it.
When was the last time you got angry? And I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill mild irritation or frustration that we all allow ourselves to feel on a regular basis. I’m talking blood rushing, heart pounding, good ‘ol fashioned PISSED OFF?
Do you remember? Can you?
In fact, I want you to try to remember an actual time when you were pissed off. Can you do that? If so, I want you to think back to that time and… what do you notice? What were you hearing, seeing and feeling? Where in your body does that sensation of anger happen? Point to it. Seriously – I want you to go ahead and point at that part of your body.
And say hello to your Anger.
Maybe this exercise was easy for you. Maybe you found it a bit challenging to actually recall a recent time when you were angry.
Maybe you are so good at being a Giver that you never really get mad -- ever! You may even proud of that fact and believe yourself to be really easy-going. Laid back. Cool as a cucumber.
Or maybe you are afraid of your anger. Maybe, growing up, you were taught that anger was wrong or made you a bad person and should never be expressed.
Maybe you were even told Anger was dangerous.
That's what I was taught.
Growing up in, I was taught that love meant never being angry, always giving the benefit of the doubt and being willing to give in to keep the peace no matter what the personal cost.
The idea of getting mad used to scare the hell out of me and I used to do anything – including rationalizing and justifying someone else’s behaviour to my own detriment – just to avoid feeling my own anger.
You see, deep down I didn't really trust myself. And I feared that once that box of anger was opened, like Pandora's box, I would never be able to get it closed again.
But I was wrong.
It turns out Anger is one of the most important emotions you have because it is the signal from your unconscious mind that you are taking on too much. Or giving your Self too little.
Anger is important and yet it is the first emotion we are taught to turn off. And in doing so we do ourselves a great injustice because it leaves us powerless to get our needs met with any amount of regularity or consistency. And so we begin to wither....
This is beginning to make sense for you, isn't it? Good!
Because whatever your current relationship with your Anger, maybe it's time to get better acquainted with this part of You.
Have you ever seen a boxing match?
At the end of each round, when the boxer retreats to their corner, there is always someone there to greet them.
Someone to take care of them between rounds, pump them up and keep their energy and focus on the task at hand.
Every single boxer all had a Coach.
We all need someone in our corner, don't we? Someone to encourage us and tell us to "get back out there" when a round doesn't go as planned. And sure, many of us are blessed with friends and family who are there for us but they have their own lives, right? And the last thing any of us want to do is feel like a burden.
So who does that leave us with? If we want to spare our friends and family the messiness of our emotions - who is there to greet us when we retreat to our corner between rounds?
Having someone who can see your pure potential and can guide you on that path is invaluable.
And let's be honest: how many of us actually have someone in our lives whose sole mission is to encourage us and push us towards a greater path.
Do you have this person in your life?
Your Motivation Strategy is the unconscious process you use to keep yourself moving forward on your path. Which makes it pretty darned important, don't you think?
While many motivation strategies are positive (mantras, vision boards, inspirational photos and quotes), many are not.
Too many women I know motivate themselves through negative feedback. They internally yell at themselves or shame themselves until the guilt pushes them forward. And while this strategy is highly effective in the short term, the long term consequences are extremely damaging and will ultimately lead to procrastination or outright failure.
Think about it: if you had a trainer yelling at you "What the hell is wrong with you, you idiot? Get your disgusting ass to the gym! You lazy pig, stop dragging your feet and just do it!" - how long until you just...stop...listening....
Now, think about what you say to yourself; how you motivate yourself. Are the words you say to yourself empowering and if not - how long until you stop listening and then label yourself as a "lazy procrastinator".