About the Author: Kate Olson, CPC, CHt, is a Life Transformation Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner & Reiki Master with a practice in the Seattle area, Northern Lights Life Coaching. She offers workshops & classes, as well as, individual and group life coaching. Her emphasis is on assisting clients in finding path, purpose and peace. She focuses on integration of mind, body and spirit wellness. It is her mission to help clients find joy through connection, creative expression and change facilitation. She is passionate about creativity, travel, the environment, personal growth and living with joyful purpose. She has a second wellness-related business offering Salt Therapy, Salt Works Saltariums. Salt Therapy offers an all natural treatment solution for respiratory and skin problems.
How Does Coaching differ from Counseling or Psychotherapy?
Shifts and changes in life are inevitable. The universe was created to change. Life is a process of constant flux and flow. However, often we become stuck along the way and we are unsure of which way to go next. Before you know it, a loss or death, the birth of a child, a job opportunity or a change in perspective comes along and your resistance to needed changes kicks in. Coaching is the process of defining what areas of your life you feel anchored down to or stuck in and how to take behavioral steps towards change, direction and action.
When you make the decision to make changes in your life it is both motivating and challenging. To committment that you want to create your life instead of reacting to events, is to take a huge step towards happiness. A Life Coach helps you design your future rather than recover from your past. In a structured process, coaching focuses you on achieving change and learning the important lesson, that whatever we put our focus on, defines our experience. Practicing disciplined conscious awareness, clients are urged to notice where they have been habitually putting their energy and learn how to "loosen from the anchor" so change can occur.
Coaching focuses on possibilities to create a compelling vision for your future life based on self-acceptance and responsibility. Rather than focusing on general insight, the past, giving a medical diagnosis or personality change, coaching shows you how to define yourself in the present though the patterns of where you put your energy in thoughts, emotions and behavior. A Coach provides someone for you to be accountable to while you pursue changing these patterns. Unlike therapy, coaching emphasizes changing your performance vs. healing or simply increasing awareness. By motivating you with multiple strategies to foster change and remain consistent in your effort, your coach will be your cheerleader, guide and your support while you adjust your daily behaviors and move toward your goals.
What is Life Coaching? Life Coaching is a solution based approach to guiding a client to find the best resolution in achieving their goals or transitioning from one life stage or status to another. It is meant to be short term and focused on results, rather than processes. There are many different types of coaches who focus on different niche areas, use different caoching systems, strategies and healing modalities and they have different levels of training, certification and personal skills and characteristics.
As a Certified Life Transformation Coach and Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist, Certified NLP (Neuro-lingics Programming) Practitioner and Reiki Master, I am able to use various tools and exercises to help my clients progress more quickly through the cognitive processes needed to achieve change. Neurolinguistics (NLP), Hypnosis and the Ancient Eastern Art of Reiki or Energy Healing are powerful modalities that can be very useful, as well as, traditional cognitive therapy, emotive processes and intuitive guidance. I also use EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique in my practice, which is a combination of accupressure and energy work that has been found to be very healing in the release of trauma, anxiety and pain managemnet. Life coaching is well-suited to helping clients through periods of transition and facilitating the processes that motivate forward movement. It is good for dealing with fears that are blocking progress and hindering functioning.
Phobias can be dealt with more quickly and easily than with cognitive therapy or behavior modification and faster than most people would guess. Coaching with the tools of hypnosis and NLP guides the client to use the power of their own mind to their best advantage and to let go of limiting and unnecessary or dysfunctional behaviors, beliefs or traumas. Bad habits can be eliminated and replaced with good or more functional behaviors. Guiding the client to manage stress, pain and their own thoughts and to better focus on their positive goals, aspirations and dreams is part of the Dreamsculpting process & techniques that can lead to life changing transformation and desired outcomes. Whether you want to find your path, purpose or peace, it can be reached more quickly with the guidance of a life coach. You are definitely more powerful than you know and a coach can help you find that "Unlimited Power" within!
Most people want to feel happiness or joy in their life. That is possible for us all; -- sometimes a little guidance can feel like magic in helping us to get to that place inside of ourselves that will lead to those feelings. Passion, creativity and self-expression are intricate parts of finding that authentic you and the balance and harmony that is optimal in achieving your potential.
Who can benefit from coaching? The answer to that question is anyone who has a need to change or goals and dreams that they are working toward! While it is true that you can probably do whatever you could do with a coach on your own and a coach may tell you or guide you toward things you already know on some level (all the information is out there), you will reach your goal faster and more easily with the help of a good coach and may be more inclined to exceed your expectations. What would the Seahawks be without Pete Carroll? While that question cannot be answered definitively, they would probably be lots of talent and potential lacking some of their current direction and success. There are all kinds of coaches and they are amazing resources and usually individuals that love helping others achieve their goals. I strongly believe in reaching out for help in my own life and have done so when needed. Most recently, I have reached out for help from a speaking coach to help me become a more competent and less fearful speaker. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel every time we face a challenge beyond our current expereince level. Almost every situation we will ever face in life has been successfully dealt with by someone. It only makes sense to reach out when we come to a place in life where we are stuck and don't know where to go. Having as many options as possible can only enhance the odds of succeeding.
How do you find a good coach? What should you look for in a coach? As with any other service professional finding the right match for you personally can make all the difference in your results. It is important to choose carefully and know what to look for. Coaching is a relatively new field and there are many different niches, systems of coaching and credential levels to consider. Before we get to those, the very most important qualification for a Life Coach is probably some expereince with life and dealing with it to reach a level of relative success for themselves. After that, you should look for a coach you feel comfortable with and communicate well with. They should understand and respect your learning and communication style and be able and willing to communicate with you on your level. You should feel trust in them and respected by them. They should be a good listener with active listening skills, who will ask you follow up questions to understand exactly where you are coming from. A good coach should have the following qualiaties:
While having good credentials and training in systems, modalities and different coaching strategies is, of course, important and finding someone with specific expereince in the areas you are seeking help with is definitely important, the qualities the coach possesses as a person and how they match up with you, is probably most important. Don't forget to listen to your intuition and that gut feeling you have, as they are usually right.
The bottom line is that finding the right coach can make a big difference in your life and help you reach and exceed your greatest aspirations. You deserve the the best, so it is definitely worthwhile to find that great coach who will inspire you to be the "best version" of you and reach your highest aspirations.
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This guest blog will feature contributions from experts & other advocates on topics that speak to integration mind, body & spirit wellness.