Just what it says: the client and I meet one to one. We do this by phone, which eliminates drive and parking time for clients nearer to me, and which allows me to coach clients all over the United States and beyond (I have or have had clients in Hawaii, Canada, Germany, and the UK). The client and I determine the length of the coaching call, but usually it’s between 30 and 40 minutes. We also determine the frequency. At first it’s best to have more frequent calls, and some clients prefer 3 weeks in a row with a week off; many prefer coaching calls every other week, which averages twice a month. Later on we may decide that once a month works just fine, or even just when the client wants or needs a session.
I’m available by Skype as well. I generally do Skype calls without picture because I move around the room when I coach; I coach with my whole body, so I’d often be out of camera range. I am usually open to creative alternatives, but the above generally work out easiest and best for clients and for me.
Almost always at the completion of a session the client and I agree on a homework assignment. I may suggest it, he or she may suggest it, and in any case we tweak it until it makes sense to both of us (but especially to the client). Homework assignments move the coaching on between sessions, reinforce new learnings or new habits and patterns, or serve to challenge old ones in order to learn something deeper. I most often give my clients an “inquiry question” to mull on as well – a very large question with no easy or single answer – again to open up new possibilities.
Group Coaching is the mode of choice for some clients, and it makes coaching more affordable for many clients as well. Prompted by clients, I will offer some general areas for coaching (e.g., time management, transitioning up or down in a work situation, building self-confidence for a new venture, dating again, etc.). When enough people agree to meet around one of those areas, the group and I refine that general area to make it more specific and to make it work optimally for all participants. Generally I won’t embark on a group coaching project unless there are at least 8 participants – enough that the group still feels like a group even if illness takes 2 or 3 individual members out some week.
I coach in various modes in group coaching, but just as much I facilitate the group’s interaction, and the members coach and learn from each other. I cannot praise that learning from each other enough; people are simply brilliant, and in group coaching we ensure that that brilliance comes forth to get picked up. Typically group sessions last longer than individual sessions.
I do relationship coaching especially for couples – straight or gay – but also parent-child and adult sibling-sibling. Relationships are what life is about, and in every relationship there’s an added entity: person 1, person 2, and the relationship itself. We cover whatever needs to be covered, face any pain that’s present, bring in unexpected wisdom, and open up new possibilities.
I especially like to work with folks for whom spirituality is such a mysterious term and with folks who identify as SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious). There are naturalistic and humanistic approaches to and forms of spirituality that are not “woo-woo,” that are very science-oriented and science friendly. At the same time, I do not convert or attempt to convert anyone to my religion or to any religion.
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I work with a fair number of clients whose assets and income do not allow usual coaching fees, so I work with a sliding scale. Ask me about my fee structure and my sliding scale.