What is life coaching anyway?

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For years, psychology has focused exclusively on what was wrong with someone and how to make them better. In the late 90s, the Positive Psychology movement was born and psychologists began researching, what is going right with someone and how can we support them to become their best possible self?

Coaching shares similarities with counselling as it is a talk therapy, however, it is more focused on what can be done in the present and the future rather than what has happened in the past. Throughout a normal course of life coaching there may be times when counselling occurs, however the focus is on finding solutions to problems, making changes and taking action.

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The Coach supports and gently challenges the coachee as they discuss questions around a determined focus point or goal. The coach helps the coachee to consider alternatives, uncover roadblocks and nut out a timeline for milestones, goals and celebrations of success.

A range of psychological techniques and questionnaires are used to discover the coachee’s unique profile of strengths, life values and personality traits, which can be used to support the coachee to undertake some valuable self-awareness. As the weeks and months pass by, the coach is there to hold the coachee accountable and support them through the ups and downs.

Goals and milestones often change as self-awareness increases and the steps towards becoming the coachee’s best possible self, begin to take shape. The coach assists the coachee to see their progress, re-define goals and ensure they are on track for success.

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Whilst coaching is most helpful in a face to face setting, telephone and Skype coaching is also widely available. It’s important to find a coach that has a counselling or psychology qualifications and who belongs to a professional body such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF), as the industry is not tightly regulated and many people with no qualifications practice as coaches.

If you or someone you know may be interested in coaching, feel free to get in touch with Jakob from ‘The Mindful Coach’. Jakob holds a degree in coaching from the Australian College of Applied Psychology and is a member of the ICF. Jakob has had experience coaching and counselling adults and adolescents and runs workshops on goal setting and mindfulness practices.

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