HOLISTIC LIFE COACHING
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What is Holistic Life Coaching?
- Holistic life coaching looks at the client as a whole; this includes their spiritual, energetic, emotional, intellectual and physical selves. It works from the premise that all these aspects of ourselves are inter-connected; changing one pattern of behaviour will have a knock-on effect on everything, within our web of causes and effects, actions and inter-actions.
- Holistic life coaches will encourage clients to look at themselves from the inside, first and foremost. This is essential to their journey; discovering and understanding their core values, life purpose, and quest for their true unique identity, is integral to all their subsequent actions and goals. This is essential in order to create coherence, flow, balance and well-being. Looking at an individual's key strengths, the client and coach have an honest and intuitive exploration, in order to design the most meaningful life for the coachee, that represents the magnificence of their identity.
- A holistic life coach views any challenges that the client encounters as positive opportunities for expansion and transformation. They will encourage coaches to understand the energy impact (internal and external) of behaviour and actions, drawing on spiritual resources within themselves and the universal life force (chi, ki, prana energy).
- Like other types of life coaching, it is a very positive process that allows a person to progress from where they are, in the present, to where they wish to be in the future. This is done at a pace that is appropriate to the individual, but will be more dynamic and action-driven than therapy-lead holistic work, which will have a greater emphasis on exploring past patterns and resolving unhelpful behavioural responses. Holistic life coaching can boost the coachee's progress by providing greater focus; encouraging awareness of the choices available from the widest perspectives; support in overcoming challenges; helping with structured goals based on internal learning; supporting realistic timelines and giving positive feedback.
What does the Holistic Life Coach offer?
The holistic life coach typically does not act as a mentor, teacher, therapist, consultant, counsellor, trainer, leader or as "the expert". They are less solution, results and goal driven than other forms of coaching, as they understand that changes and results need to be internally and life-purpose driven, in order for long-term changes to be made.
They work as equal partners, with the innate understanding that clients have the ability to find the answers to their own questions; to manifest the energy to move in the right direction; and to address for themselves the challenges that they meet along the way.
These are the basic premises of what a holistic coach offers:
- Non-judgemental; the coach creates a safe, trusting, non-critical environment that allows the coachee to explore choices and options before making a decision and taking action
- Flexible; the holistic life coach does not work to a rigid game plan, understanding that they need to be flexible, varied in their approach and adaptable as all individuals are unique. Pace of change can vary, challenges come at different times and in different ways.
- Empowering; the coachee needs to be responsible, accountable and in control of their own life enhancing change management choices and actions; this dynamic can be very powerful, if the coachee has disempowered themselves through self-limiting beliefs
- Mutual Respect and Trust; the coach has an unshakeable belief that the coachee has the ability to produce meaningful results, whether in their personal or professional life and always within a safe and supporting environment
- Generous, Committed and Motivational in their praise of the client's successes, however small, great, internal or external these are. This is achieved by a variety of questioning techniques; by staying on a client's journey; by experiencing their joy and excitement; by being part of the process of the coachee realising their dreams and purpose; by being empathetic and using their listening skills and intuitive responses
- Non-Advisory; a life coach will encourage the coachee to explore, discover and find solutions from their own inner reserves, although the coach will share their own experiences, where appropriate
- Action and Results Drive; clear decisions, well thought out outcomes, positive, genuine and measurable goals need to be congruent with the flow, balance and core values recognised in all holistic, spiritual journeys that enhance the quality of someone's life
What does the coachee/client need to bring to the sessions?
Having already worked through any traumas, addictions, deep-rooted negative behavioural patterns (if any), the coachee understands that coaching is a more dynamic, action-driven process that does not focus on working through long-standing emotional issues and problems. Of course, during the coaching process some issues or past responses may occur, but these will be acknowledged and addressed in order to move to the main purpose of life coaching. The coachee/client needs to bring the following to the coaching process:
- Be open-minded, imaginative and positive
- Have self-belief
- Challenge themselves in positive ways
- Be persistent and determined
- Be accountable and take responsibility
- Set goals, honour personal time lines
- Take action
- Honour and respect themselves and their sessions with their coach, establishing mutual trust
- Be honest in exploration and feedback, knowing that they are working in a trusting, safe environment
- Be courageous in defining, identifying, exploring and overcoming challenges and obstacles (internal or external); developing and enhancing actions, decisions and goals
- Giving time and commitment to complete the agreed actions
What can you expect from the Discovery Session and Subsequent Sessions?
Unlike more traditional kinds of life coaching, I do not use lots of forms, work sheets, scored assessments, intake agreements and the completion of standard processes. I place less emphasis on material and financial goals, and help the coachee instead to focus on internal indicators of success. These include greater self-awareness; shifts in thinking that can alter behaviour and reactions in a more positive way; an increase in happier emotional states; improved satisfaction from living one's core values and purpose.
This is not to say that I don't acknowledge important external indicators - these may include feeling less stressed; getting on better with people; working more productively and effectively; achieving agreed goals. However I believe that internal changes drive the external results.
Although the Discovery session (2 hours) with me is more free-form than other more traditional life coaching sessions, it will include the following:
- Exploring where you are at the present moment
- Understanding what has been tried and what hasn't worked (without judgement)
- Exploring obstacles found along the way (without the stigma of seeing it as failure)
- Looking at options in a lateral and 360 degree way
- Setting initial goals that are time realistic and appropriate
The session will include emotional and energy exploration, in order to understand satisfaction or dissatisfaction indices, and which aspects of the coachee's life are working or not working. It acknowledges that we have a spiritual element within us (that is not the same as religious) and that our core values are an integral part of this.
The first session is better carried out face-to-face, although I do accept that for national or international clients this may not be possible.
Subsequent Sessions (1 hour) will always include a recap on the goals set, and an honest appraisal of how well the coachee feels that these have been achieved. This is not a teacher : pupil relationship but a conversation between equals, so there is no judgement made here; the coachee is responsible for the setting of their goals and is accountable for their actions to themselves. If appropriate, more goals will be set in this session. Subsequent sessions acknowledge and recognise that the pace of development is individual and that sometimes, reflecting, understanding and treading water can be just as important as moving forward.
These sessions are flexible so they can be carried out by phone or in person.
Which techniques do I use in my holistic coaching sessions??
There are many methods and techniques that I draw upon, always in a way that is tailored to the individual and their needs. These include:
- Association and Dissociation
- Framing and Reframing
- Meta Programmes
- Taking different Perceptual Positions
- Representational Systems and Sensory Acuity
- Changing States
I will also use techniques that are more spiritual in content. These include: