TOP 3 TIPS TO FINDING THE RIGHT LIFE COACH/THERAPIST for YOU
Once you have successfully unveiled the truth from all myths surrounding personal coaching and therapy it will lead you to the quintessential question of how do I find the right life coach/therapist for me?
In this final part of the series I share important tips about picking a life coach, should you ever find yourself in need of one. Guess what; entering “find life coach” into your google search window results in about 124,000,000 results. There are a lot of coaches and therapists out there, but finding the right one for you is what makes all the difference.
Here are my top 3 tips on finding a life coach/therapist just right for you.
Research – Ask friends, family and use the web
Asking people you trust for recommendations is a great place to start. This could be a friend, family member, colleague or other health professionals. If someone you trust can make a referral, this can act as a pre-screening process. If you have a friend or family member who is a life coach or therapist, they would also be a good person to ask. If none of your friends or family are able to help then shop online. When shopping for life coaches look for individuals who are not selling themselves but rather seem to be trying to tell you about their work and their philosophy of working with clients.
Reach out – Make a connection
See if the life coach you are interested in offers a free (phone/in person) consultation. This provides an opportunity for you to ask questions and get a general “feel” of the therapist. During this time you can ask important questions about their coaching interventions and treatment philosophy, how they have worked to help others and how they feel they can help you, or any other important questions you may have. Whether over the phone or in person; when you finish you may wish to assess howcomfortable you felt, if you felt the coach was sincere, and if you feel you could be honest without feeling judged or criticized.
Here are some questions that you may ask:
· What is their training? Where did they go to school? Do they hold a current license to practice? Credentials aren’t everything but when asking this; you just want to make sure that their license is in good standing and their school/training accredited, not a one day workshop.
· What is their specialty? What is their experience? There are many different schools of thought in coaching and therapy and each practitioner approaches challenges differently based on their training and theoretical orientation. For example, Time Line Therapy® (TLT®) is treatment at an unconscious level and allows a client to surrender negative emotions linked to past experiences and transform their internal programming. While NLP is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy which believes all learning, behavior and change is unconscious. There are many different ways to approach the same issue, and while you may have no idea specifically what style you want or need, make sure that what the coach/therapist is proposing is something that sounds aligned to your personality and needs.
If you are seeing a life coach for a particular issue or goal, look for coaches who have experience in that or similar areas. Share a little about your presenting issue and see how the s/he responds. Experienced coaches explain how they can help, are able to give you a basic “road map,” to their approach and an indication of how you will know when sessions/therapy is finished.
- If at the end of the consultation you choose to go ahead find out their fee structure and discuss if you need sliding scale or if you are planning on using insurance. If you like everything about them but their professional fees are too high for you, tell them that. Often times, they work out an installment plan or a pay as you go payment structure.
Relationship before resume – Notice how you feel
Don’t be overly focused on finding someone with a long list of accomplishments. Just because a coach/therapist has written several books or has a busy public speaking schedule, it doesn’t mean that they are the right fit for you. Research has found that the most effective ones build strong therapeutic relationships with their clients and have highly developed interpersonal skills including warmth, acceptance, empathy and the ability to accurately identify how a client is feeling. So give more weight to how you feel in the room with the coach/therapist, rather than their mantle of certificates and awards.
In conclusion; finding a life coach and/or therapist should not be a rushed decision. It should take a little bit of time and effort. By remaining open, honest, and willing to receive help, the process andoutcomes can be very productive, beneficial as well as frequently life altering. As Milton Erickson would say; “A Therapist is like the weather; they provide a climate for change.”