Beth A. Leydon, MS, LMFT
LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST
INTEGRAL LIFE COACH
While both processes are individualized and promote change and growth, there are some essential differences. Psychotherapy has to do with healing significant pain, trauma, or addressing prominent symptoms of emotional distress such as depression, anxiety or grief that is impacting one's ability to successfully navigate their life. There may be events in one's history that require healing or "unlearning." Often the focus is on the past, to better understand the underlying cause of the problem. People suffering from this kind of pain need specific interventions designed to provide relief in order to regain balance and normalcy.
Integral coaching addresses the "whole person" while focusing on one area of concern or interest. It is developmental, creative and collaborative in nature. Coaching assumes a level of wellness and capacity for growth. It is appropriate for those who are generally functioning pretty well but seek to enhance their understanding of themselves and deepen their level of personal development. Integral coaching goes beyond mere behavioral change. It aims to enhance our way of being in the world that is self-generating, self-correcting and sustainable.
Once you enroll in program, you will have an initial extensive meeting to explore the topic you want to address, share relevant personal history and evaluate the status of many areas of your life. During a subsequent meeting, your coach will offer a proposal for a developmental plan designed specifically for you. The plan includes a creative way of looking at change, purposes and outcomes and targeted exercised and practices to support the desired results.
At this point (and all through the process) we will collaborate and tweak the plan to fit your current life circumstances and capacity. It is essential that there is good clear communication between the coach and client throughout the engagement. You will have access to the coach via face to face visits, video conferencing, email, texts, or phone calls in what ever combination best serves your needs and schedule. During subsequent conversations, we will continue to assess your progress and amend the program as needed.
There is always an option to renew or lengthen the period of engagement. However, the coaches job is "work herself out of a job," not to foster a dependency, so there will come a time for conclusion.
Resistance to change is really normal! Your program will be designed to challenge you, not to frighten you. You will always have the option to accept, reject or amend any offerings. Once again, honest communication is critical to a successful coaching relationship.
Yes, there are abundant training programs worldwide. I have been certified by New Ventures West© after completing a year long intensive training program in Professional Integral Coaching. I searched for a program that was face to face, rigorous and compelling. As students, my colleagues and I went through the very same process of being coached, so I understand the experience from both sides. As a licensed psychotherapist, I was very impressed with the quality of the training and the expertise of the faculty. I invite you to visit the school's website; newventureswest.com to get a taste of this approach.
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