Frequently Asked Questions
What is coaching exactly?
Coaching is a relationship of equals, a process of partnering coach and client to help the client move forward in work or life in a way that feels deeply resonant with her values and connected to her sense of purpose. Many of my clients feel like they have “tried everything” including personal development classes, self-help books and talking with friends and just haven’t gotten the traction they were looking for until they made a decision to invest in personal coaching.
A more official definition by the International Coach Federation (ICF) states that coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential…Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
• Discover, clarify and align with what the client wants to achieve
• Encourage client self-discovery
• Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
• Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.”
What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?
Therapy is powerful work and I highly recommend it for clients who are interested in looking back and getting clear on how their patterns got started. It’s also the ideal place to address past or current trauma and other mental health challenges. In coaching, I hold the client as naturally creative, resourceful and whole. I trust she has all of the answers she needs inside of her. Coaching is a partnership of equals. The job of the coach is to listen deeply, ask powerful questions and help the client to unearth her own truths and then make an actionable plan to move forward with them, complete with accountability. A number of my clients have had therapists in addition to coaching.
There’s more great information on the differences here: https://coachfederation.org
Are you just going to throw a bunch of love and light at me and tell me to think positively?
NO. The tendency to minimize the real struggles and challenges of life by throwing sunshine at them (something we call spiritual bypassing) is dangerous and insulting, in my opinion. In coaching with me, you will learn tools to allow you to move through and beyond your challenges, if that’s what you’re longing for. And you’ll be treated with a lot of love, but never minimized.
Who gets the most out of coaching?
People who really want it and are willing to do the work. Clients who get the most from coaching are willing to make space in their lives to focus on themselves and their own growth, to sit with tough questions and hard truths. They are also willing to see and acknowledge their gifts and uniqueness and to take action on their goals, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Did you notice that I just used the word willing three times in one paragraph? Willingness is the key to success with coaching.
What can I expect from you as a coach?
Honesty, warmth, accountability, empathy, challenging questions, deep listening, powerful intuition, a willingness to call you on your bullshit and LOVE.
Also, you can expect zero judgment about you and your choices. Everything we discuss in coaching is completely confidential. I hold that as sacred. You are safe here.
Why did you decide to become a coach?
During a particularly lost and uncertain time in my own life, I hired my own coach to help me figure out how to move forward. That period of time was one of the most transformative chapters of my life. I fell completely in love with the work and have never looked back. I still have my own coach (almost all good coaches do!) so that I can continue growing, learning and showing up completely for my clients.
With all the problems in the world, isn't having a personal coach some self-indulgent navel-gazing?
Healing ourselves is one of the most generous things we can do for our children, our partners and the planet. When we are paralyzed by indecision and caught up in a cloud of “shoulds” based on the expectations (actual or perceived) of other people or our culture, it’s very hard, impossible even, to live our purpose and fully use our gifts.
I believe that healing the world we live in requires all of us – accountants, activists, attorneys, artists and parents – to step up and step in with intention, courage and purpose. Coaching helps make that possible.
Do you only work with women?
Although most of my clients identify as women, I work with heart-centered people of all genders.
How do we meet for coaching appointments?
On the phone! I’m on Pacific Standard Time and have coached clients who live all over the world (furthest away: Zambia). If you live in the Seattle area, I am also happy to meet in person if you prefer.
Is coaching covered by Insurance?
Not currently — but it should be. Employees who feel well-supported are much more likely to stay and to be creative, inspired managers and contributors. A few forward thinking companies do offer reimbursement for coaching as part of their Employee Assistance Programs.
Since many of my clients work for themselves or are currently career changers, I encourage them to write off coaching as a business/job seeking expense as the law allows. I’m happy to provide documentation for services rendered.
I really, really want to work with you but I can’t afford your rates. Do you offer any scholarship spots?
If the only thing holding you back from moving ahead with coaching is finances, let’s talk. I hold a few spots in my practice for clients at a sliding fee rate and a number of affordable group coaching options.
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