Guest Blog Post by Hanna DeMaster, owner of Exploring Authenticity
Each time I start working with a new client, one of the first questions I ask is how much they know about the role of a life coach. The responses are varied but mostly come down to a person who helps the client set and achieve their goals. That’s accurate in a general way, but there are so many different forms of coaching: business coaching, health coaching, relationship coaching, leadership coaching, financial coaching, etc.
A life coach is basically a partner who is committed to helping people develop their vision and implement their goals. Life coaches help clients take conscious control, empower themselves and learn to design their lives in a more purposeful way. The foundations of holistic life coaching are: wholeness, empowerment, interdependence and self-mastery.
“Holistic life coaching, specifically, is a powerful form of coaching that takes into account every aspect of a person’s life – body, mind and spirit – in relation to the whole. It can help a person access their full potential, activate their spiritual power and make transformational life changes. A holistic life coach is a person who is on the path (in process) to soulfully creating a magical, balanced and fulfilling life, who partners with others to do the same. The coach takes joy in the client’s uniqueness, listens closely to help them explore their greatest joy and excitement, and motivates them to make their dreams a reality by enhancing the client’s abilities to access and use their key strengths and purpose to intentionally design their lives.” (Philip and Jane Mountrose, Getting Thru)
It’s important to distinguish between therapy, consulting and coaching, as the process and end goals of each are distinctly different.
A therapist focuses on healing pain, dysfunction and conflict. They work to help resolve past challenges that impact emotional functioning. Therapists are there to diagnose, advise, inquire and listen.
A consultant is hired for specialized advice. They are hired to solve the client’s problem and are most often related to issues of process. Their role is to diagnose, advise and direct.
A life coach is focused on the client’s desired outcome, process and agenda. It is a client-driven process which fosters empowerment and self-innovation. The role of the coach is to listen actively, inquire deeply, collaborate and support the client’s thinking, feeling and actions.
When a client (you!) and I agree to work together, we start out by examining the client’s level of satisfaction in each area of their life. Then we identify your core values and you select one or more areas of your life that you want to focus on. We examine how your core values align with how you’re living out the areas of life you’ve chosen to address. We’ll take time to explore the things that bring joy and meaning to your life and how those can lead to a greater sense of overall purpose. Once all of this has been defined, my role as your coach is to support you in beginning to flesh out your vision and goals and start taking actionable steps towards creating fulfilling and lasting transformation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR— HANNA DEMASTER
Hanna DeMaster is the founder and owner of Exploring Authenticity, LLC. Besides one-on-one coaching, she also offers group afternoon and weekend retreats for overwhelmed women hoping to make space for quiet, reflection and community. She’s also a bilingual GED/English Language instructor at the McMinnville campus of Chemeketa Community College.