Someone who has the skills to help others achieve more than they would on their own. Most coaches specialise in a particular niche and will have the training and expertise necessary to assist the client in achieving their goals in that particular area. A good coach recognises that the best solutions are client-driven. The client will always perform better when those solutions come from his or herself. The coach will rarely tell the client directly what to do.

It depends. In general coaching is pretty focused on achieving some specific outcome that the client has been struggling with. Depending on the nature of the issue, that may take anything from a few weeks to a few months. Some clients however, realise the benefit of having a long-term coach, and may continue the coaching for a year or more, with less frequent sessions. In any case coaching is rarely a one or two session miracle breakthrough. Real change doesn’t happen over night. It requires time, serious commitment and effort on the part of the client.

Currently only by Skype. One important advantage of that which is not so obvious, is that coaches are trained to listen in-between the lines when talking to a client. That listening is more powerful when the conversation is audio only. It allows the coach to completely focus on the voice of the client. A lot of subliminal information can be gained in this way, about the client’s emotions, intentions, and other psychological indicators. All of that can help the coach to intuitively guide the client towards solutions.

For the first few weeks, one session a week. In the beginning it’s important for the coach to get as much information as possible and for the client to dive right in. There’s no point wasting time. The first few weeks is like doing an intensive course. It can be quite tiring and emotionally demanding for the client. So after a few weeks we’ll slow down the pace a little and meet once every two or three weeks. In this way it allows the client to process many of the changes that may be taking place in their life as a result of the coaching. In my experience this pattern of an initial burst of intensive coaching followed by a slower pace produces the best results.

Officially 45 minutes. However, I do allow for continuing up to one hour if it’s necessary.

Essentially coaching is focused on your present situation and how best to go forward. In contrast psychotherapy is mostly (not always) concerned with your past and how it is affecting your present. The basic idea of coaching is that you don’t really need to deal too much with your past issues in order to be able to live a more fulfilling life in the present. At times it can be useful in coaching to understand what happened to you in the past. But if the issues of the past are repeatedly coming up so much that you are getting stuck there, then you should consider complimenting coaching with psychotherapy to deal with those past issues.

In general, yes. As long as you are clear about how coaching works differently from therapy, and that your therapist is informed.

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