What is coaching? What’s the difference between coaching and counseling?

First of all, let me define counseling from the perspective of my own practice. I use the term therapy and counseling interchangeably. Therapy/counseling with me is a process or healing journey that happens in stages and is a product of a team effort between myself and my client. My client and I discover the areas of pain that he or she holds and together we clarify what is the problem. Next, we confront and heal the pain through a variety of powerful therapeutic experiences. This involves a release of the painful energy. We take the information that we gain from this process and make a game plan for growth and a better way of life for the client. We resolve that chunk of healing and what once was an emotional wound now becomes more of an emotional scar – it’s not forgotten, but the pain is resolved and we don’t get triggered or activated around the issue anymore.

My clients are like a tapestry – they come with holes and tears and damage to their fabric, and together we craft a new work of art with texture and color and design, using what were once flaws as our pattern and form. Over time, my client gains beautiful designs in their life tapestry so that what was once a wound or trauma now becomes a part of their beauty, wisdom, strength and skills.

Therapy is the process of defining the problem, or wound, cleaning it up, healing it and stabilizing the client. Coaching is what we do with this healing. During coaching, we identify and clarify the big picture, often finding strengths the client had forgotten or thought that they lost or didn’t trust anymore and also finding new strengths, even hidden gems that they were unknown to them before the discovery process began. Coaching is the process of determining what’s next in a person’s life, setting goals, making a game plan, including lining out the steps to reach those goals. A big part of the coaching process is learning and practicing skills for self-management, self-care and self-love. This includes managing and caring for one’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors.

Why should I consider group counseling or coaching? What’s it like and what are the benefits?

What I love about group counseling and coaching is the meta-benefits each person receives. There is a powerful sense of kinship and belonging that adds a powerful boost to the healing elements a client experiences in individual counseling. A common concern for clients is the fear of someone violating their confidentiality, which is of course can happen but often doesn’t when care is taken to establish a sense of mutual trust and safety within the therapeutic environment from the start. Having designated start and end times and a closed group greatly add to the sense of community, belonging and commitment that each group member experiences. Imagine the feeling of knowing there is a seat for you in a group of treasured friends who are all working towards a common yet personal goal of greater happiness and peace in their lives. Laurie is a highly experienced and skilled group therapist, so she’s talented at building up the safety and trust in the group as well as monitoring and containing confidentiality risks. Feel free to give her a call to discuss this further if you have specific concerns.

How much do counseling and coaching services cost? Can I afford it? Does Lifelong You take my insurance?

Engaging in healing with the support of a counselor or coach is a valuable investment in yourself – in your current and future health – with very big returns on your investment if you actively engage in the process. Lifelong You Counseling and Coaching services cost the same because the nature of the work is equally powerful. Lifelong You Counseling and Coaching Services are a private pay service and we prefer to administrative time in better serving our clients, so we do not bill insurance. However, we are happy to provide clients with documentation that you may submit to your insurance company for an out of network service. Current rates are introductory at a reasonable $75 per hour unit, and will likely increase as demand continues to grow. Some sliding scale pricing is available for certain clients depending upon financial need and commitment to the healing process, so please ask for this if it is a need for you in your current situation.

How long will I need help? How does this work?

Client needs vary widely, as does their healing pace, their ability to engage in the process and do their own “work”, past therapy experiences, etc. Generally speaking, you can expect to be involved in a therapeutic process for at least three months to between six months and a year. However, it’s not uncommon for someone to continue with a good therapist for a year or two beyond that, for maintenance and continued support for their health. Making a good plan with a guess on the time frame is a joint project between the therapist and the client, and this is started at the beginning of the process, during the first session. Feel free to call for a free consultation to discuss the nature of your healing needs with Laurie if you have more specific questions.

What is Lifelong You’s style? Is Lifelong You a good fit for me? Can Laurie help me?

Every person has a different style, and this is also true of therapists. We all have people we like, some we don’t like, and some we are neutral about. Choosing a therapist or coach you feel comfortable with, whom you could trust for guidance and support, is a very important aspect of your healing. Many people find Laurie to be a very kind, personable, relatable healing partner who has equal amounts of wisdom and love for other people. She has a vastly varied professional as well as personal history that she draws upon when helping clients, and many say that it’s her openness in sharing herself that really helps give them courage and inspiration to do their own healing work. Take a look at the About Laurie section for more information about her approach to therapy and her professional background and qualifications, and of course, feel free to ask her specifically about her credentials if you are seeking specific information.