There exists a dynamic relationship between a life coach and their subject (client) during a formal life coaching session. Once the foundations of trust have been set up, and the client, for the most part understands their role in the process, the client will then allow the counsellor to begin the therapeutic process. The special skill that the therapist must have at their disposal is the correct use of language so the clients mind can understand what it should be experiencing. Therefore, it’s not really about what the life coach says, but more about what the clients mind hears. That being said, what the life coach says is not accepted by the client as literal, but more so that the counsellor is suggesting information to be interpreted by the clients mind that make sense to them, and then react/behave accordingly. So therefore, it is the interpretation of what is being said, more than the literal words that dictate how the therapeutic process will proceed.
The key component to getting this process right all starts with trust. The life coach must must seek to create an environment for the client where they can feel safe to be vulnerable. The therapist must demonstrate a fairly decent degree of knowledge, competence, empathy, self-awareness and confidence first, before the client can feel safe to move forward, otherwise the client will always hold the process at arms distance to protect their vulnerability, and therefore, hamper the effectiveness of the process.
From this point onward the client will know what is expected of them and will be prepared to respond accordingly to the suggestions/requests of the counsellor. Along with the proficiencies of the life coach, they must have an understanding what the client wants to achieve during their sessions. In essence it is close to a shared experience between life coach and subject, where both are having some sense of what the presenting issue looks and feels like, and likewise what the solution to this will look and feel like. The real art of such an intervention is to “de-hypnotise” the client from their problem and condition them to be attracted to more positive and/or constructive behaviours and mindsets, because although many problems are experienced in the outward world, it is the inner world story that sits in the psyche that has claimed the attention of the client. Therefore placing them in an almost “trance-like” state where their issue puts a filter on the way they experience the outside world.
To sum it all up, in order to get a better understanding of counselling, we must consider the dynamic relationship between the life coach and the client. We must also pay attention to how the client interprets the suggestions coming from the life coach, the clients goals, expectancy and abilities to create the right internal conditions that are conducive to behaviour change.
Thanks for reading,
Donovan – Life Coach