Life coaching 101

by Batya D. Wininger, MSW, MA, KAP

Have you set goals in your life but have trouble accomplishing them? Do you get confused as to which steps to take to reach success? Are you up against a repeat pattern that gets in your way as you work toward your dreams?

Do you feel alone building your life? Misunderstood? Feeling overwhelmed by how far away or large your goals appear?

A life coach may be just the ticket to your success!

In a nutshell, life coaching is a cross between the objective approach of talk therapy and the personal touch of your friends and relatives. Life coaches tell you the truth, provide honest feedback and aligns with your goals, visions and dreams.

You make the agenda: we help you follow it. A life coach facilitates your process of defining your goals, helps set your plan to reach them, encourages you, works with you to determine your strengths and how best to apply them, helps you build and enroll a support team and provides accountability and acknowledgement.

A life coach does not work with you to break through or heal deep emotional issues. Life coaches do not have the training or experience to do this work, but often refer you to psychotherapists or psychiatrists if needed. Some life coaches are also LCSW (licensed clinical social workers) or Ph.D. psychologists, and these life coaches might also address deep emotional issues in their practices.

Life coaches can have a general approach; others excel in different areas. Life coach, creativity coach, business coach - what's the difference?  How do you know which to choose for your particular needs?

First, define the areas of your life in which you would like help and support. For instance, if you have trouble in relationships, you might choose a relationship coach.

A creativity coach focuses with you on your creative process. While a creativity coach might have some expertise in a particular form of artistic endeavor, such as short story writing, music, or dance, most creativity coaches work in a more general fashion on productivity, working through stage fright or creative blocks, and balancing artistic efforts with daily life. They usually refer you to other professionals for specific skill development, such as voice lessons, computer assisted architectural design skills or yoga classes for improved flexibility in dance.

Business coaches are trained in helping you define your entrepreneurial vision, develop business plans, work on proper sequencing, build a business team or board of directors, obtain financing and set up staff. They might also help an already established business inspire their staff, reinvigorate their business vision, increase productivity, streamline processes or review marketing. Most business coaches are not trained to work with you on personal or creativity goals outside the business arena.

If you have further questions, or aren’t sure which coach is best for your needs, you can contact me or any other life coach; we're all happy to explain our work.
Wininger is the owner of UPositive Creativity & Life Coaching and can be reached a

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