Is life coaching just a form of unregulated counseling or psychotherapy?

This is a great question! As a Life Coach myself, I specialize in a very particular type of insecurity experienced in the fetish scene. So many people feel guilty even thinking about being kinky, much less enjoying it, that I found myself pulling total strangers aside in clubs when they started having anxiety attacks. I’ve been there myself, I made the mistake of walking away from the scene, I have a unique perspective now, and I have the ability to both empathize and communicate with others. It became such a regular thing that it became an unexpected, but extremely rewarding business.

That’s what Life Coaching is all about – that unique perspective that you’re not going to get out of either a textbook or a classroom. I never advertised myself as a “doctor” and I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers. But I have walked the walk. Maybe that’s what makes the difference between the “coach” and the “counselor”.

Are life coaches overrated?

At the risk of hearing a net-groan… some are, yes. Some are not. It really depends. The title says it all – a coach is a person who is in the field. They’ve been where you are. A good life coach can offer the perspective needed to help you overcome the challenge you’re facing. Some, like myself, specialize only in a specific type of coaching, so you need to find a good fit.

What are the daily frustrations of a life coach?

That’s a really good question! But it’s a tough one to answer. My biggest frustration is when a client lies.

I’ll make up a silly example, and to be perfectly, 100% clear, this never happened. Nothing like this happened. It is fiction. But let’s say that Bob came to me and said he was ashamed because he became aroused when he saw the color green. He’s very frustrated because he doesn’t know if he should act on it or not, and it’s having a negative impact on his life. As a life coach it’s not my job to discover the origins of the trauma that caused his fixation on green. I’m here to get Bob to a happier place in his life. By the end of our time together our stated objective is for Bob to 1. become more accepting of himself and back down the shame or, 2. become more accepting of green and back down the shame or 3. whatever was behind door #3 which we’d work it out together.

The point is that we’d do some background work, the two of us would settle on a game plan and mutually agree on a goal. As you can see I take the “coach” part of the job seriously. And usually my clients and I would figure out why they were having such a hard time with acceptance and they leave a lot happier.

But every once in a while I’d get someone who would end up even more wound up at the end of our sessions than when we started. And ALWAYS there was only one reason. They hadn’t been completely honest during our initial strategy meeting. I understand why. We were just starting out, we didn’t know each other all that well. But without that initial candor it’s not possible to plan out a successful strategy. They end up frustrated, I end up frustrated, no one gets what they want. So if I may offer a word of advice – if you’re thinking of contacting a life coach, please. Do everyone a favor. BE HONEST. If you’re not comfortable with the person you’ve contacted and don’t feel you can be honest with them, find someone else. There’s lots of us out there! You’ll find a better fit. But you’ve got to be honest or this won’t work.

That’s my only frustration. Otherwise being a life coach is a fantastic job!