So, when I was getting my coaching certificate the director of the program told me that it is a good idea for me to have a coaching niche. Of course my natural resistance cried out in my head, “What? No!! I want to help everyone! I don’t want to have a narrow focus because then my potential clients will think I can’t help them if they don’t fall into my niche”. Anyway, she encouraged me to try it and I did! My first niche was “new moms”. This was really fun and exciting at first. I did presentations for several groups of new moms and loved listening to their stories and connecting with them. I totally understood their struggles, after all I have been a new mom three times! Anyway, the thing I forgot about being a brand new mom is that when you are in the beginning stages of motherhood you are not ready in many cases to work on yourself. In fact, you might not even have gotten more than 2 hours of sleep and can’t remember when the last time you had a shower or ate a bite of food. Brand new mom’s are in “survival mode”. Just like if you were stranded on a desert island your first thought would not be to call a life but rather would be to figure out how to get some food! So, I expanded my niche to women in transition. So what is a transition? According to Webster, “ a transition is a passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another.” I figured this could mean almost anything. My definition is anyone who is deciding to change something in their life, are in the process of changing or are dealing with the aftermath of a change. Some examples include, going from high school to college, college to what’s after college, getting married, becoming a parent, moving, new job/career, divorce, starting to date again, becoming healthier, dealing with a loss, kids leaving home to go to school, working to retired, etc., etc., etc... I finally got my broad niche that I wanted! Now I don’t have to leave anyone out! So call me if you are not sure if you are in transition. I may just tell you that you are in transition if you are calling me. You are taking steps toward making a change in your life by working with a coach who can help YOU Discover Your Best Self! Now that is a transition to be excited about!
(Note: This blog was edited on 1/29/19)
One of the most common questions I get as a life coach is, “what is the difference between a counselor/psychotherapist and a life coach”? As a former therapist, I feel pretty qualified to answer this question but the truth is, there are a lot of commonalities as well as differences. As I started writing about this, I realized it is not an easy subject to explain. This is one of the reasons I offer a complimentary 30 min. phone session. If you are curious, why not try it yourself? It’s only 30 minutes and will put you on the path to a better and happier you!
Okay, here is my best effort at explaining the similarities. A good therapist and a good life coach are both there to help you. Both are there to focus on you and cater the sessions to your individual needs. They will help you overcome your struggles and help you to become a better version of yourself. Both offer a safe and confidential place to explore problems you are struggling with.
Now on to the differences... I won’t bore you with exact definitions but essentially therapy is a type of treatment which assumes you are having a serious problem that is getting in the way of your daily functioning. Often clients in therapy have a mental illness or severe emotional problems and in most cases have a clinical diagnosis. Life coaching, on the other hand, assumes that you are healthy and whole. Most coaches are not trained in treating past trauma or serious mental disorders. Therapy is there to heal you and get you to a place where you are functioning at baseline on a day to day basis. Therapy typically focuses on the past and may bring up childhood traumas. Coaching, moves away from the past and focuses on the future as well as solutions. As a coaching client, you do not need treatment or to be healed but what you are looking for is to flourish in life. You may feel healed as a result, but a coach assumes you have the internal resources to achieve your goals. According to the International Coaching Federation, “coaching honors the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believes that every client is creative resourceful and whole.” Coaching helps you identify what is blocking you from getting where you want to be. We also hold you accountable and responsible so you can move forward. According to the Institute for Integrative Coach Training, “This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential. My belief and my tagline is that I will help you to “discover your best self”. Coaching does not focus on the past, even though this can come up in sessions, it moves you to where you want to be in the future. My therapy background gives me the tools to know when to refer someone if they indeed need therapy rather than coaching. I am here to help you if you are unsure which is best for you.
There are many other differences and similarities so email me if you have any questions. What’s most important in either discipline is how comfortable you feel opening up to and trusting the person you are working with. As a team, you and I can help YOU Discover Your Best Self!
November 8, 2017
Hello everyone out there in blog world! Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Jennifer Jakobsen and I am a Professional Life Coach. If you aren’t sure what a life coach does I will get to that in a minute. I will also tell you how coaching has changed my life not only as a coach but as a coachee (the person being coached). I used to practice psychotherapy in my past life (before marriage and kids). After having 3 kids, I decided I needed a change. I know that coaching is the career for me because I love helping people figure out their lives and coaching is a really positive/future focused way of doing it. I help people who are feeling stuck, overwhelmed and stressed out find a sense of balance and peacefulness. Coaches do not dig into your past and try and figure out why you are the way you are like a therapist would do. Coaches actually assume that you are healthy and whole and want to help you be a better you. Who doesn’t need that? I have worked with both a personal coach and a business coach myself and both have helped me move forward in my life. My personal coach helps me with my personal issues and my business coach helps me with my business. These two types of coaching tie into each other sometimes. For example, if I am feeling a lack of confidence in my self my business is likely going to suffer and vice versa. Anyway, you get the idea.
One of the biggest issues that I have as a coach in the world of business is that not a lot of people know what a coach is or why they need one. This is one of the reasons I am starting this blog. I want to educate people on this amazing resource called life coaching. I hope you will keep reading my posts because I can tell you over and over that EVERYONE needs a coach but you need to discover this for yourself. My posts will help you understand what coaching is and how seriously NEED this in your life. As your coach you and I will work as a team so you can Discover Your Best Self!!”