I’ve been a coach since 2006 and a counselor since 2012, so I’ve spent a significant amount of time learning about building my private practice. There’s a marketing term – ideal customer avatar – that’s intended to focus counselors and coaches as we craft copy for our websites. It basically teaches us to write as if we’re speaking to one specific person with one issue. We’re supposed to join a conversation you’re having in your own head as you wrestle with whatever you’re facing.
I’m more of a generalist than those marketing gurus want me to be. Instead of plunging into one arena with a deep dive, I work with people from many angles. Here’s a small sample of people I’ve worked with:
- A professional lost in a meaningless job. She’s tempted to leave her job just to create space to think and find her way, figure out what lights her up. “This is not me, but I don’t know what is. I know my job doesn’t define me, but people keep asking me what I do for a living. I hate that question!” But if she quits, does that torch her resume? She’s already taken the usual career assessments, so how does she now find direction? I’ll tell you how: by getting grounded in who she is at her core, recognizing the static of her fear and steering around it, and releasing her pent-up creativity to move towards what she really wants in her life. (I work quite a bit on professional direction, so if you’re seeking support around your career, you can learn more here.)
- A single man yearning for a relationship, turning to online porn instead. How do you talk about something like online porn use? “I don’t like who I am. I tell myself I’ll stop and for a while I do, but then I go back to it. What’s wrong with me?” Nothing. Nothing’s wrong except that he didn’t know how to deal with his emotions – he didn’t even know what they were. He needed to learn about himself and create structure for himself so that he could turn towards new behaviors and explore romantic relationships with people he wanted to be with.
- A father wrestling with his teenage son’s rebellion. He wanted to connect with his son, but he couldn’t face who his son was becoming. “He’s not who I wanted him to be.” There’s grief in that journey – releasing the child you thought you would have to greet the one who is front of you. There’s also quite a bit of anger, and underneath that anger, we found hurt. Why couldn’t his son follow the path that he had painstakingly outlined? Wasn’t it good enough? The biggest emotion we faced together was his fear. Would his son be safe? How could he survive if his son wasn’t okay? Together, that father and I uncovered his emotions, faced them, and created structures for him to use to manage them.
- A mother of two toddlers, trying to stay afloat as her world radically shifts. Who is she now that she’s responsible for these two beings? “I’m barely functioning at a minimal level. I just need some sleep!” How does she find herself amidst the heaps of laundry, the litter of toys, the mound of dishes? What’s the new landscape of her marriage? If she takes time for herself, does that mean she’s taking it away from her family? Don’t those cookies look appealing lying there next to her exercise DVD – which will she chose?
If you don’t see yourself here in these descriptions, that’s okay. These descriptions are amalgamations of people I’ve worked with, so it’s difficult to capture energy and voice from a blurred image.
Plus, there’s an energy to the clients who skyrocket when working with me. It’s really not about the topic they bring to our sessions, it’s about an almost ethereal leaning forward, a readiness to move towards what they want to create in their lives, a doneness with the chapter of their lives that they’re in.
I’d like to hear about why you’re seeking a coach and/or a counselor right now, about what you want to shed and about the vision (even if it’s in soft focus) of what you want to create in your life.
It may be helpful for you to know who I don’t work with. I’m not a great choice for
- People who need help getting diagnosed
- People who want support in learning about medication options
- People who are in acute crisis, particularly those with suicide ideation
You’ll be better served with someone who has more clinical experience than I do if your struggles fall into any of these categories.
If you’re seeking someone to help you cut through the white noise of your life and get the root of why you’re spinning, let’s talk. Call me at 970.215.6003, or set up a time on my calendar for a free phone consultation.