I’ve heard about life coaches recently and thought I would explore the difference between a life coach and counseling- what’s the difference and how does it work?
Well, one area life coach set me straight– it’s nothing like counseling and all about bringing the best of yourself out to make you a happier and healthier person. It’s not to harbor on the bad in your life and learn techniques to deal with those bad thoughts, but steps to take to be the best YOU, to have wonderful relationships, love your job, etc. And who couldn’t use some of that? I know I certainly could.
Susan Lopez of The Life Tailor, is setting out to help people grab a hold of the life that suits them. “Life is a journey, not a destination,” she said.
Lopez, a Beavercreek resident, was a program manager/specialist for the Greene County Family & Children First with the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Family Resource Center working with families living in poverty and the youth. Even though it was a fulfilling career, she realized that she wanted to do more. So, her transition began and she began questioning her life’s path.
In doing so, she discovered the concept of life coaching- which is highly relationship based.
“I fell in love with the philosophy. We can, in society, do so much good if we work from a relationship basis,” she said.
First, she saw a short-fall in the current programs at the Resource Center. Even though, they are very much needed, they were being used as long term solutions instead of short term. She knew she could provide the needed help through life coaching.
“People in need generally don’t feel heard. A life coach does that- allows people to be heard,” she said. “The process of coaching guides people, individually or as a family, to their destination, not one that I set for them – but their own. It’s extremely validating and I love it.”
Many life coaches specialize in certain fields. For instance, you want to get that promotion that you’ve been striving for but don’t know how to get it – you can find a life coach for that. Having a troubling family issue that has gotten out of control- you can find a life coach for that. Anything that ends with a goal, there is a life coach for that.
Lopez specializes in clients with families of teens, teens, and adults in life transitions.
Some of the struggles she deals with are as follows:
- Communication issued between parents and teens
- teens struggling with self-esteem or life’s direction
- young adults/teens struggling with how to move forward
- adults and teens that are unsure of their goals
- understanding how to navigate harsh feelings toward their spouse or others
- dealing with divorce
- premarital issues or premarital classes
- finding the ____ in their life (whatever it is for them)
“Coaches are more like guides and partners in discovery,” she said. “What I believe is the most important aspect of coaches is to put the other person’s agenda as the sole purpose. It’s not about you. It’s not about your success, it’s about their success.”
But, what does it take to be a life coach?
“Unfortunately, the profession is currently unregulated. Legislation has been looked into to regulate the industry,” Lopez said.
Even though there are not any regulations, Lopez has the education and skills to be the best in the area. She has a Bachelor of Social Sciences. Also, after deciding that life coaching was her calling, she became a certified professional coach (CPC), which requires a year training in the field. She also competed a certification course as an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP), which is another realm of coaching. She also holds a certificate to teach Within My Reach, a com munition and relationship based program.
Who does well with coaching technics:
*People willing to be open to taking the steps to adjust life’s routine;
*Someone willing to take time out of their day to speak with a life coach;
*People who are excited about learning their “aha” moments.
One of Lopez’s focuses is working with the youth. She goes into schools and conducts life coaching in the classroom. “Students amaze me. If everyone hears what I hear in the high schools, you would be humbled by their insight and willingness to look introspectively,” she said. “A father stated his daughter came home and talked to him about something they would previously have tried to ignore. She thought he was angry at her, when in fact, he was just busy.”
But, of course, not everyone believes in life coaching and some hesitate to accept the need for change.
One high school student told her that she didn’t believe in coaching. Shortly after, she started college. About a year later, Lopez received a message from her stating, “I can’t believe I’m using this crap and it works.” Sometimes planting a seed in someone’s mind will learn to grow when most needed.
Lopez came across a woman that had been shot by her husband. After the incident, she was restricted to a wheelchair, while raising her children. She was told that she would remain in the chair for the rest of her life. During a coaching session, Lopez told the woman, “there are no mistakes, only opportunity.” The woman became outraged. But, the next session, the woman told Lopez that after her anger settled, she realized that God doesn’t make mistakes. So, the woman began looking for her new life opportunities. Recently, this woman sent pictures of her and some friends having the time of their lives in Vegas.
How does it work?
She doesn’t do coaching as “in office” appointments. She conducts sessions by telephone, Skype, Facebook messaging, in her office, schools or whatever works best for the person or family seeking coaching. Her sessions begin at $35, after a free 20 minute introductory session.
“I’ve always wanted to feel I was making a difference in the world,” Lopez said. “My personal motto is, “Leave people better than you find them.” I’m not perfect, yet it is what drives me to constantly do better.”
To learn more or to contact Susan Lopez, text (937) 760-4431 to receive your free 20 minute coaching call. You can also follow her on Facebook.