Frequently Asked Questions About Coaching


What exactly is coaching?

Coaching is based on the idea that you are already “enough.” You have all the power and capability to build the life you want.

So, then what is a coach? A coach is your partner in getting clear on what you want and how to get it. The role of your coach is to ask the important, probing questions that allow you to articulate a focused vision for your life, your career, your relationships, and your goals so you can change and improve your life and be happier and more fulfilled. A coach will help you challenge the internal dialogue that keeps you stuck, make a plan to get moving and stay moving, and be your impartial, unconditional cheerleader, motivator, and sounding board.

Life coaching, career coaching, performance coaching, executive coaching…what kind of coach do I need?

Many coaches specialize in working with particular types of clients and help them do particular types of things. Life coaches are often “generalists,” meaning that they will work with you about all aspects of your life and help you with strategies that will have positive results at work, in your relationships, and all areas of your personal life. Career coaches specialize in helping people figure out their vocational strengths, identify ideal career paths, change jobs or careers, or advance in their chosen careers. Performance coaches and accountability coaches focus on achievement and goal-setting, while executive coaches work specifically with individuals at the management level and above. There are lots of specializations, and depending on what you need the most help with, you can find a coach who is a good match for you. Of course, you’ll find that there are huge areas of overlap between specializations, so it will pay off to do a bit of research and interview a few coaches before committing to working with someone.

Are life coaching and therapy the same thing?

Life coaching is NOT therapy. Coaching and counseling are not the same thing. We won’t be digging up the past and dealing with old skeletons. Instead, we start from where we are and look forward. A life coach does not give advice. Somewhere inside you are the answers to all the questions you have about your life–my role is to put a voice to the questions so you can concentrate on the answers! You decide what we talk about, how deep and personal we go, and how much pushing you want. And just like in any professional coaching relationship, EVERYTHING we discuss is completely confidential.

How long will I be in coaching?

Coaching is tailored to the individual, so there are as many answers as there are people. My clients often see the results they want after about 12 sessions held over 3-4 months. The average coaching relationship lasts 6-12 months, but depending on (a) how motivated you are, and (b) what goals you want to achieve, you may get what you need from the coaching relationship in less time.

Do I need to hire a coach in my city?

No! Almost all of the coaching I do is with clients who live in a different area of the country–or even the world!. At first it may seem like in-person coaching is ideal, but my clients discover almost immediately that they actual prefer sessions over the phone. Phone-based coaching gives you the ability to choose a coach that is a perfect fit for you regardless of where she is located–and “fit” is critical when it comes to selecting a coach. Besides eliminating the unnecessary time and expense of travel to and from sessions, unexpected benefits of phone-based coaching include being able to dress comfortably (pajamas are okay!), squeeze a session in during your lunch hour, take notes any time you want without worrying that you’re interrupting the flow, and get as emotional as you need to without embarrassment or apology.

I don’t live in the U.S. Can I still work with you?

Yes, we can have our appointments via Skype! I always let my clients choose whether they want sessions to be done via phone, Skype, or in person. Because finding the right “fit” is essential when choosing a coach, phone and Skype allow you to pick the very best coach for you by opening up the whole world of coaches to you…literally. Some clients who benefit from coaching via Skype are those working on goals related to non-verbal communication or other issues where seeing one another is crucial to making progress. I also have a great conference call line with free call-in numbers for many countries, which means if you life in London or Dublin or Dubai, you may be able to call a free local number and still talk to me!

I live near Orange County. Are in-person sessions an option for me?

Yes, we can certainly arrange to hold our coaching sessions face to face! Just keep in mind that if you request that I travel to your location, your fees may be slightly higher than for phone- or Skype-based coaching.

What credentials are necessary for becoming a coach?

Coaching is a professional area that does not have just one governing body for certification. In fact, there are more than 200 organizations that provide varying paths to certification. While being certified is an important step in showing a person’s commitment to the coaching profession, it is only one factor that you will want to consider when choosing a coach to work with you.

Are you certified?

Yes. I completed my coach training through Fowler Wainwright International and earned the title of Certified Professional Coach.

Besides coaching certification, what qualifies a person to be a coach?

In addition to my coaching certification, I bring more than 20 years of experience in professional capacities that relied on my ability to ask probing questions and help people get to their essential truths. For example, while working in education, I completed extensive training in using the Socratic method of questioning. While working for a youth crisis shelter and later a suicide hotline, I was trained in crisis management, among other things. As important as trainings like these are, clients are well advised to look at a coach’s total life experience, insight, approach, philosophy, and style when deciding who to work with. The truth is that anyone can call themselves a coach, so it is incumbent upon the coach to help you understand how she can help you. As you interview coaches and gather information, trust your gut as much as you trust your brain. All coaches will WANT to help you, and most CAN help you, so getting the right “fit” and chemistry with your coach will be the difference between an adequate coaching relationship and an excellent one.

How much does coaching cost?

One-on-one coaching is available at various price points. One recent study of US coaches found that they are charging anywhere from $100-350 per session, with some in-demand coaches charging thousands of dollars per hour. If you meet once per week with a certified coach, you can expect to pay between $500 and $800 per month. My average rate is around $600 per month for one-on-one coaching. Group coaching rates are significantly lower because there is little to no one-on-one coaching; however, many people prefer the support and dynamics of a group coaching situation. Please ask me about current programs.

A lot of coaches talk about “life balance.” What does this mean?

A life of balance means different things to different people, and our definition changes as we move through life. What matters is that you feel balanced according to your own definition. A life without balance can feel like you’re being pulled in too many directions. Or you’re excelling in one area while falling short in others. Or burning the candle at both ends, exhausted and overwhelmed, but unsatisfied with the results. When all areas of life are in balance, you are more peaceful and productive. You work smarter, not harder. And you can relax and refuel without guilt, knowing that you are spending your time in ways that are in accordance with what you value most.

What is laser coaching?

Laser coaching is extremely targeted coaching that takes place one-on-one over the course of 1-4 hours. Laser coaching can be very productive for people who are already clear about what they want and need help articulating their goal(s), clarifying the details of their action plan, and overcoming specific obstacles to their progress. You may benefit from a laser coaching session if you are already familiar with how coaching works and if you have had some success in the past with creating goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based).

I still have more questions. What should I do?

Call me! I am more than happy to answer any questions you have. If you think you might be interested in hiring a coach, we can set up a time to have a 30-minute strategy call where you can tell me what you would want to accomplish with the help of a coach, and you can find out more about how I might be able to help. At that point, if we decide we’re a good “fit” for each other, I will recommend a coaching program for you based on the goals you want to reach. There is never any pressure. I’m only happy if I am helping you get happy, and that never includes high-pressure sales pitches. You won’t know if coaching is right for you unless we talk, so I invite you to call or email me today.