How I Coach
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Q & A
Option Process®
Contact Me
Suggested Reading
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Susan W. Abrams, M.Ed.
Master Certified Coach
EFT Practitioner

Questions & Answers

If you have a question that is not answered here, please send me an email note and I'll respond by email. susan@susanabrams.net You are also welcome to call me at (413) 229-3644.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a powerful, collaborative relationship between a coach and a willing individual which enables, through a process of discovery, goal setting, and strategic actions, the realization of extraordinary results. Coaching is also a body of knowledge, a technology, and a style of relating that focuses on the development of human potential. Coaching is interdevelopmental in that the collaboration develops both the coach and the individual being coached.

Simply put, coaching is an ongoing partnership that is 100% focused on YOU and how to create more of what you want and less of what you don't want.

How is coaching different from consulting? From therapy?

Coaching is rather like consulting. However, the coach stays with the client to help implement the new skills, changes and goals, to make sure that they really happen.

Coaching is not therapy. Coaches do not diagnose. Coaching is not a process for deep analysis of the past nor for healing mental health concerns such as chronic depression, psychosis, or addictions. Though discussions of a client's past may be used in a coaching session to reveal insights and understanding, they are not the prevailing focus of the coaching relationship. Coaching has a stronger focus on action, change, development, and goals than traditional therapy. Coaching uses a defined process to move through an in-depth understanding of a client's history and progress to solving problems and meeting goals.

A bicycle analogy is often used to explain the differences between coaching, consulting and therapy. A consultant would help the client understand the different types of bicycles and their characteristics, and assist in selecting the right model for the client's needs.

A therapist would help the client overcome a problem with bicycles by examining their past experiences with bicycles, how they feel about them now, and what causes their concerns or problems with bicycles.

A coach would encourage the client to ride the bicycle and would ride alongside, offering encouragement, tips, and support while challenging the client to ride further or faster or have more fun.

Is coaching a new thing?

The field as we know it started in the early 1980s. Coach U, the largest coach training organization in the world, was founded in 1992 by Thomas Leonard. Leonard is also credited with first using the term "coaching" in a non-athletic sense.

In 1999, there were an estimated 20,000 part-time and full-time coaches worldwide. The number of people entering the emerging field of personal and business coaching doubled in each of the previous three years.

Individuals and corporations are hiring coaches at an unprecedented pace to be their combination mentor, taskmaster, motivational speaker, management consultant, and sounding board.

Coaching has been the subject of articles in Newsweek, Business Week, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, Money, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Nation's Business, Fast Company, New Age Journal, Industry Week, Management Review, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Bloomberg Personal, Newsday, and the Utne Reader. Coaches have also featured on "Oprah!" and CNN's "Impact".

The International Personnel Management Association reported a study in which training alone was compared to training combined with coaching. Training by itself increased productivity by 22.4% while training plus coaching increased productivity by 88%. (Public Personnel Management, Winter 97, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p. 461)

Who hires a coach?

Anyone who wants a more successful, satisfying, and fulfilling life. I have worked with client from 10 to 86 years old, with people who are broke and have tremendous credit card debt to the independently wealthy. Lifestyles and spiritual beliefs span the full range. Occupations are equally diverse - students, parents/homemakers, small business owners, professionals, employees large or small corporations, and retirees. My clients call me from their homes or place of work throughout the U.S. from Alaska to New York as well as Mexico, England, Germany, and Australia.

Susan, what is your basic philosophy of coaching?

I believe that

  • Life is a wondrous gift. Each life is unique and worthy of full expression.
  • People have their own answers when given a chance to hear them. Coaching provides an environment to bring out the client's wisdom and clarity.
  • We each have to power to create a life of satisfaction and fulfillment.
  • Self-defeating beliefs are knowable and changeable. The process of change and accomplishment can be energizing and fun.

Can I hire a coach just for a short-term project or goal?

Yes. You are welcome to hire me for a specific, short-term intention or for occasional support through a challenging situation. I'm happy that many of my "short-term" clients are so pleased with their results in addressing a specific issue that they go on to use coaching to help them pursue a problem-free, fully satisfying life in all areas.

Is coaching only for people with unhappy, messed-up lives?

No. Though coaching is beneficial in resolving problems and in the pursuit of happiness, many people hire coaches for spiritual coaching, to enhance their personal evolution, to clarify take action on the legacy they would like to leave, to create reserves in such areas as money, time, space, love, and friendship, or to pursue their ideal life and a life fully lived.

No. Coaching certainly used to address problems, blocks to progress, and unhappiness. But, people who feel good about their lives also hire a coach to focus on spiritual growth; enhancing their personal evolution; clarifying and taking action on the legacy they would like to leave; going beyond "enough" to create reserves of money, time, space, love, and friendship; or to pursue their ideal life.

A person may not need a coach, but still find it tremendously beneficial to work with a coach to address such questions as:

  • Are you doing what you most enjoy?
  • Is there a sense of ease, satisfaction, fulfillment, and balance
    in your life?
  • Are you practicing self-care?
  • Is there anything you are tolerating? Is there an energy drain
    in your life?
  • Are you financially independent or on a path towards financial independence in the foreseeable future?
  • Do you have what you most want?
  • Do you have a sense of purpose and direction?
  • Who are you? What are the roles you have in life? And what gives them meaning?

Often people are caught up in the business of life and don't stop to reflect on such questions. Sometimes people do not realize that they could expect more for their lives. As your coach, I assist with this process.

How long must I commit to our coaching relationship?

To ensure sound results, I recommend that clients commit to a minimum of three months. However, you may terminate the coaching relationship at any point.

Most clients have averaged either a six-month or one- to two-year continuous commitment to our coaching partnership.


©Copyright 2000 - 2017, Susan W. Abrams