Friday, October 27, 2006

Life coaching?

Anyone here ever used a life coach? If so, did you think it was worth the cost? I can't quite afford a coach at this moment, but I'm thinking one might be beneficial in the near future.

Here's my deal: I know life coaches like to differentiate themselves from therapists. But my health plan does have a very affordable short-term (I think 7 visits) therapy option, and I'm wondering if working with a therapist skilled in career issues would be hugely different from consulting with a typical life coach.

If you've considered career issues with both a therapist and a life coach, I'm especially eager to hear from you. And if you're a fan of life coaches and can make a recommendation, please e-mail me at trillwing -at- gmail -dot- com or leave the coach's name and website in the comments.

Many thanks!


Breena Ronan said...

I've never used a life coach, but I do work with my therapist on career/life management issues some. My therapist is a regular lecturer at Big Ag U. so she has some insights into academic life. So we sort of go back and forth between delving into the roots of my neurosis and just talking about how to manage life, strategies for staying organized, etc.

Terminal Degree said...

I worked with a career coach for over a year. In 9 months I had my (formerly stalled) dissertation done and had graduated.

A year later, I had a job.

Yeah, I think they are pretty terrific.

grumpyABDadjunct said...

I used a dissertation coach once. I'm still not finished! Not that it was her fault, but I didn't find it helpful. My therapist, on the other hand, dealt with diss issues as well as all of my other ones and it was helpful; I made a lot of progress the term that I saw him. He helped me to stop being afraid and angry - very liberating!

Anonymous said...

You may be able to find a therapist with coach training. Check the CoachU site for locating someone in your area.
I am a life coach with an MA in psych but I don't take insurance because I don't do therapy. I am not officially licensed to diagnose and treat and I have no desire to be or do it. I find that most people need to take the time to work on their lives instead of just in them. S Nothing like getting married, having a baby, and stepping out of your career to throw you into a
chaotic headspace. Good for you to look for someone to help you get up to speed faster!

Anonymous said...

I too am unable to comment on the life coach thing, but reputable non-profit counseling orgs with sliding scale fees are wonderful resources, and I'm guessing a university town would have at least one. Also, many Jewish service orgs have low-cost counseling available, and are open to non-Jews (and non-prosyletizing!). Some also offer no-interest loans or other financial help for those who have limited resources, in addition to sliding scale fees.

You're right that 7 sessions with Kaiser, or whomever, are not likely to be helpful, especially if you can't come in weekly or bi-weekly. However, if you can find a group like those I mentioned, you can often work something out that's fairly viable over a longer term. And DEFINATELY shop around for the right person. (That's a good thing about these organizations--if you don't like Ms. A, you can go down the hall to someone else.)

Finally, sometimes university or community-based groups will have free or minimal-cost support or other groups that you could be part of, depending on what you wnat to deal with. It might fill in the gap and provide additional personal resources.

As you know, I've spent some time doing this myself and I can't tell you how valuable it was. Worth it at nearly any cost--and you also know that pittance that was my salary.

Gina Hiatt, Ph.D. said...

As a dissertation coach and psychologist myself, I think both can be effective, depending on the issues involved. Consider a dissertation coaching group, which is lower cost and often just as effective or even more effective than individual coaching.