Becoming A Life Coach

How Do You Start A Life Coaching Business?

 

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Hey, Lindsey.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Hello, Sasha.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): All right, so we know each other from the Naropa University where we both studied and graduated from with master’s degree in counseling.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yep, that’s what we did.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): And you reached out to me and you asked a few questions about counseling and coaching, and since I get that a lot from my coaching clients, especially when therapists are thinking, “Well, maybe I should be a coach as well.” I think this is information that’s important for others to be able to understand about, because there’s a lot of misconceptions and some … there’s some gap between the counseling world and the coaching world. And I think, honestly, I think that every therapist should also be a coach. And we can talk about why in a moment, but what’s your main goal when reaching out? What’s important for you?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Well, I’ve actually been hearing a lot of people talk about this too, it seems like a lot of therapists are kind of going into coaching almost as like I kind of want to call like a loophole because it’s way more vague in like what you can do as a coach. But also with a therapist background I think there’s a way that you can reach a lot more people as a coach. So that’s kind of where I’ve been going is after I graduated I’ve done a couple therapy jobs, but I have not felt like I wanted to … I don’t know, go through all the bureaucracy of it. And so I kind of had this idea that I could reach a lot more people outside of where I live if I work as a coach.

And so I just recently got someone reached out to me and asked if I could be a coach for him, and I said yes. And so as I was going through with it, and specifically sex and relationship coaching, which I don’t know if is a (good?) field, but I’ve been doing a lot of training in that. And so one reached out who lives in California, and I was like, “Yeah, I would love to do that online.”

And as I was preparing for the session I was thinking that there’s a lot I didn’t know about like what I could do and couldn’t do if I’m calling it coaching. But can I still basically use my therapy skills as a coach if I’m not calling it coaching or not calling it therapy? So that’s why I reached out, because I know you’re doing this.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, that’s wonderful. Actually you mentioned something very important, which is the mindset of anyone who wants to become a coach, which is basically kind of like the Nike’s approach of just do it, right?

What I’m hearing you’re saying is that someone reached out, I said yes, and then right now you’re figuring it all out before your next … your first session, right?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Oh, yeah.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): And I think this is the way to go, because there’s literally no harm that can be done by listening to a person for half an hour or 15 minutes or whatever, whatever it is, right? It’s probably going to be very helpful just for your client just to talk about those things out loud and just the act of sharing is by itself helpful. So yeah, just go and coach and you’ll already learn a lot from it.

Now you’re saying that for you it might be an interesting thought to counsel to get more clients, right? And I totally agree, it’s like you have two different doors … kind of two different kinds of people maybe come in, people who are a little bit more action-oriented go to coaching. People who are a little bit more process, venting or talking without any specific process-oriented go into counseling. And that’s a big exaggeration of course, but the idea of it doesn’t have to look very different – therapy and coaching, right?

Of course, in coaching you wouldn’t necessarily want to process trauma and still keep that mindset of, “Okay, we’re working towards a specific goal.” But in my eyes the really good coaches are actually doing counseling in the office, right? And if you look at recordings of really good coaches, well, that’s exactly what you’ve been taught in grad school. This is exactly it; it’s just more of a marketing thing honestly, right? It’s like if your house has two different doors, right? It’s some people would rather come in through the garden, that’s fine too, but they all find their path into the same place.

Becoming A Life Coach

So what’s a specific thing that would help you to know before your first session?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah, well, it’s actually funny, I was supposed to have a first session already last week before we talked, and then he got sick out of the blue so it’s kind of [unclear 05:33]

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): That happens.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): That does happen. So yeah, I haven’t had the first session yet, but you just mentioned as a coach you wouldn’t want to be processing trauma, but then you said essentially you could be doing counseling as a coach. So I guess that’s my main question is like where’s that line. Because for me, specifically around sex and relationship counseling, there’s a lot of trauma there. And so I’m not totally sure how to work with this person, and really I guess use my skills and tools to help them if I’m … yeah, I guess if trauma comes up then what do you do? Is it like we can’t talk about that or is it like you kind of fold it in like a little bit looser light and kind of say maybe work with a therapist around that, we’ll talk about … Yeah, I don’t know. That’s definitely the question.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): That’s a great question and I think that’s where a lot of the confusion lies, especially with counselors who do have the counseling skills to grow to work on trauma, right? And suddenly they have this new hat of a coach. Well, should I stop myself?

So there are two components that often get mixed up, the first one is kind of the legislation and regulation of especially your state’s counseling association, right? That you have the license or the registration under. And the other one is the skills themselves, because from the client’s perspective no one really cares, they don’t care what training you have, they don’t care if you call yourself a coach or a therapist, they don’t care what kind of an incredible harrowing coaching you use or whatever, right? They only care if you can help them and you can do it in a reasonable length of time, right? Because if you extremely helpful but it takes five years, then are you really being helpful, right?

So clients don’t care, so if you are skillful in what you’re doing, just do whatever you do, and the door is closed, right? If you’re in your office or your video call is with your client, so you do whatever you want, right?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): If you don’t know how to work with trauma you don’t work with trauma, right? And that’s why that’s emphasized in coaching training, because it’s just not being taught, right? So that’s the part of being skillful.

In terms of regulation and legislation, counseling associations like … Do you know what DORA stands for in Colorado?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): What is it, DORA?

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, DORA, what is that? That’s the body that regulates licensing for counseling in Colorado. The big mystery, but probably can be found on the website, but they don’t care about coaches, they don’t care what coaches do.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Right.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): They do care about anyone who calls themselves counselor or a therapist, right? So as a coach you honestly can do what you want, no one is going to tell you, “Hey, you’re doing something wrong.” You just really need to know what you’re doing. Does all that … Does make sense or it make things more complicated?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): No, that totally make sense. That’s kind of what I was feeling already of like I think it … this whole distinction, it really depends more on what you’re calling it rather than what you’re doing. Because if you’re calling it therapy that’s when you go into all the bureaucracy. I don’t want to say that in a negative lens, but there’s the stuff there. And the regulation. But if you’re calling it coaching no one really cares, I don’t think anyone’s going to come after you and say like, “You did therapy in your coaching session.” It’s not like that.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): I guess the thing I was thinking about too was just the format of coaching too, and I asked you about that. Because in working with this person in sex relationship counseling or coaching, I still wanted to get information about like his life and what he’s working with and his past, because that is really present in relationship and sex therapy coaching.

Anyway, so I was struggling with like can I send like a questionnaire, like an intake form essentially. And I ended up doing that, and I think … and I’m happy I did that. But I guess I was just wondering if there’s like a more specific format for coaching, but it seems like there isn’t really.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): So that’s the beauty of coaching, you just build it the way you do, and you can try and see what’s helpful, right? I think there is a reason why intake process which is basically asking questions, for the people who are watching who are coaches maybe don’t know, the process of asking questions either before the full session even and some of them are pretty personal, right? Or during the first session as well. So you have very clear questions that you go one by another.

Some of them include like is there physical abuse in your family, right? Was there any trauma? Because that’s important to know when you go really deep. And that’s important information, and pretty much in every coaching modality, at least the first session, you just ask the person to tell about themselves. Because you do need to have that information.

I think what’s happening in therapy more, in counseling that’s no different than what coaches usually do, is that it’s most structured in therapy. You have already pre-made questions that seem kind of like an assessment that seem to be very helpful and will work with by many counselors before you, right? And in coaching it can be as simple as, “Just tell me about yourself a little bit,” right? “What’s important for me to know?”

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): But you can combine, right? And you can create your own questionnaire. For example, Tony Robbins coaches, what they do they send their own … I forgot the name, but they send a specific assessment, specific to kind of come up with your personality style. Some coaches send a questionnaire before each session, right? “What would you like to focus on? What’s important for you?” Some coaches send a questionnaire after the session. “What’s your biggest takeaway,” right?

And it’s also important for you to know what you actually want to be working with, right? I don’t like paper even when it’s electronic. The less I can deal with that the better, right? I have the contracts, and I do have an intake for counseling, but this is it. Does that make sense? So it’s kind of understanding what you want to be dealing with as well.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah. And that’s what I like about coaching, because I feel like … For me it feels like there’s less pressure in a way of like holding everything. Because with therapists it’s like you are the person that people are going to for the deepest work you can do, and then you have these responsibilities like mandated reporting and like suicide like holding. And just with coaching, of course, I feel responsible for my client’s well-being but it’s also like there’s someone else that could go deeper with them if I don’t really want to do that.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, exactly.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Or if I don’t want to have all that responsibility. But also I feel like in coaching too since it’s more broad, I also feel less pressure in like that strictly professional relationship. Like, of course, it is still very professional, but the therapist-client relationship is very specific of like very client-focused, very like it’s all about … and you can have self disclosure. But I feel like with coaching it’s more like your cheerleading and you can be a little bit more just a normal human rather than this role.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): So I do like that. And specifically for me it’s just about like living in Boulder, like there’s a lot of great therapy like accessible. And I almost … For me it feels like I can be more of service by doing this under the coaching guideline, so that I can talk to people in like in other countries if I want to, people that don’t have access to like good therapy or good coaching where they live. It’s like it’s just less limiting.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, so when you think about coaching it sounds like you feel like you’re giving permission, so just structure it the way you want, right? And permission to maybe market it in a way that’s different from the therapists that are around you.

And there’s definitely more … even more freedom that come with it, the geographical freedom, right? In counseling you have to be licensed in every state that the person you’re working with lives at. And the regulations are just so differently, right? But with coaching you can just work with anyone anywhere.

And there’s also I really like coaching in my office, but the perception of coaching is different from counseling, right? In coaching people kind of already start getting that it’s on the phone or video calls. Well, in therapy it’s kind of expected that you are coming physically to an office, right? So yeah, you can go on vacation, travel the world and still do coaching, right? You can choose to live wherever you want to live.

With counseling it takes … So I hope my clients to build six-figure practice in a year to two years, right? Now if they work as counselors they need to build it every time in every location they go and live at, right? And you travel a lot, right?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): So imagine if next year you decide to live in Mexico and then you have to build your private practice from scratch, or work with the local population, maybe your Spanish is not that great, right? I know it’s good, but I don’t know if it’s good enough, right? At least at the beginning. With coaching you just build your business wherever you go. You don’t have to start from scratch when you’re moving, so the geographical freedom.

There is the freedom of finances and fees. If I remember correctly, the ACA, American Counseling Association at the Code of Ethics you kind of have to charge approximately the way that other therapists in your town charge, right? With coaching you just charge whatever people are willing to pay, and you decide, right?

And now you can say, “Well, yeah, but what about people who can’t afford higher fees?” That’s great, if you work with 10 high-paying clients and you get your six figures by working 10 hours a week, you can even do 5 hours of pro bono, right? Like, 1/3 of work is pro bono for free. Anyone can afford your services, right? And not go for insurance. So that’s kind of cool, right? It opens up the possibilities of doing that.

There is the freedom of choosing your clients I believe in coaching even more. You can say, “I actually want to work with small business owners, and that’s my thing,” right? It’s maybe probably a little more difficult with counseling, right? You kind of work more with mental health challenges.

I also feel like there’s the freedom of energy, right? I get real … For ten years I’ve worked with some severe mental health challenges, right? And I feel it was very important for me, both for giving and learning. But it takes a toll, right? Ten years of doing that, spending a lot of time with people with depression. I think it’s very meaningful. And what if I want to gradually shift to working with extremely high functioning people who, I don’t know, run a non-profit and create a lot of positive impact on the world. I get charged when I spend time with them, right?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): You get what?

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Like recharged, I finish the session with even more energy than when I started with.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Totally.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): What do you think of all of that?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): I totally agree. That’s kind of where I’ve been coming from too, like being super empathic and being like … I think that’s what creates a good therapist or healer, but also in a way I felt like when I was working as a therapist maybe it’s because I was also working with like the most traumatized populations because that’s what I was drawn to, it’s super draining. It was like I was losing myself in order to help these other people.

And I think it’s beautiful for the people that can work in those ways, but for me it just isn’t sustainable. And so that’s why I’ve kind of created more of a niche around sex and relationship therapy or counseling, because I’m so interested in it. And it’s like it fuels me up because I’m fascinated by it. I’m not actually fascinated by depression. I almost feel bad saying that, but it’s just that’s not where my interest is.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): And there are a lot of counselors that aren’t.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Right, and that’s the thing, is I think it’s all about following your desire. And if you’re flowing something that makes you happy as well as can help people, it’s like that’s your gift. And same with like being able to travel, like I know that’s part of my gift is meeting people all over the world, and kind of the law of attraction, like finding each other in those synchronistic moments. And I know that I need to do that in my life, so that’s kind of like I’m following that desire which is kind of like moving me away from creating a private practice here in Boulder, but it doesn’t feel like that’s what I’m most drawn to.

And so it’s kind of like creating what really works for you. And when you do that it’s good for the world, that’s what you’re set up for, that’s what your like your … what your drive is already ready for. So I totally agree with what you’re saying.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): It’s so funny, I just remembered that my first coaching … my first paid coaching; paying coaching client was … It was also a referral and it was also around relationship and sexuality.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Nice.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, it’s like we have this overlap. That’s cool. So kind of the big question that I hear is how a therapist can become coach, right?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): And the easy answer is you just start calling yourself a coach and start charging for coaching services. Now the thing is that you don’t necessarily have to start charging or finding paying clients to start coaching, just coach your ass off, right? And feel, and then your perception of yourself starts shifting. “Oh, I’m a counselor and a coach right now.”

Now I do think it would be very helpful to get some training as a coach as well, because for many counselors especially LPC’s, people, counselors who work with individuals – it would be a paradigm shift. It kind of shifts the perception of, “I’m doing mostly Rogerian client-focused therapy and letting the client around the session basically,” towards, “I have a clear agenda,” exactly what we’re told not to do as counselors, right? Which is helpful at the beginning, but then you need to unlearn that as a counselor as well.

“I do have a clear agenda, we do talk about a very specific goal and we do take action steps, and I am going to share my opinion of what would be helpful with you and I’m even going to give you homework to do,” right?

So if we’re just going to talk about … well, just talk and talk and talk we wouldn’t really create change in your life. Or would just be kind of like putting a band-aid, and, yeah, it feels nice to talk and there’s some relief in that, but then I’m going home in between sessions and I’m just doing whatever I’m used to doing, and next week I have relief as well.

I’m simplifying it, of course, and there was a lot of benefit in the therapeutic relationship. Just having someone there that accepts you … I mean, Carl Roger said it, right? It’s the paradox of change. The moment you as a therapist fully accept your client and they can feel it, then they can change, right? So it’s that, so that’s helpful. But, yeah, the paradigm shift of coaching is about getting things done and achieving goals is important for counselors.

Now for family therapists and couples therapist, that shift would be so much easier, because in family therapy the majority of all the modalities like strategic therapy, structural family therapy, solution-focused brief – those are all goal-based and active. And the therapist, the family therapist in the session usually does have goals, does have an agenda, and is very active.

And sometimes if you would share it with LPC, a counselor that works with individuals and that’s all their training, that would look manipulative. “What? Like …” Even couple’s therapy, right? You’re telling one of the partners to do something right now, right? Well, how about you tell your partner that thing, right? You’re giving them the words. “What is that?” So yeah, coaching is influenced by family therapy, definitely.

And by athletic coaching as well, right? It’s let’s get better and better and achieve better results, and throughout of that kind of hero’s journey, yes, we are achieving external goals, but what’s really important is the deep transformation that’s happening.

Now I would offer the same advice to coaches, get some weekend training in therapy. You don’t necessarily have to do three years of grad school, but if you want to understand more about, well, sexuality for example, go and do a weekend with the best expert you can find, right? And just get that knowledge and information.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah. I think there’s something like there does seem to be a divide sometimes between the counseling and coaching and therapy worlds, because I think therapists think that coaches … It’s like because the approach is so different, it’s like therapists think that coaches are like, “Oh, you haven’t done your own work,” kind of thing, so like how can you coach someone else? And it could be, like if you do a five-week coaching thing and you haven’t ever looked at yourself, you might be giving advice that’s like very unhelpful, or projecting that what works for you can work for other people.

And then I think therapists … Yeah, I don’t know, like what you just said – coaches looking at therapists are more like, “Why are you so focused in the past? Let’s move into the present.” And I guess how was it for you … I mean, you’re working as both a counselor and a coach, like how is it shifting from that counseling mentality into the coaching mentality, like in your experience?

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, that’s what’s really helpful for me is the PhD program I’m doing right now that’s in counseling education and supervision. So we actually learn a lot of supervision models and a counselor development model that I think really applies to coaching as well.

So the one of my favorite ones is the curve bell of learning and training in therapists, you learn, learn, learn and then you reach a tipping point and then you unlearn, unlearn, unlearn. And then you start experimenting more and you try things that made sense … that didn’t make sense when you were just starting as a counselor, right? Like, if there is a reason why in counseling and in coaching as well at the beginning you said, “Don’t offer advice, don’t offer your opinion,” that’s good, but once you know the rules kind of like in jazz improvisation, it’s time to start breaking the rules, right?

You are aware and there is an intention behind everything that you’re doing. Does that answer the question or is something missing?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Well, I’m thinking in your experience personally so maybe you’re saying that in your experience you got to a point where you started unlearning and now you’re just kind of doing.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Everything, basically.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Got it. Yeah, thank you for … Yeah, I find examples very helpful as well. So in my coaching learning it was mostly about let’s set a goal for 12 sessions, let’s work on building your business, right? That’s the first session. So for example, in (co-active?) coaching they teach a very clear structure – first session you just talk about the person, you get to know them. Second one you get to create like a vision, right? What would you like to see in three years? Third session you create clarity on the goal, okay? So smart goal in three months from now I am going to have a complete set up of my business and I’m going to have … and I will have at least 20 coaching free sessions done by that, right? Just an example. And then we work on the strategy to create that.

So what I had to unlearn after practicing that model for example a lot, is that I don’t have to stick to the structure so much. I can start with the goal right away or with the vision right away. I can sometimes dive in into the biggest challenge in the first session and create movement with that. I can see where they are today, where they want to be, and talk about the gap, and that’s very helpful as well, right? So I don’t necessarily stick to the structure as much.

And another unlearning as a coach that happens to me is understanding that it’s not about the style that you’re doing, it’s about the psychology, about the mindset – what stops people from doing the things that they actually need to be doing. So for example, you can tell your sex therapy client if they’re stuck in a marriage without any sex, and they are really craving it, but they don’t initiate because they are scared. You can tell them, “Well, how about you do this little thing, and you initiate once a week,” right? As a coach, right?

But then they get the information but they still don’t do it. So that’s the deeper work, and that’s kind of where most therapies comes in. Well, kind of maybe more narrative therapy – what is the story that you tell yourself about yourself, right? Who you are with the person, right?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): And so in that moment like what do you … Would you go into it or would you say see a therapist about that?

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, mindset is huge in coaching, like you can’t create a shift … Because you want the client not to need you at the end, right? Yeah, it’s much easier to have someone tell you, “Do this and by the next week …” I mean, it’s helpful as helping wheels, right? Training wheels at the beginning. But then you kind of want them to be able to do this without this external motivation, that’s coming from within. And the best way to do so is to have a clear buy-in for yourself of what’s my motivation, what will I get from it, what’s my vision, where am I going with it, why is that even important, why sexuality important for me, right?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): I want to build connection with my partner, right? What will happen if I don’t take action at all? Well, it’s just probably going to get worse, right? [Unclear 33:39] and so on. Yeah, definitely go deeper.

But if you just finished your coaching training that sometimes is pretty short you can experiment, and at the beginning it’s good to stick to the basics, just laid back, use the client’s words even, stick to the goals, focus them and all of that stuff, which is in many ways for people who are curious about coaching training who are counselors and coaches who are curious about counseling grad school, kind of the basic counseling skills are the coaching skills that are taught in coaching, usually. There’s like such a big overlap.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): The coaching skills are usually the counseling skills, what?

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): That basic counseling skills like reflecting back, paraphrasing, kind of minimal encouragement, nodding – all of those are also taught in coaching training. So there’s a big overlap on the basic level.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): What do you think … I guess as we’re talking about all this, and I like the goal-oriented structure of the coaching because I have found in therapy it’s like you go so deep into something and it’s good to like have a reference for like why do I feel this way, oh, it’s because of this and this and this. But I often feel in therapy it’s like, “Well, what do I do about it?” You know what I mean? It’s like then what, because there isn’t any goal, it’s very like open structure. So I like the goal-orientedness of coaching.

But also I find myself wondering like is it possible to really have this deep change without going deeper, like in the basic coaching world you’re not working with the underlying trauma, and I guess I just have this bias after doing so much therapy training it’s like you can’t actually make change unless you really get into that stuff. But maybe that’s not true, maybe like I guess it’s my question – what do you think like long-term do you think these goal-oriented approaches actually do make that like transformational change like therapy can or not?

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, so I can answer the question and I will, but before that – that’s why it’s so important to coach your ass off, right? Or do a lot of counseling when you go into private practice, even for a lower fee at the beginning, because then you can experiment and then instead of having kind of a philosophical discussion, theoretical discussion like we’re having right now – you get to experience it. And after a while kind of like in the book, Mindset, you start building mental representations, mental models, you know exactly, you see – if I go there with my client it’s going to lead us here, right? If I go there that’s probably going to lead us here. So you already kind of anticipate kind of like in a good chess game what you’re going to say, what they’re going to say, and so on. So just get as much experiences needed, which would be way more helpful than theoritizing and talking concepts, right?

Could you repeat the question real quick? Because I did have something specific to say about that theoritically anyway.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Yeah, the question is do you think that using a more like structurally goal-oriented approach is beneficial in the long run for actually like changing behavior as therapy is by going deep into like the root causes?

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, so something that I love about what Rich Lipton says is that change can happen in two ways. You can change the perception and action follows, and you can change actions and then perception shifts, right?

And it’s interesting, because many times usually he does his work with perception and insight. You create a deep insight and everything changes. And I love that approach, its simplicity. And I do find sometimes for many people it just doesn’t happen. Maybe when I will become a better coach that would be happening more, but I see that sometimes when people take small steps that kind of challenge them a little bit but not overwhelmingly, and they create that stack of successes, right? They take new action in the world and they see, “Oh, it was not as scary as I thought. And I did succeed.” Then their perception shifts, right? So the deep internal transformation can actually happen just from taking new action in the world without going too deep into the past.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Right.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Like, “I can’t … I just can’t send that email to this …,” I don’t know . “I know that I can get a job with this firm because I have a really good friend that works there, but like I can’t send an email or I can’t send the text,” right? So what I might say to my client is, “Okay, open your phone, we’re going to send the email right now. Tell me what you’re feeling right now. What’s your level of anxiety?” They might say it. “Well, tell me what about that,” right? So we go a little bit deeper, but we take action.

I know that the email is going to be sent, not because I want … well, I do want. But the client said, “I’ve been wanting to do this for two years now. I’m just so scared,” right? So we talk about the fear and we take action.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): I like that, yeah. And that is really combining the two, that’s combining the counseling and the coaching.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Because you are being present in the moment with what’s happening, but you’re not staying there, you’re also taking action. I like that a lot.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Lindsey, I’m curious, when you think about your first session, that would be helpful for people who are watching this, especially the new coaches, is there something that you kind of not show or maybe a little bit anxious about, about just doing the first session?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): I don’t actually feel anxious. I feel really like ready.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah. How do you know you’re ready?

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): I was going to say maybe I feel more anxious the second session once the first one actually happens.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): That’s interesting.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): No, I think I know I’m ready because … I mean, it’s in me now, it’s like I think that’s how I feel about all the training and therapy it’s like it’s digested, and now that’s just how I see the world. So I just I know I understand people, not all people of course, but like I understand how to guide people back to themselves. And I realized that that’s really all it is. I think I would probably feel anxiety if I thought I was supposed to be doing something that I didn’t know how to do. But I know that change really comes from within, and so it’s all about just being a reflection and a guide and guiding people into what they already know.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Wonderful. So yeah, counselors know way more than enough to do coaching, way more. Coaches have way more enough information than they need to start already coaching from even the most basic coaching training, right? Just stick to what you’ve been taught. Practice it a lot and you’ll learn. And usually people who go to coaching have been coaching already in all their lives, in just a different capacity, they just didn’t call it coaching.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Uh-hmm, definitely.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): That’s something that happens kind of organically, and that’s why it’s really appealing, “Oh, I don’t know, I have … I really want to be doing this, but this is something new.” No, actually it’s not something new. You have been doing this at your previous job, in your current job.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Uh-hmm, yeah. I think really in everything in life, but it relates here too, is just like confidence in yourself. People listen to you when you come off as confident.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Exactly.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Like, you’re sitting in front of 6 degrees; you’re showing a lot of confidence. Like, just knowing that you have skills and knowing that you have like something that could be beneficial to someone else is really like I think the most important thing.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Yeah, for sure.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): The belief here, and it’s not like we’re trying to persuade people of anything but it’s like I think that kind of confidence is actually just … it spreads to people. You work with someone who’s really just sure of themselves, it’s like kind of contagious, the other person might start to feel sure of themselves too, like energetics.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): It’s wonderful. All right, Lindsey, it’s been a pleasure talking to you.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for taking the time.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Well, I think you’re going to do create with your client and your clients in plural.

Lindsey Aronson (Couples Therapist and Relationship Coach): Thank you. I think so too. Yeah, I feel better, I feel more clear.

Sasha Raskin (Business Coach, Couples Counselor and Family Counselor): Wonderful.

About the Author Sasha Raskin

Sasha Raskin, MA, is an  international #1 bestselling co-author , the founder of  The 6 Figure Practice, a  life coach, and business coach and a  psychotherapist in Boulder, CO. He is working on a P.h.D in Counseling Education and Supervision and is an adjunct faculty at the Contemplative Counseling master’s program at Naropa University, from which he also graduated. Sasha has been in the mental health field for more than 10 years, worked with youth at risk, recovery, mental health hospitals, and coached individuals, couples, families, startups, and groups. He has created mindfulness stress reduction and music therapy programs within different organizations. Whether it’s in person or via phone/video calls, whether as  a counselor , a  life coach or a  business coach, Sasha uses cutting-edge, research-based techniques to help his clients around the world to thrive.   As a  coach Sasha Raskin provides individual and group  coaching in Boulder, Colorado, and worldwide via video and phone calls, drawing from over ten years of experience. His services include:  life coaching,  business coaching,  career coaching,  ADD coaching,  ADHD coaching,  ADD coach,  ADHD coach,  leadership coaching, and  executive coaching. Schedule your free 20-minute  coaching phone consultation with Sasha Raskin As a  counselor in Boulder, CO, Sasha provides  individual counseling in Boulder, CO ,  family therapy in Boulder, CO, and  couples therapy in Boulder,  marriage counseling in Boulder, and  couples intensives /  couples retreats, drawing from over ten years of clinical experience.  He does  couples therapy Boulder,  online couples therapy,  Online Marriage Counseling  ,  online relationship counseling,   and marriage counseling boulder.

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