A: I think the money has to be somewhere in the middle. Life coaches get the highest percentage of client retention—and usually that means they get clients that have had their lives completely changed. This includes getting them out of the house and out of the house alone, into a new apartment, into a new relationship, and all of the other things that life coach clients have to face.
A life coach needs to know a client’s story, the challenges they’ve had in the past, their current situations, and what it means to them to find peace and happiness in their life. They need to be emotionally honest about what it’s like working with the client and what they’re looking for during the client’s therapy session. In fact, they need to do whatever they can to help them get that information so they understand exactly what they’re getting into before they take the plunge. They need to be prepared for the inevitable conflict, and they need the opportunity to get to know the client.
B: But is it the money?
A: No, not in the long run. They’re very, very hard to come by—and I think it’s because people believe it’s so much more than just a job. No one wants to hear the word therapy. They want to have a drink with a therapist, and a therapist will tell you why you’re the perfect candidate for one day to be a therapist. To them, it’s more than just a paycheck. A client relationship is all about the relationship between therapist and client—and you can’t take it for granted. It really is a journey. And that’s what I think clients feel like they get in many of the work I do.
B: What you’re saying about clients being more open to this is fascinating. Are there any situations that come up in your practice?
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A: I have clients who don’t tell me how they’re feeling to me until well after they’ve been out of the treatment, when the anxiety and depression are so severe that they haven’t spoken to me for months. They don’t know why, or that they can’t stop feeling ill. And I have others who stay in treatment for years and even decades.
My biggest rule is that if I suspect someone has a personality disorder and this is the last thing they want to do in treatment, what should my first step be? It never ceases to amaze me how many people who don’t even know I
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