First of all, what does a life coach do and is it what you want? There is no real definition but I like this one; it simply says: ‘a life coach is person employed to help people attain their goals in life.’ I hope this is how you will think of me and our consultation.
I will be working via this website but for those who prefer, we can also talk via the telephone or use e-mail. If you'd like to meet me in person then we can discuss that too
You will find I do things a bit differently from most life coaches: I don’t offer a set package for a set amount of money up front before I see you, but prefer to develop a bespoke service for each person. In your first consultation we can decide what we need to work through and for how many weeks; these can be as often or as spread out as you like
I use a coaching technique called motivational interviewing. It’s fairly new but it's revolutionising the way we help people to change poor habits and behaviour. I won't nag or cajole; but my coaching style will help you achieve the changes you want, be it with your diet, activity, stress or other lifestyle factors
The first consultation is for up to an hour, and follow-up sessions are about half an hour but I am flexible according to your needs. Sessions are £30 each, but the first longer fact-finding one is a little more at £40. My surgery is waiting!
Managing diet, activity and stress play major roles in how you can maximise your health and mental wellbeing. But you may not want to tackle all areas of your life all at once; what you choose to focus on will be up to you.
As far as diet is concerned, you wouldn't think of ruining your car by running it on fuel that isn't suitable. However, many people seem to feel that it is acceptable to give themselves the wrong type of fuel and wonder why they don’t seem to feel as well or energised as they should! It’s your overall diet that’s important; it’s wrong to think of individual foods as good or bad. Only overall diets can be called healthy, not so healthy or frankly awful!
Too many negative messages abound about food and diet, and this is unhelpful. Scientific evidence-based advice about diet has always been pretty consistent and continues to be if you listen to the right people. These people are properly trained professionals, like myself that don’t keep changing their mind or jumping on some fashionable bandwagon. (see my post on what to believe and not to believe about health from what you read in the media).
There is room for all sorts of food in your diet, and the wider your dietary repertoire the more likely you are to be eating a diet which provides you with all the nutrients your body needs. Food is after all meant to be an enjoyable experience, and it is OK to have chocolate, crisps or even a burger now and then, the emphasis being on occasionally.
There is less controversy about other lifestyle recommendations such as how to get better sleep, or how best to exercise. There is still a plethora of advice out there and it is hard to find what you need, where you should start and how you go about adopting new behaviours. The important thing is to start somewhere and with goals that are sensible and achievable for you. Don’t look over your shoulder at what others might be doing; you are unique! Feel good about your progress and don’t beat yourself up about failing (you can’t be perfect all the time); it’s about geting back in the saddle again!
Don't forget it takes a whole body of robust scientific trials to establish new evidence about diet or other lifestyle advice, not the odd bit of research which you might read about in a popular newspaper or magazine or quoted by some celebrity!. That’s where I can help; with my scientific training and experience in coaching; I can bring the two together and focus it on what you need.
Many people want to change some aspect of their life, and for some it’s crucial for health reasons such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, losing weight or exercising more. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a relatively new, yet growing, method used by professional therapists to enable clients make lifestyle changes. The emerging evidence is that MI works better than the traditional consultation and has long lasting results.
Evidence shows that just telling people what to do does not work well as a way of changing people’s behaviour. MI helps individuals overcome their negative views about changing by exploring the desire and ability to change that lies within them (it really is in most people!). In doing this it supports change in a manner that sits comfortably with a person’s own values and concerns.
MI works by tapping into your own goals, values, aspirations and dreams and draws them out. But it acknowledges your right to autonomy and your freedom not to change. Trying to force people to change usually drives them in the opposite direction!
MI evokes what is known as ‘change talk’ - the idea is that the more you hear yourself say something, the more likely you will be motivated to do it. MI is collaborative and allows for rapport and trust to develop between you and the practitioner; the practitioner does not take the role of knowing all or lording over you.
MI focuses on the positive things you say about moving forward, however small, and this ‘change-talk’ is skillfully used to help change your mind set and lead to positive action. Click here to learn more about MI
One of the biggest differences is that I will not be always trying to put right what I see as wrong in your life. Instead I will try to gain an understanding of your world through your eyes. You will not be marginalised or put in a box but will receive positive regard and your autonomy will be respected.