Frequently asked questions
How does life coaching work?
Life coaching is a form of talk therapy aimed to support people with various challenges they might be facing in their lives.
Life coaching takes place in a quiet space where the client and the coach can have a conversation about the client's challenges and objectives the client is trying to achieve. Through thoughtful exploration and by using a variety of tools, the coach can help the client get clarity on issues, set goals, action plans and offer support in coping with situations in their lives.
How does online coaching work?
Online coaching works in the same way as face-to-face coaching, except you don't need to meet your coach in person.
Below are some pros and cons of online coaching that might help you decide if online coaching is the right solution for you:
1. You can be anywhere in the world and not have to worry about travel time/cost to meet your life coach.
2. You can see and hear each other just like you would face-to-face and establish a connection with the other person.
3. It's generally a more affordable method of coaching - in addition to having no costs to travel or meet in a public space, the costs for the life coach are lower and this can mean you will get more cost-effective fees for online coaching vs face-to-face
1. This doesn't work if you prefer to see someone in the flesh and feel that online might be a bit impersonal.
2. Online does take away some of the non-verbal language (eg the way you cross your legs, rubbing your hands) which could be useful indicators for your coach to notice when a shift is happening. In order to overcome this, you would want to ensure you have a strong connection with your coach and that you feel they can understand you and "read" you without having to explain every detail.
How does coaching differ from consulting, counselling or other methods?
1. Life coaching is a talk therapy focused mainly on the future. This means overcoming difficult situations you're experiencing, and achieving objectives you have for your future. In life coaching, the coach doesn't give you the answers or solutions, even if they are experts in the area you're asking about. The premise of coaching is that we are the experts of our own lives and through guidance and powerful exploration, we create new neural connections in our minds that help us discover our own answers to our questions so that we feel aligned and invested in these results.
Some questions you might ask in coaching are: I'm struggling with a specific challenge at the moment, what's the way forward for me? How do I overcome the stress in my life? How do I decide which direction to take? I want to find a new job, how do I find out what to do next? I'm struggling with negative thoughts, how do I get rid of them? I experienced hardship and abuse in my past, how do I move forward?
2. Consulting is an advisory method where you might hire an expert in a field to give you advice and tell you step by step what you need to do in order to solve a problem.
Consulting is a very useful method when it comes to business for example: what are the different aspects of a business I need to consider in order to be successful? How do I build teams and create structure?
Counselling and psychotherapy are also talk therapies, and the difference compared to coaching is that they are more focused on the past and the root cause of issues. They seek to solve the present by resolving the past. So while in coaching you might spend most of your time focused on the future, in counselling and psychotherapy you might go in more depth to the root cause of issues.
There is no right or wrong answer, no better method to get solutions to issues. What matters is what you feel most aligned with and what you want to get out of it.
How do you record sessions and what are session notes?
During sessions, I will ask you if you will allow me to record the audio of our conversation. The audio recordings are saved on the cloud and password protected. If you use an online coach, you should get this information upfront from your coach. If you don't, ask for it.
Recording the audio of a session is optional. I will be using recording sessions in one or two ways:
- during our sessions I will be fully present with you. Listening to sessions at a later time helps me to see what I can improve or notice things about myself or the process that could help me grow as a coach and improve the results I can offer you.
- to further my accreditations: for every level of accreditation with certified coaching bodies, I am required to submit a recording of a coaching session to demonstrate that I abide by the core guidelines and ethical principles of the organisation. Accreditations are important to recognise that I follow certain rules about coaching and that I am invested in growing as a professional coach.
Session notes are written notes I might take during our session. I might write down some or all of the following:
- specific words you use to describe your situation to ensure I capture the essence of what you say
- areas that I notice might be recurring or potential patterns
- areas for reflection, potential exercises that you could be working on
In general, I will take notes to make sure I don't forget key points from our session or if I sense something might be important to say and I don't want to interrupt you.
You can request session notes at the end of a session.
What will happen with my personal information and details of our session?
As a coach, I abide to the ICF Code of Ethics. The ICF is the most reputable body in the life coaching industry which most professional coaches abide to.
Your personal information as well as recordings or notes are saved in a password-protected file that can only be accessed by myself.
What topics can we discuss in coaching?
My specialism is our Inner Critic. Some people might define the Inner Critic as:
- a negative, critical inner voice
- self-defeating thoughts
- self-limiting beliefs
- negative thoughts about your capabilities
- impostor syndrome
I focus on helping people identify and isolate the thoughts in their mind and find healthier ways to deal with them. To be clear, when I refer to an inner voice, I am not referring to hearing voices that you don't feel are your own. If you believe you might be hearing voices,
read more about the differences here. The Inner Critic or critical inner voice I am referring to, are thoughts we clearly identify as our own, which cause us distress or other negative emotions.
Related to the Inner Critic, here are some themes that you might want to explore in coaching:
- Noticing that you can't cope with certain situations in your life
- Recurring thoughts that you're not good enough
- Struggling to set boundaries at work or with people you love
- Wanting a new job but too scared to pursue your dreams
- Struggling to get over experiences that happened in your past or childhood
- Feeling stressed in your job and can't make sense of what's causing it or how to cope
- Finding it difficult to deal with criticism from others or yourself
- Feeling that you're overanalysing what other people say - or what they don't say
- Finding it difficult to be yourself
- Feeling incapable of saying no - or feeling guilty when you do say no
- Putting others' needs above your own, sometimes at the detriment of your own physical or mental health
- Feeling that you can't give yourself permission to be happy, authentic and fulfilled
- Thinking that you're a fraud, that you don't deserve your job and your lack of skills will be discovered and punished
- Feeling that you need to punish yourself for enjoying things in life
Is there anything we can't discuss in coaching?
Life coaching is about you as a whole person, and we will deal with whatever comes up, whether in your personal or professional life. You can discuss anything and we will work together to find the best solution.
There are a few exceptional situations that are not off-limits, but may not be appropriate for coaching:
- treatment for depression or other mental health issues. I will explore with you the options to get the best care for your specific challenges, which could involve referring a specialist or recommending resources to get help. If for example you have depression, we can still work together towards your career objectives, however we wouldn't work on treating your depression.
- harming others or yourself - I may be legally required to report any situation that could put the safety of others or your own at risk
What are the technical requirements for online coaching?
In general, I run my sessions on Zoom. Zoom is similar to Skype and is available on your PC and mobile device to download - here we can do audio-video sessions.
For this, you will need a reliable wi-fi or data connection, and a mobile device or PC.
I also run sessions by phone on landlines or mobile numbers in the UK.
How long are the sessions?
Unless otherwise agreed, the duration of a session is 60 minutes.
Discovery/initial consultation calls are 20-30 minutes in length and they are free.
What kind of coaching do you do?
I specialise in transformational coaching, which means we will be working on how you perceive yourself and, rather than giving you tools or means to cope with challenges, we will be working to create change from within yourself.
To read more about my approaches and methods I use, check my
I'm speaking to several coaches, how do I decide which one is the best for me?
A first element in deciding the best coach for you is obviously related to their credentials, experience and niche/specialism.
However, from my own experience trying a few coaches and a few therapy/coaching methods, I have found that the best predictor of success is the trust and the connection you can establish with that person. Most coaches will offer a brief free call to talk about your challenges - use that time to see how you feel about the person.
Here are some good questions to keep in mind:
- do I feel like I can trust this person?
- do I feel like this person understands me?
- do I think this person has the tools and expertise to support with my specific challenges?
- do I like this coach?
- does the coach seem like someone I can rely on and confide in about my innermost fears?
- are they flexible and able to adjust to my needs or schedule?
- can I afford them?
- do I resonate with their methods?
How many life coaching sessions will I need?
This question is similar to "how long is a piece of string"?
But here's a question to get you started:
Are you looking for a one-off session (eg to help you improve your CV) or are you looking for sustainable change in your life, with things you may have noticed happened over and over in your life, such as thought patterns that might hold you back?
Most of the clients I work with are people who want to make a transformational change in their lives. Even though I am happy to offer individual sessions, generally I will offer a 6-session package at a discounted price to help you explore your current situation and help you generate tools to create change that you can then take over and sustain by yourself in the future.
Do life coaches need to have qualifications?
Life coaching is not a regulated industry - essentially, anyone can become a life coach, and could effectively support you to overcome your challenges or achieve your objectives.
However, qualifications, relevant experience and approaches are useful to help you decide if a life coach is right for you. Do ask your coach about their relevant experience and qualifications during your discovery call, and feel free to ask any questions you may have about how your sessions will run.