Here are the frequently asked questions—which I could just have in a FAQ menu—but since I'm so non-computer savvy, I didn't actually know what FAQ meant until I hired a computer teacher this year.  So I didn't want one. FAQ. Feh. In any case:

What's a life coach?
A person who helps you to get what you want.

How does life coaching actually work?
Here's what I think is true:  It's your thoughts, not your circumstances that cause your unhappiness.

I know that may not feel true to you.  But even if you're broke and can't find a job, even if you've been dumped by that f #&$**ing jerk and are sad beyond belief, there is palpable relief in looking at and dissolving the thoughts you're having about your situation.

So what we do is a lot of thought work.  I use an amalgam of teachings from Martha Beck, Brooke Castillo, Byron Katie and anyone else I can think of to show you how to dismantle limiting thoughts.  I also show you how to use turtle steps with big rewards for accomplishing all the stuff you think you hate.  We'll use vision boards and role-playing if you want to—we'll have fun and be creative and you'll be moving into the life you really want before you know it.

What does a life coaching session look like?
In a coaching session, we just talk about what's up with you. We talk about the areas in your life that are making you nuts; and you learn tools to get yourself to where you really want to be. I might have you do some homework if you like to do that sort of thing and we'll talk about it. We might do some guided imagery. We mostly talk about limiting beliefs and how you can change them.

And you can do this on the phone?
I know. It sounds really bizarre—like getting a checkup by email or something, but it really does work. I've done lots of phone sessions and have had great success with them. I work with people all over the country. The advantage to you is that you can be in your pajamas when you're talking to me—and oddly, people sometimes say things on the phone that they wouldn't say in person. Of course, if you live around here, we can also meet on my porch and drink iced tea. But it works either way.

Why hire a coach? Can't I just read a self-help book?
The reason it works better to have a life coach than to just work with a self-help book is because: a) I'm a person with a lot of insight and training who will ask you probing questions which will help you to think from a different perspective; and b) you'll find yourself being more accountable to yourself if you're paying someone to assist you.  I'm just sayin'.

How is coaching different from therapy?
Life coaching is present-oriented, whereas much of therapy is past-oriented.  And here's an analogy I find useful: If you've had a stroke, you're going to need a physical therapist to help you learn to walk again.  Whereas if you're just out of shape, you can hire a physical trainer.  Same here.  If you need psychiatric help for depression or mental illness, you should hire a trained and board certified therapist.  If you're just always feeling miserable ennui (like your life is run by Anton Chekov) then a life coach is a good choice.

Why are you qualified to be a life coach?
I trained with Martha Beck in her program and passed her certification exam.  I've put in hundreds of hours with numerous people—all of whom have gotten great results. (Go here for the buzz.) I take ongoing courses and am studying now to be a master relationship coach.  But the main reason is: because I was really depressed for 35 years and now I'm not. And it was life coaching that changed that.

How long does it take?
Not that long. But it depends.  I've had people come with a specific problem and just need one session to get through it.  I've had people who felt like they got the tools they needed in 3 or 6 sessions.  And I have people who come fairly regularly to just check in with a compassionate witness.  So it will really depend on what you want and how much you practice.  And how screwed up you are to begin with….:) Here's my goal though: to become unnecessary.  After all, I'm teaching you the tools to fix your own life.  I'm not the fixer—you are.

Do I have to call it "life coaching?"  It makes my eyes roll when I say it…
I know, I know.  It's a wretched title. Sounds sort of arrogant, I think. Many of us in my training class hated it and searched for other ideas.  Soul-Finding?  Dream-Catching?  Or my favorite, from my friend Charlie, who's a brilliant Shakespeare actor: Mortal Coil Studies.  None seems quite perfect-and now "life coaching" is the term that's used in the social zeitgeist.  I can prove it—recently, there was a Cheerios commercial that made fun of us.  So—we're pretty much stuck with the title, but you can console yourself by knowing that by working with one, you're on the cutting edge…