Frequently Asked Questions
What parts of San Diego do you serve, and where does your coaching take place?
I meet with folks all over San Diego and the surrounding area. Where we meet will depend on what is convenient for you, and what we will be focusing on. My first choice for individual coaching is always to conduct sessions outside and "walk while we talk," and so I have a number of favorite places around town (large parks and the like) that have been good for this. However, I can also meet people at their home if that is more comfortable for them, and for couples coaching I actually prefer to meet with partners in their home.
How long have you been coaching and teaching?
I have been coaching and teaching Integral Lifework in San Diego since 2004. Before that, when I lived in Seattle, I was also engaged in mentoring, alternative healing arts and couples coaching for many years.
How long is each session, what do you charge, and what forms of payment can you take?
Sessions usually run about an hour, sometimes longer. The cost is $78 per session for individual coaching, $126 per session for couples coaching, and $45 per session for teen mentoring. I can receive various forms of payment (see the payment page for PayPal and credit card options), but not medical insurance. Upon request I am able to discount my rates on a sliding scale based on income, you will just need to provide income or unemployment verification.
How many sessions will it take to reach my goals…?
That depends on two things: how many dimensions of being may currently be undernourished (you should take the Nourishment Assessment first to help determine this), and how quickly you want to learn and apply new self-care tools and techniques and dissolve barriers may be interrupting targeted nourishment. Many of my clients will have enough to move forward on their own after just three or four sessions. They may then check back with me later (sometimes months or even years later!) to work on a new area, again for just a short period of time. The largest number of consecutive weekly or biweekly sessions I have ever experienced with the same individual or couple was eight, and although everyone's needs are unique, in general more than six consecutive sessions is unusual.
Will there be homework?
Yes! Sometimes we will even wait for homework to be completed before making the next appointment. :-)
What do you mean by "spiritually centered" health, wellness and life coaching?
Having studied and practiced techniques from a wide variety of spiritual traditions, as well as experiencing many different faith communities firsthand, I am comfortable working with pretty much anyone who considers themselves a "spiritual" person. What I have found in my coaching, teaching and practice is that there does need to be openness and attention to the spiritual dimension of being - what I call "Spiritual Ground" - in order for progress to occur when integrating and harmonizing the thirteen dimensions in Integral Lifework. This Spiritual Ground is really the most fundamental dimension for all ongoing harmony, the "anchor" if you will for all other aspects of self. I respect and honor different walks of life and all forms of spiritual practice, so I am happy to try to meet people wherever they are in their journey. For someone who doesn't consider themselves spiritual at all, as long as they are open to learning more about their spiritual self, and practicing techniques that nourish their Spiritual Ground, I am happy to work with them as well.
What is the difference between life coaching and psychotherapy, or between wellness coaching and mainstream medicine?
Psychotherapists and medical doctors are regulated professions that require licensure, are extensively regulated, and are often concerned with critical interventions involving acute mental and physical distress or illness. Health, wellness and life coaching, on the other hand, is more about improving well-being at a point in life when such intervention is not required. More information about these differences is also disclosed in the Coaching Agreement.
How do I know if I need a psychotherapist instead of a coach, and how do I go about finding the right one for myself?
If you are experiencing extreme and persistent emotional distress, are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions and out-of-control, or are having suicidal or violent thoughts that you are worried you might act upon, then you should seek out a psychotherapist. Personally, my most positive psychotherapeutic experiences (as a client and when referring others) were with folks who had an MSW and/or an MFT certification, and who had a diverse toolkit for their practice including CBT, DBT and Hakomi. I also believe in a collaborative, client-centered model, so anything that inherently disempowers a client, places them in a passive role, or places the therapist in a position of power over them are not high on my list. Therapy in a group format, with others who have similar needs, can also be extremely helpful. In terms of how to select a specific practitioner after narrowing down a preferred modality or therapeutic method, I wrote this guide a while ago, which you might find helpful: How To Select a Life Coach, Mentor or Therapist. Over time I have also encountered some excellent resources through NAMI, where you can also find a helpline phone number.
What is the difference between Integral Lifework coaching and other kinds of coaching?
Integral Lifework is a unique approach developed by me over many years. It is unlike any other kind of coaching available, involving many more dimensions of being than conventional coaching usually addresses, and using a wide variety of techniques that are customized to each person. There is not a “one size fits all” solution, because every person has their own strengths and experiences life in their own way. It is also more collaborative than some coaching techniques, in that you as the client will remain in the driver's seat - my role is just to facilitate and support the process. A core principle of Integral Lifework is that everyone has a wealth of inner power, transcendent knowledge and transformative ability just waiting to spring forth. All anyone requires to access this amazing self are openness, compassion and some carefully selected, individualized tools and techniques. When we allow this healing and enlightening impulse within to guide us, we can achieve the miraculous in ourselves and in the world around us.
What kinds of barriers to wholeness can you help people work through?
Each person may have unique obstacles to self-nurturing that can interrupt nourishment to one or more dimensions. This may be the result of certain patterns of thinking, or because of emotions that were reinforced by personal experiences, or maybe just not having the tools or the practice to confidently address what is unfamiliar territory. And because everyone is unique, there are many different ways to approach and resolve personal barriers. Sometimes we can get at them with spiritual practices, sometimes with new physical routines or body-centered treatments, sometimes it just requires thinking about our thinking in a new way, sometimes it has to do with managing and directing our interior energies, and sometimes it’s about working through the emotions of our past and present relationships. Sometimes it will be a combination of all of these things! Intuiting what you feel to be the most effective way to dissolve barriers can be one of the most interesting and exciting parts of this journey.
Do you have any preferences or conditions for your clients or your practice?
Willingness, openness, and cell phones turned off. :-)
I’m a wellness/coaching professional, and would like to better understand Integral Lifework. What resources are available?
I do teach group classes on the principles and practices of Integral Lifework, as well as consulting and training one-on-one, so please let me know if you are interested by emailing me. Also please check out the Resources pages, as there is a lot of great information available that goes into great detail about theory and approaches. To really understand how it works, however, it is always ideal to experience Integral Lifework coaching as a client.
Have other questions?
Feel free to call me at 413-242-4410, or email me at [email protected], if you have any additional questions. Thank you for your interest!