What the heck is a coach, anyway?

By Shannon Haddaway

Usually, when I tell people what I do, I am met with blank stares and the question, “so, um, what exactly is a coach?”   I finally decided to write a blog post in hopes of alleviating some of the confusion around what I do.

1.  What the heck is a coach, anyway?

There are many different types of coaching these days; financial, executive, wellness, peak-performance, leadership development, and more.  The type of coaching I do is called “integral coaching” because I focus on every aspect of a person’s life. I bring forth a view of you that includes how you represent yourself and also investigates your social world, habits, relationship with your body, the quality of self-care, the amount of attention and energy available to take on change, and much more. After working together, you will have the capacity for long -term excellence, the ability to self-correct and self-generate. 

2.  Do I need therapy or a coach?

I like to use the metaphor “learning to walk vs. running a marathon” to help people understand the difference between therapy and coaching.  When you are in a very bad place suffering from depression and/or anxiety, addiction, untreated trauma, negative self-image, or unhealed past events, you cannot see your way out of the fog.  When you’re in that place, it is very difficult to take the action needed to create change in your life.  You probably feel helpless and trapped and have no idea how to get yourself up on your own two feet.  You probably need the help of a highly trained therapist who can help you heal so that you may stand, and eventually walk, again.

If you are already in a fairly stable place and are feeling strong, it’s time to start training for the marathon.   We will work together as a team to help you step into your greatest potential.  In order for you to run the marathon, we will focus on every aspect of your life from your job, your social life, your relationships and self-care to what you’re eating and your home environment.  “Why in the world do you need to know about my self-care,” you say?  Because it’s all connected.  In order for you to step into the best version of yourself, we must address every aspect of your life.

3.  How did you decide to become a coach?

From the outside looking in, I had the perfect life…..a wonderful marriage, three children, financial stability…..but on the inside I was miserable.  I decided to hire a coach, and we worked together for over two years.  She taught me how to find my voice again after so many years of me not knowing who I was.  She taught me how to live again, as well as how to discover what I wanted out of life.  I want to share that gift with others.  I want everyone to be able to tap into their truth so that they can live their greatest potential.  

4.  How long does it take?

Human change is difficult.  It took decades to get where you are today and it will definitely take some time to turn the ship around, so to speak.  An average coaching engagement lasts 9-12 months.  I like to meet with my clients for about an hour every other week.  

It’s unlike therapy where you come in and talk for an hour and leave and it’s done.  You will have homework between sessions.  It’s also unlike therapy in that you can call, text or email me between sessions if you’d like.

5.  How much does it cost?

I have a variety of coaching packages to choose from, and on average one session costs about $150.

I hope these five question and answers cleared up some of the confusion around coaching.   If you’re feeling stuck and are ready to step it up a notch, consider hiring a coach.  It was truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!