Aug 19, 2012

Life Coaching

"Please remember, it is what you are that heals, not what you know." Carl Jung

What an interesting observation from a renowned psychiatrist.  It is not what we know, but who we are, that is healing -- to ourselves and others.  Most often when people are hurting, they just want to be heard.  Listening, truly listening, is a very rare commodity in our modern world.  Undoubtedly, all of us have seen couples at dinner, both on their cell phones.  Haven't you found yourself formulating your response when someone else is talking?  That is not listening.  Listening involves emptying ourselves of our agenda to hold the space for another person to talk.  The optimal situation is when both persons are able to really listen to the other.  A therapist once recommended that couples talk for 6 minutes every day.  For 3 minutes one would talk and the other just listen.  Then the roles would be reversed.  This can be a powerful relationship enhancement tool.  The most recent Alzheimer's newsletter from Mayo recommended that we not reason with (a favorite tool of mine) the person with dementia, but - instead - to use short, simple sentences.  I agree, even if my first tendency is to attempt reasoning.  It is also a mistake to hope that the person with dementia can really listen to us.  A characteristic of dementia is a folding in upon oneself that usually precludes the person really being able to be interested in another's life.  So, where can we busy caregivers find someone who will listen to us?  Life coaching over the phone is one way.  Life coaching has become very popular and accessible.  Should you decide to try it, I recommend you find someone who has completed a certification program.  Since life coaching is a new profession, there are few regulations and almost any one can call themselves a life coach.  It is important that we engage someone with good skills.  It is also important that we have someone (or several) in our life who will listen to and support us.

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