In the Blogging 101 sphere, we are to write about, flesh out, comments that we might have made in visiting other blogging sites (the visiting was the assignment, yesterday.) One of the sites I came across was of a woman who is a Life Coach, and that triggered some questions and thoughts in me.
I am not clueless when it comes to Life Coaches; I listen to two podcasts, and both of them offer ‘coaching’. One of the podcasts, Sexy Marriage Radio, is hosted by Dr. Corey Allen, who is a licensed counselor, and who does counseling/coaching. His co-host, the popular author Shannon Etheridge, a licensed “Life Coach”, who conducts marriage workshops.
As well, Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo, of One Extraordinary Marriage, do a blunt, in-your-face podcast, and through their contact with listeners needing help in their marriages, have backed into ‘coaching’. Neither is a licensed counselor, with Tony being San Diego’s Dent Dude and Alisa formerly being a jewelry representative. And this has got me wondering…
Put Me In, Coach?
One of my skills is that of a storyteller; let’s just say, give me an audience, and we’re good, you don’t have to worry for the next 45 minutes. Once I was asked, “What kind of training do you have to have to be a storyteller?” My reply, born from my, oh so clever, wit was, “You mean, other than the ten-year apprenticeship you have to serve?” Let’s just say that anyone who can tell a joke has the rudimentary buildingblocks of being a storyteller. Is it the same thing for Life Coaches?
My question to that blogger was about steps to becoming a life coach. After all, I commented, there aren’t too many guidance counselors saying, “Have you thought of Life Coach?” And her reply, while including information on an organization that gives one form of Life Coach certification, didn’t necessarily answer my questions or immediately allay my concerns:
I had a client who, after about our third session, said to me “I think I want to do what you do”. She wasn’t sure before then what coaching was, but once she was coached, she thought it would be an exciting career change
When marriages are in trouble, it’s not uncommon for those involved to be told, “Get counseling.” But what makes for a good counselor? I was very active in reading and posting on a marriage/Christian sexuality bulletin board, and I’ve read stories of both good and bad counseling, so I know that, as in any field of endeavor, marriage counseling and life coaching is a toss-up, a crap-shoot. I want to say that it is best to go with licensed, certified counselors, but then, I’ve read horror stories from people who have been burned by these “pro’s”.
But Don’t Life Experiences Count For Anything?
Yes. Yes it does. And as I’ve thought about this over the next day, I began to wonder if this isn’t what matters most.
I’ve heard it said that Christian witnessing is merely one hungry sinner telling another hungry sinner where they can find bread. And the Bible does tell the inexperienced to seek out and receive counsel from those who have gone before:
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. (Prov. 12:15)
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,… (Titus 2:3-4)
One of my favorite movies is an obscure Gene Wilder/Harrison Ford flick, The Frisco Kid. In it, Wilder, a newly-minted rabbi has a line that I’ve never forgotten: “In the Talmud, it says ‘find thyself a teacher’ and this I have done.” It’s pretty much a given that we need help, that we humans can botch up anything, even a one-car funeral.
So, given the Bible’s statements, and the pretty much demonstrable fact that we are a race of screw-ups, we need to look around us and find mentors who have gone before, and stepped in all the gopher holes, so we don’t break our legs, too.
In the words of Rabbi Avram, “Find thyself a teacher.”
(more on this topic in another post…)