Co-Active Life Coaching "I can't thank you enough for everything you are doing for me. You have no idea how you are affecting my way of looking at life.... At first I didn't get the magnitude of that. I am getting it more and more. I know my marriage would have been affected by this diagnosis so much more if I hadn't had your support. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." (Executive Assistant, Patient)
What Brings People to Coaching
Often people who come to coaching feel stuck in some way. They sense things need to change in their lives but something is holding them back.
Some are in a fog and canít see the road ahead. They come to coaching to see their choices more clearly and set goals.
Some sense that they are not living authentically and want to explore who they really are. They come to coaching wanting to design their lives instead of living by default.
Some people know what they want to achieve but they need support in following through, like an athlete who knows she wants to run better but needs an outside eye to observe and challenge her.
Some are experiencing a situational shift, like a new job, empty nest, divorce, marriage, new baby, etc. for which their old self is not adapted and want to explore new ways of being in the world.
For some, a past failure has caused them to pull back and narrow their scope of vision for the future. Now they need a confidence boost and support in opening themselves up to new possibilities.
"When a friend recommended working with Cynthia, I jumped at the chance. I was enduring the most difficult period of my life and feeling at a loss on how to pull everything together. I hadn't worked outside the home in 10 years and my resume was in pitiful shape. Frankly, I was in pitiful shape. I weighed about 90 pounds, couldn't eat or sleep because of stress. Lack of financial resources, plus the care of my two beautiful children and, well you can imagine.
In my work with Cynthia I encountered something out of the ordinary. This wasn't "therapy". Her work with me gave me a workable plan and a chance to realistically Dream again. Over time, with her knowledge, skill and best of all, humor, I made progress in finding myself and my way through the darkness. I also found I had a strong will, but needed to harness my willfulness. Over a period of time, and a lot of dogged determination on both our parts, I am through the "bog" of feeling helpless and back on solid ground.
In a nutshell: my work with Cynthia supported me in growing up and claiming my rightful place as an adult in charge of my life. I am delighted to report that I now own my dream business, support my family and am happy and fulfilled!!
I resisted using the word "magical", but it is a really good word to describe... our work together! " (Bookstore Owner)
I coach creative, open-minded individuals who are ready to make real changes in their lives.
My clients are willing to be honest about their lives, to change their perspective, to examine what is without making excuses or playing games. They are straight with me and I am straight with them.
They accept that change can be both uncomfortable and liberating and are ready for the challenge.
They seek to embrace their own uniqueness and live more authentically. They want to stop living by default and instead design a life that honors who they truly are.
"Cynthia Emerlye is a creative, artistic soul who combines perceptive sincerity with a mature understanding of human nature. Cynthia creates safety that encourages trust. She is able to break through the most tenacious resistance to engage clients in challenging work. I have seen her work her loving magic, assuring self-acceptance and awareness, releasing people from whatever binds them. I most enthusiastically endorse her services." (Unitarian Minister)
What to Expect From Coaching
I use a method called Co-Active coaching, as taught by the Coaches Institute. This means that the client is a full participant in the change that is created.
While the solutions we arrive at are often pragmatic, the way we get to them can be quite intuitive. I incorporate dreamwork, visualization, role-playing, myth, metaphor, archetype, dowsing, collage and other methods into my work. I therefore seek clients who are open to looking at things metaphorically -- open to the possibility that life works on levels beyond the conscious.
Unlike a consultant, who analyzes the client's situation from the outside makes recommendations, then walks away, I will engage you in a process of coming to your own clarity about who you are and what you want.( I may be the midwife but it's your baby!) Then I will help you to accomplish those goals.
Coaching is a relationship wherein I (as coach) support and challenge you (the client) through your process of getting clear about where you are right now, clarifying what you want to manifest in the future, and building a strategy to get from here to there.
Co-active coaching is a process not only of the intellect, but of the heart and muscles. You will do more than just think about your goals; you will embody them! It is a joint creative process which involves brainstorming, visioning, asking powerful questions, values clarification, balancing all parts of life, goal setting, doing homework, examining modes of operation... and much more.
"Thanks again for our coaching session. Whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?" (Retired Activities Director)
How Often? For How Long?
How often you will want to coach and how long you keep the process going is completely flexible. A single coaching session can make a difference in your life. It all depends on how much you want your life to change. Some people are concerned about spending money on coaching, not only because of their limited budget, but also because they might confuse coaching with therapy, which can go on endlessly. Unlike therapy, coaching is a task-oriented process and has a destination in mind right from the start. (To read more about the difference between coaching and therapy, click here.) Often I will ask a client in the first session what he/she wants coaching for and what success will look like. Also, I am quite flexible in the way coaching programs are designed. While most clients meet with me once a week for three to six months, many others chose alternate options. Here are some possibilities:
A Single Coaching Session can help to untangle and clarify your thinking about goals or make a decision about a particular problem. Single sessions are probably better as intensives (longer sessions of 2 hours or more.) Some people string several single sessions through the year, whenever they have an issue they need help with. (The disadvantage of doing this, however, is that the deeper, foundational work of clarifying one's overall vision and strategy for life is not addressed in this way.) Periodic single sessions are most often used by those who have coached with me for a concentrated period and are coming back for "tune-ups."
A Weekend Intensive, followed by single sessions is one way that we can do some concentrated work on clarifying one's overall profile, identifying areas to work on, establishing goals, discovering personality issues, etc... and then follow up this foundation with periodic progress in single sessions. This method works especially well for people who live at a distance. They travel to Vermont for the intensive, then coach later by phone.
Weekly private Coaching Sessions for three months or more. I have found that three months of regular coaching builds a good foundation from which to launch one's new and improved life. Of course, many people continue weekly sessions longer, sometimes up to a year. That is a personal choice. This option is very effective in making large life changes or in mapping out a comprehensive strategy for one's life. Generally, the first five or six sessions will focus on laying a foundation of self (Who are you? What do you want? What is your personality profile? Skills relating to time management, personal organization, boundaries, negotiation, etc.) Once we establish who you are, where you are now, and what things you want to change, we will hone in on creating a strategy for getting you to your goal. Homework will involve fulfilling the challenges you set for yourself. This is by far the most popular option for coaching success.
Fundamentals of Life Coaching Class, followed by private coaching sessions.
This option will be available soon, as I am developing such course work
now. I have found that most people have similar issues and go through
a similar process of laying the foundation for their deeper
goal-setting. I will be offering this as a group experience, after
which clients can then schedule more personal, in-depth sessions with
me. This should be more cost-effective for the client and
time-effective for me. Stay tuned!
Coaching Formats INTENSIVE COACHING is my specialty. These are longer sessions (at least 90 minutes) which allow us to "go deep." In this way we can often break through layers of meaning or resistance to a different level of understanding. Longer sessions also keep one's feet to the fire. Many clients build up steam as they go; they "get on a roll." Stopping the session at only 30 or 50 minutes can break this momentum, which needs to be built up again in the next session.
Another advantage of intensive coaching is that we can cover a lot of territory in a concentrated time frame. This works well for those who need to travel to see me, and for those with weekly time limitations.
The disadvantage of intensive coaching is that this kind of work is by nature more concentrated and can be mentally and emotionally tiring. You may wish to give yourself some "absorption time" and plan to be quiet and rest afterwards. Scheduling a coaching or dreamwalking retreat is a good solution to this problem.
I believe that each person is different and deserves the approach which will work the best for them. Clients can see me for a one-time intensive session to untangle a specific problem,, or come back for several shorter intensives, or go to the next level and schedule a full day intensive or even a retreat.
ONGOING WEEKLY SESSIONS: Some clients need time to let things settle between each new insight and prefer the slower, more paced approach that hourly sessions provide. If you desire tradition weekly coaching, I suggest you commit to a three-month minimum period to give you time to cover enough ground.
"At first I wondered whether this sweet, gentle woman could help me with my business, since I work in such a high-powered environment. Boy, was I wrong! Cynthia is very sharp and kept my feet to the fire. She helped me clarify my vision, see where I was off track and wasting energy and understand what I really wanted. With her help I have also rounded out my lifestyle so I'm not burning myself out with work. Now I actually work less but I am more productive -- I thank you and my family thanks you too." -- Financial Executive