The Survivor’s Guide is our directory to great local businesses, particularly ones that can be helpful to cancer patients. This week we are pleased to introduce you to Julie Sass, a Christian certified life coach.
Going through trauma may lead you on a journey of incredible self-discovery, or it can knock you over and leave you flat. Sometimes it does both. How do you cope when you encounter a crushing blow? Maybe you curl up in the fetal position emotionally for a while, and then start desperately searching for answers. It’s normal to want to find someone else who could say, “Yes. I’ve gone through that too, and here is exactly what you need to do.”
The reality is that no human has the perfect answers for you. But you may find wonderful resources and suggestions from fellow travelers to help you decide what your journey can look like.
I’d like to introduce you to someone who won’t give you all the answers. She may, however, point you to resources and craft a strategy to get you in better shape for your personal journey. Meet Julie Sass, a Christian certified transitional life coach.
I asked Julie some questions about her work as a life coach. Here is some information she kindly shared. Next week Julie will share more about how a life coach can specifically help cancer patients.
So What Exactly is “Coaching”?
The first time it was ever used, the word coach described a horse-drawn vehicle — a stagecoach that would get people from where they were to where they wanted to be. A modern bus does the same thing, and often these vehicles are called coaches. Most often today, coaches are people who help athletes and teams move from one place to another that is better and where they want to be. Even Tiger Woods has a coach to help improve his game of golf.
Coaches also help musicians, public speakers, and actors, who rely on coaching to improve their skills, overcome obstacles, remain focused, and get to where they want to be. Coaching is very popular in business and corporate settings around the world where “executive coaches” help managers and other business leaders deal with change, develop new management styles, make wise decisions, become more effective, cope with their hyperactive lifestyles, and deal with stress. Executive coaches work with people in business to help them move from where they are to levels where they are more competent, fulfilled, and self-confident than they would have been otherwise.
Coaches guide people from where they are toward the greater competence and fulfillment they desire. Christian Coaching is the art and practice of working with a person or group in the process of moving from where they are to where God wants them to be.
What Kind of People Choose a Transitional Life Coach?
Coaching helps people who want to:
- Get unstuck
- Build their confidence
- Expand their vision for the future
- Fulfill their dreams
- Unlock their potential
- Increase their skills
- Move through transitions
- Take practical steps toward their goals
How is Coaching Different than Counseling?
Unlike counseling or therapy, coaching is less threatening, less about problem solving, more about helping people reach their potential.
- Coaching is not for people who need therapy to overcome painful influences from the past; coaches help people build vision and move toward the future.
- Coaching is not about looking back; it’s about looking ahead.
- Coaching is not about healing; it’s about growing.
- Coaching focuses less on overcoming weaknesses and more on building skills and strengths.
- Usually coaching is less formal than the counselor/counselee relationship; more often it is a partnership between two equals, one of whom has experiences, perspectives, skills, or knowledge that can be useful to the other.
What Do Coaches Do to Help Others?
- Coaches stimulate better skills.
- Coaches stimulate vision.
- Coaches help people grow through life transitions.
- Coaches guide Christians in their spiritual journeys.
- Coaches speak the truth in love.
How Does it Work?
Julie helps clients in person, over the phone and by using technology such as Skype. If you were to ask her specifically how the process works, here is what Julie would share:
- You set the agenda in the coaching partnership based upon our mutual understanding of your priorities. As I coach, I will hold you accountable.
- My responsibility is to support, motivate, challenge and guide you. Your responsibility is to take the action necessary to make the changes you want in your life.
- I will ask you the tough questions, provide you with focus and structure, support and encourage you through the difficult times. And, I will celebrate your successes with you!
- You will be asked to experiment with fresh approaches and strategies in order to make the changes you desire.
- Issues that are outside the boundaries of the coaching relationship and my expertise should be taken to an appropriate qualified professional.
- Confidentiality is paramount in the coaching relationship and I will not disclose any information about you to anyone unless permission is granted.
- If you choose to discontinue the coaching relationship, a one month notice is appreciated.
- Feedback is gratefully accepted. If you feel there is something I am doing that is not helpful for you or that I am not doing that would help you, please inform me.
- The Christian faith is my compass for life. My hope is that you will enjoy an abundant life as mentioned in verse John 10:10 of the Bible. My coaching comes from a Biblical perspective.
- Coaching sessions will last approximately 45 minutes. The more direct and to the point we are in our conversations the more productive our session with be.
*Adapted from Gary R. Collins, Used by permission of NavPress (www.navpress.com). All Rights reserved. CHRISTIAN COACHING: Helping Others Turn Potential into Reality, 2001
Julie is quick to say that life does not instantly get better when a woman makes the decision to positively move towards God’s purpose for her life. A life coach will help you push forward each day by stimulating a new way of thinking to produce confidence. Julie’s goal is to help her clients gain a clearer focus on their God-given strengths and a renewed ability to live intentionally each day.
Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (NIV)
Julie Sass has experienced traumatic loss, an unexpected teen pregnancy, divorce, and other life challenges. She is passionate about coaching women in life circumstances where they may find themselves considering the question, “What now?” Julie has developed a self-awareness program that helps women embrace their God-given uniqueness, uncover their passions and dreams, and take effective steps to move forward. She works with women to celebrate how God made them, gain clarity on the fabulous new things God has in store for them, and move forward in a positive direction after living through negative situations.
Next week Julie will share on our blog about how a Christian certified life coach can specifically help cancer patients.