“I am passionate about offering up what I can to serve your journey.
I would like to invite you to make an appointment for your
COACHING SESSION.” …Dr. Vali
Private and confidential coaching sessions
can be a positive addition to:
Dr. Vali Hawkins Mitchell is here to offer skills in the areas of communication, problem-solving, and behavior change. We do this through communication, education, consulting, and a service called “Coaching,” in which you reach out to us for help in making decisions and implementing them in order to achieve goals that you decide for yourself. After all, it’s your journey…and don’t you want to make the best of it? Going slow, stuck, or wanting to move faster? We can help!
How Do I Get Started?
Email Dr. Vali at drvali.com @ gmail.com, and she will answer your questions, provide you with an intake packet to read, discuss fees, procedures and guidelines, and then you think about it. When you have decided YES, I WANT A COACH, you return the intake packet and make an appointment. Simple. The Freedom with coaching is that you can do it from home, or a coffee shop, on vacation or on a business trip, in business attire or in your PJ’s…you usually don’t have to wait for very long and you are in charge of how often you want coach mentoring. You drive the bus and the coach is the tour guide.
What Is Coaching?
Comments from Vali Hawkins Mitchell, PhD, LMHC, REAT
There are countless sites on the internet to explain coaching.
Here are a few things to consider:
Although there are some similarities between Coaching and psychotherapy, I will not conduct psychotherapy with my coaching clients. These are different activities, and it is important that you understand the differences between them. Although both Coaching and psychotherapy use knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive counseling techniques, there are major differences in the goals, focus, and level of professional responsibility.
As your Coach, my job is to help you to take information and skills that you already have and assist you to: (1) make decisions about which changes you would like to make (including personal projects, life balance, job performance and satisfaction, or general conditions in your life, business, or profession); (2) develop a personal “action plan” in order to make those changes; (3) implement your action plan and make the behavioral changes, and (4) develop strategies to maintain the changes you have made. I will support; encourage, teach, and help you stay “on track” toward your goals.
You, as the Client, set the agenda for your coaching, and your success will depend on your willingness to define and take risks and try new approaches. You can expect your Coach to be honest and direct, asking straightforward questions and using challenging techniques to help you move forward. You are expected to evaluate your own progress, and if the coaching is not working as you wish, you should immediately inform your Coach so we can both take steps to correct the problem. Like any human endeavor, coaching can involve feelings of distress and frustration that accompany the process of change. Coaching does not offer any guarantee of success.
Psychotherapy, on the other hand, is a health care service. Its primary focus is to identify, diagnose, and treat nervous and mental disorders. The goals include alleviating symptoms, understanding the underlying personality dynamics that create symptoms, changing the dysfunctional behaviors that are the result of these disorders, and developing helping patients to cope with their psychological problems. It is usually reimbursable through health insurance policies (while coaching is not, at present).
Psychotherapy patients are often emotionally vulnerable. This vulnerability is increased by the expectation that they will discuss very intimate personal information and will expose feelings about themselves that they are understandably sensitive about. The life experiences of psychotherapy patients have often made trust difficult to achieve. These factors give psychotherapists greatly disproportionate power that creates a fiduciary responsibility to protect the safety of their clients. The coaching relationship is designed to avoid this power differential.
Because of these differences, the roles of Coach and psychotherapist are often in potential conflict, so I believe that it is ethically inappropriate me to play both roles with a client. If I am your Coach, I cannot be your therapist. This means that if either of us recognizes that you have a problem that would benefit from psychotherapy, I will refer or direct you to appropriate resources. In some situations, I may insist that you enter psychotherapy and that I have access to your psychotherapist, as a condition of my continuing as your Coach.
It is also important to understand that Coaching is a professional relationship. While it may feel at times like a close personal relationship, it is not one that can extend beyond professional boundaries, either during or after our work together. Although our meetings may be in an office, your office, or at another public location, the relationship is business, and only about your coaching needs. Considerable experience shows that when boundaries blur, the hard-won benefits gained from the coaching relationship are endangered.
The main issue in coaching is that the client feels that there is progress being made by the work. Unlike psychotherapy, the client…not the coach…defines the work AND the progress, with direct mentorship from the coach.