Life Coaching for people with chronic conditions
We all have those things we know we should be doing but never get around to. Instead of getting to it, we "should all over ourselves" . That usually only makes us feel worse. It becomes escpecially important to take care of your body and mind when you are dealing whith a chronic condtion like lymphedema, diabetes, arthritis, stress related heart disese, chronic back pain or obesity. Yet it can be so difficult to stay on track.
Everyone can use a coach to stay on track
Coaching has been proven to improve our ability to make changes in our lifestyle and habits to achieve our goals. That is why even top athletes has coaches. They certanly know what they need to or should do but they hire a coach to help keep them on track. The difference between coaching and medical consulting is that a coach will not tell you what you need to do. You tell the coach what you need to and want to do, the coach will help you get there. The coaching session is a judgment free zone. If you don't know what you need to do, the coach will help you explore the options. There is plenty of available information at our fingertips. If How-To literature alone worked, we would all be healthy, rich and happy.
Life Coaching is a fast growing service in America. Young and healthy people with dreams and goals are hiring life coaches to help them reach their goals. We believe that anyone has the potential to make lifestyle changes to improve the quality of life. In spite of challenging chronic medical conditions. This believe is based on years of experience working with people with chronic conditions. We have learned from our most succsesful clients how they are able to continue to live life.
Acute care model - ignoring the elephant in the room
In America and most of the western world we have an impressive acute medical care model. When there is a sudden event like a car accident, heart attack, stroke, blood sugar spike or insuling shock, the system can work with impressive speed and precision. However, the majority of medical problems in our country are not sudden acute problems. There are chronic ongoing problems. The acute care model is not working well for this. Why is it that we can take a dosen medications, book our calender full with appointments to highly skilled specialist and still be so sick and miserable? I recently had a client that was hospitalized 11 times in one year with acute episodes caused by diabetes and heart disease. When her levels were stable she goes back home. Time to try a new approach? Science shows and most doctors admints that lifestyle changes are essential to manage chronic disease. The medical world just don't have a good system to make that happen. There are a few that will do what we're told when the doctor advices us to make lifestyle changes, but most of us fall back to the old ways. Making lifestyle changes often becomes the ignored elephant in the room. The doctor might be uncomfortable to talk about it, and if he/she does, the patient feels judged. So often both agree to ignore that topic.
The other elephant in the room - Body and mind connection.
Another flawd model of thinking comes from the industrial revolution and it is slow to change, We have a tendency to try to devide the body in parts and treat each part separately. Yet research shows over and over again how the body affects the mind and the mind affects the body. We all know this already. Ever had sweaty palms or upset stomach from being nervous? That is a physical reaction. What happens to our blood pressure, heart rate, stomach and muscles when we are stressed? You know the answer. Then why are we trying to treat the body and mind as if they are separate? Did you know that stress releases a hormone that releases fat cells to float around in our blood stream, increasing the risk for heart attach and stroke? Did you know that there are well studied and proven methods to reduce and manage stress?
The Life Coaching Program
The first session is the evaluation. We explore what problems are most pressing. What is most important to you that would have the greatest impact on your quality of life if you could improve. Based on this we start to set goals. We will beging to form a plan for the coming sessions. Long term goals will begin to form. Then we set immediate short term goals for the coming week. Theese goals will be the inital small steps that begins the journey to better health and quality of life. We also deside what we will measure and track so we know if we are making progress.
The follwoing session will have three parts.
1. Assess the past week. Without judging yourself too hard, learn from the experience so we can adjust the goals and plan for the coming week.
2. We pick a topic of interest to explore and learn useful tools. Topics to address can be: Stress management, sleep, nutrition, weight loss, exercise, managing prescribed medications, managing blood sugar, time management, organizing skills. We teach what we know in the areas and help you explore other resources of information.
3. Update the goals and plan. We focus on immediate short term goals. One week at a time. Much research has been made on the topic of setting and achieving goals. We use the latest research from neuroscience and human behavior to build a spring board to jump in to the coming week with best possible odds for success.
We recommend to start with 10 weekly sessions. It takes time and repitition to create new habits. After 10 weeks we change to monthly sessions. By then many new habits may be automatic. You will have learned from the coaching techniques to become your own weekly coach. After 6 months of monthly coaching you fly on your own for 6 months. We like to check in with you 2x/year to help you stay on track.
Is this covered by insurance?
We do not bill insurance for this service. An essential part of Life Coaching is that the goals and focus are on areas that are most important to you. Insurance companies, including Medicare, have very specific guidelines for what is covered and what is not. For example there is very limited coverage for weight loss coaching.To allow you the freedom to custumize this coaching to meet your needs, we keep this service private pay. You become your own insurance company and will not answer to anyone.