Life Coaching/Question

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Question
I am trying to decide if I should seek out a life coach at this time of my life.  I am currently seeing a therapist regarding sexual abuse issues and also am doing other self improvement things including doing yoga, eating healthier, attempting to lose weight, and going back to school for my masters degree.  At times doing all of that is overwhelming with working full time.  Do you think I should look into seeing a life coach?  And if so, how do I find a life coach?  I live in central Maine and I don't believe this is something that is really popular around here.

Answer
Dear Tracy,

It sounds like you are doing a great job with making healthy changes to your life. A life coach that focuses on work/life balance and health/fitness may be helpful to you; however, I would recommend staying with a clinical therapist to work on the abuse issues. Therapists and psychologists are trained to help with trauma, issues from the past and emotional illnesses. Life coaches deal with the here and now-they work with clients to attain goals in areas like career, personal development, finances, relationships, and health. You can certainly see a life coach while you are in therapy since the two professions focus on different areas and use some different techniques. Coaches are more likely to work with you in creating an action plan or wellness plan which outlines your goals and action steps. This is particularly helpful with things like weight loss which requires effort and time to accomplish. A life coach tends to be more motivational and allows you to be in charge of your own process. Yet, coaches are also more likely to check in with you to see that you are actually doing what you said you would do. This can be very helpful for many clients because the accountability pushes them to take action.
My question for you is whether you would like to see a life coach in person or if you would consider working with one over the phone? Many life coaches offer telephone or Skype sessions. This may seem impersonal to some but can be surprisingly effective and works well for busy clients! I have done both phone coaching sessions and in-person. I would be happy to do a free consultation by phone with you if you decide that this may work for you (I live in Connecticut). You can email me at mmerbaum@gmail.com if interested or if you would like more info.
If you decide that you want an in-person coach in your area, then Noomi is a very good online coach directory to use. I believe that they do have coaches in Maine so you can check that out.
Good luck to you and I hope this was helpful.

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Marisa Merbaum

Expertise

I am a certified life coach and the types of questions I can answer revolve around managing stress, maintaining a favorable work/life balance, and obtaining optimal wellness. With experience in counseling and healthcare, I can answer questions about healthy ways to relieve stress such as through the use of techniques like meditation, physical activity, guided imagery, and deep breathing. I also can assist you in questions about how to manage your time more effectively. Other areas I specialize in are raising self-esteem, confidence level, and being assertive in your communication. I can answer questions in any of these areas as well as questions about improving wellness. I cannot answer strictly medical questions or questions about a specific diet for a medical disorder, however I am happy to respond to questions about preventive health such as how to eat healthier, start exercising, or how to make time for self-care. Additionally, I would be happy to answer questions about life coaching, what it is, how it works, and what it can do for you.

Experience

I have training and experience in counseling as well as nursing. I have worked as a counselor at a college counseling center and a residential treatment facility. My work has focused on helping people become more adept at managing stress, have healthier relationships, and increase well being. I also have years of experience working as a nurse in a behavioral health hospital where I learned about the importance of time management and effective communication. I have recently received training in life coaching which I believe is my life's passion. I love helping others to reach their highest potentials and realize their life dreams.

Organizations
I belong to the American Counseling Association, the Golden Key Honors Society, and the Phi Betta Kappa Honors Society.

Education/Credentials
I have a Master's degree in Professional Counseling, bachelor's degrees in psychology and nursing. I am a registered nurse. I am a Certified Professional Coach.

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