How Health Coaching Could Change The Way A Person Lives With AxSpa: Part 2
As a duo of a Life Coach (Julie) and a Health Coach (Lana), we have decided to write a series of articles together. We want to share our stories with AS/AxSpa, our learnings and experiences helping clients through their own health and life challenges. You can read the first part of this article here, titled "How Health Coaching Could Change The Way You Live With AxSpA.".
How would you describe your role as a life/health coach?
I support people in recognizing what is important in life for them and how to reach a happier and more balanced life according to their vision and values. We can work on any field of their life, and I can help clients to identify which field needs more investment and which one is already on the thriving path. This is an empowering approach where I am the catalyst to the changes people will make in their life. With tools, questions, and deep listening, my clients can find their own answers and ways towards these long-lasting changes they want for a better quality of life.
I am trained in behavior change around health and wellness topics. I take on a functional approach, looking at all aspects of life that can have an impact on someone’s health and symptoms. I empower people to make lasting lifestyle changes to optimize their health and manage chronic conditions. I offer guidance, resources, support, and accountability to help address people’s goals and vision for their life and health.
How can your coaching approach help someone with AxSpa?
Living with AxSpa can mean regularly revising your way of living and potentially adapting to new circumstances. Symptoms can change, or worsen, even overnight. It can be a real burden to have to manage the condition, navigate the care pathway, and adapt your life. All that can be overwhelming. Working with me can help you to define what you want to do first to improve your life. I remain neutral and supportive; I listen to people’s story and I ask powerful questions to identify where the next steps might be to feel more in control, to improve the care, to live better with AxSpa.
I am not here to tell people what to do and play the expert role in someone’s life with AxSpa. I am here to guide people on their journey towards building new healthy habits. A session comes with a lot of thought-provoking questions, so that clients can find their own answers, ways forward and motivation for change. I am truly here to listen and hold space for what the clients want to share and focus on. In a non-judgmental space and because of my personal experience with AxSpa, I bring empathy, compassion, authenticity, and support.
What are the most common challenges you see when working with clients?
Julie: I would say that self-confidence is a common one, and we can all be challenged by that. Confidence does fluctuate with life events, and when on the downside it can prevent us from thriving just because we believe we can’t achieve what we want. Another challenge can be the lack of awareness about ourselves, our potential and our inner strengths. I often observe when I work with clients that we are more resourceful than we think. Talking to a coach can lead us to realize how much resources we have within ourselves and also around us.
Overwhelm, fear, and lack of accountability. When I first see clients, they often feel lost on their journey, not sure where to start. They are overwhelmed by their diagnosis, the options, all the health information that is out there. They also often feel alone on this journey, and don’t quite know how to get the best support for their situation or how to openly share their feelings and needs. Finally, they need support to stay accountable for the things they want to change in their life.
What strategies do you use to help clients?
I use visualization approaches and tools to draw the big picture of my clients’ ideal balanced life. It helps to raise awareness and generate new ways of seeing their life and themselves. I guide people rather than advise them, so they can find their own answers and ways forward. The empowering aspect of my approach is within that space where people can learn how to help themselves with the support of a coach. Also, with questioning techniques, I challenge their ways of seeing, thinking, and planning, so the defined goal and tailor-made action plan resonate with their definition of success.
The work done in coaching sessions is forward-focused. We look at the client’s strengths and goals and set up small experiments, actionable steps for in-between sessions. We then take the learnings and adapt as needed, until the client feels confident in implementing those changes and make them lasting habits. Through methods of positive psychology, motivational interviewing, stages of change, and functional health, I work with each client wherever they are on their journey. Health coaching is tailored to the uniqueness of each person.
Part 3 of this series is coming up next, where we will share some strategies used when working with clients, and some helpful tips for you!