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Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing StoriesA Clinician's Guide to Legal Issues in PsychotherapyA Map of the MindA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyACT With LoveActive Treatment of DepressionAffect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of SelfAlready FreeBad TherapyBecoming an Effective PsychotherapistBecoming MyselfBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBetrayed as BoysBeyond Evidence-Based PsychotherapyBeyond MadnessBeyond PostmodernismBinge No MoreBiofeedback for the BrainBipolar DisorderBody PsychotherapyBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBrain Science and Psychological DisordersBrain-Based Therapy with AdultsBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCase Studies in DepressionCaught in the 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Bisexual ClientsHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHeinz KohutHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHigh RiskHistory of PsychotherapyHow and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?How Clients Make Therapy WorkHow People ChangeHow Psychotherapists DevelopHow to Fail As a TherapistHow to Go to TherapyHypnosis for Inner Conflict ResolutionHypnosis for Smoking CessationI Never Promised You a Rose GardenIf Only I Had KnownIn Others' EyesIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyInside the SessionInside TherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt's Not as Bad as It SeemsItís Your HourLearning ACTLearning from Our MistakesLearning Supportive PsychotherapyLetters to a Young TherapistLife CoachingLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMadness and DemocracyMaking the Big LeapMan's Search for MeaningMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMind GamesMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMoments of EngagementMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessMultifamily Groups in the Treatment of Severe Psychiatric DisordersNarrative PracticeOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOur Last Great IllusionOutsider ArtOutsider Art and Art TherapyOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsOverexposedPathways to SpiritualityPersonality and PsychotherapyPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical Issues in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPillar of SaltPlan BPlato, 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Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologySecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSelf-Disclosure in Psychotherapy and RecoverySerious ShoppingSex, Therapy, and KidsSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapySigns of SafetySoul Murder RevisitedStaring at the SunStraight to JesusStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyTales of UnknowingTalk is Not EnoughTalking Cures and Placebo EffectsTelling SecretsThe Behavioral Medicine Treatment PlannerThe Body in PsychotherapyThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Clinical Child Documentation SourcebookThe Clinical Documentation SourcebookThe Complete Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Couch and the TreeThe Couples 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Second EditionWhen the Body SpeaksWhispers from the EastWise TherapyWittgenstein and PsychotherapyWorking MindsWoulda, Coulda, ShouldaWriting About PatientsYoga Skills for Therapists:Yoga Therapy
Most people don't know there exists a nascent profession called "Life Coaching" and would be surprised to learn, according to Dave Ellis, there are more than 10,000 professionals active in the field (Other sources report even higher numbers). But this book is for life coaches themselves and for the many thousands of people interested in becoming--or actively training to become--a life coach. Such readers already know this exciting, dynamic profession offers unlimited possibilities.
Life coaching appears to have emerged mostly since the 1990s from various sources, such as Life Purpose Work, the Forum, Lifespring, Lighten Up, success seminars like those offered by formerly Boulder-based Career Track and others, together with coaching tracks from sports and fitness training. As a practical matter, it has a mostly upscale client base.
Dave Ellis is ranked a leader in the field, successful enough to act the role of philanthropist for life coaching and author of several books. In Life Coaching he has written an excellent guide for professionals, many or most of whom are transitioning from counseling to coaching or are life coaches. It's a book that offers a great deal more than appears at first glance. What it teaches reflects a deep background in experiential adult learning and is consistent, concrete, and specific to applications.
Ellis makes a clear distinction between counseling--much more familiar--and life coaching: the latter is not about giving advice or following an agenda. Coaching is client-centered; coaches help people create the life of their dreams; coaches provide a relationship that advances and promotes what clients say they want in their lives. Ellis wants coaches who believe in and aim for transformation in the lives of clients, who believe in the inner "genius" of every client. It's difficult to fairly evaluate these locutions, and ideas behind them, out of context, because the language sounds like hype when reported. Ellis keeps it real even though what he is describing is possibility-thinking, somewhat mysterious to those not involved with life coaching.
In a way, the book is a surprise of comprehensive coverage, because its simple style lulls a reader into an initial under-estimation of its content. By the time one reaches, say, page 134 "Solving Problems" the materials begin to overwhelm, providing one creative, specific technique after another for life coaching with clients--as if it's all too much. Well, it isn't, of course. It's just that this manual is really meant to be read and then used as a reference and guide to selecting some needed technique, yielding its value over many different readings and times as needed while coaching. A manual is meant to be replete and comprehensive; this one is.
It follows that this book is useful in two ways: First, one should read it straight through to grasp its content with no attempt to retain or apply what it describes. Make annotations. Perhaps evaluation begins after this reading.
The second use: the book should be intellectually ripped for its many techniques, or at least those of most interest to each reader. There is much to choose from: powers and possibilities in coaching, coaching mechanics, how to listen, how to work with clients, enhancing skills, evaluations, using questions creatively, marketing a coaching practice, and much, much more.
Anyone serious about moving from client counseling to life coaching would benefit greatly from making a curriculum of Ellis' work--even typing out techniques, exercises, approaches, creative methods based on Ellis' paragraphs.
Now, a few words of caution: Some of what Ellis describes is so creative, these things may well belong mostly to his character and his personality. A reader has to be the judge of what to use and what to overlook.
Also, Life Coaching presumes a high level of the reader's own experience and background in inter-personal counseling, group or coaching work. This reviewer can see many indications of Ellis' own non-traditional (non-academic) experiential learning, but not many younger or newer readers will perceive the depth of Ellis' roots. So, this book is not best for green counselors and would-be coaches right out of classrooms. Life coaching, after all, is meant for professionals with life experience as well as work experience. That's the point of the subtitle: "A manual for helping professionals."
© 2007 David M. Wolf
David M. Wolf, M.A. has been leading a Philosophy Evening twice- monthly for the past year at Yoga Bookstore & Cafe in Honesdale, PA. He is the author of Philosophy That Works, a book about the foundations of knowledge, truth, and philosophy; you can read sections at Google Book Search or Chapter One at http://www.xlibris.com/philosophythatworks. David is presently working on a new novel, and a growing collection of sonnets, and other works