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FAQ Coaching/Counseling/Consultation

Jill Lam Ph.D., LPCC-S - 1/1/2018

Coaching is action and movement oriented. It focuses on helping clients identify and reach their goals. The strategies, tools, and techniques that are used are unique to the client and assist the client to be successful in all areas of life. For example, a parent may receive coaching to help learn how to parent a child with a learning disability or an adult with ADD/ADHD may receive coaching to learn how to set and achieve career goals or a student with Asperger's may receive coaching to develop communication skills and achieve relationship goals.

A disability and/or mental/emotional disorder impacts all aspects of a person's life (learning, social, emotional, and behavioral). Therapy and couneling are ways to bring awareness of past or current feelings and events to the surface so they can be acknowledged and alleviated. Specific strategies, tools, and techniques are used that are unique to the client based specifically on the client's disability. Therapy and counseling help the client gain perspective and insight into his/her own emotions and behaviors. For example, a parent may experience guilt over having a child with a disability and this may impede the parent/child relationship or an adult with dyslexia may experience anxiety based on negative academic experiences, or a student may have low self-esteem and experience bullying at school due to a learning disability. A person may need to learn tools and resources to work through anxiety and/or depression.

Forest Alliance Coaching provides consultation services to parents, caregivers, individuals, agencies, and schools. Consultation involves; shared investigation, collaborative problem solving and decision making, cooperative planning and intervention, and mutual evaluations and reviews. All participants in the consultation process are viewed as equal in status and in sharing expertise. Here is an example of consultation with parents: Parents are concerned about the appropriateness of their child's IEP and have an initial consultation with me. A meeting is scheduled with the school so that a full consultation can occur and the concerns can be addressed. Sometimes the school initiates the consultation. For example, there may be some students who are experiencing similar problems and the school initiates the consultation to help with the problem solving process. Often high school students or their parents are concerned about their future after high school. A meeting is held to discuss these concerns and review possible options based on the student's unique strengths and weaknesses. I also will review other diagnostic reports and meet with parents to explain these results, so they understand their child's strengths and weaknesses better.

All of these services are related to some degree. Some people contacting me know exactly what they are looking for, such as a school wanting a consultation regarding a type of learning disability. Sometimes a parent is looking for coaching services regarding their child's disability and in the process discovers that they have some past issues related to their own educational experiences. No matter which service is the primary focus the other services are integrated as needed.

Since I have an expertise in the area of disabilities and emotional/mental disorders, I recognize the whole person. I understand how the disability/disorder is impacting a person or families life. For example, parenting a child with Asperger's is different than parenting a child without Asperger's. Therapy for a person with anxiety and depression can be very different than a person who is experiencing only depression with no anxiety. Furthermore, it is not helpful to advise an adult with ADD/ADHD that they would be more productive if they could just become more organized. Also, a counselor may not understand that a child's behavior problems at school are a SYMPTOM of his/her learning disability and behavior management plans will not get to the heart of the problem.

The time involved depends on the situation and commitment. Clients can be seen on a weekly, every other week, monthly, or as needed basis. The more time and energy put into coaching and counseling the sooner goals can be achieved, and results will occur.

Please see the Costs and Fees article page for this information

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Forest Alliance Coaching
6660 North High Street
Suite 2D
Worthington, Ohio 43085

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