“Coaching” is one of those things that gets talked about a lot—but what exactly IS it? Unlike therapy, which has very clearly-defined modalities and approaches, coaching can be almost anything that the coach and client want it to be. Having that freedom to shape it to your needs is wonderful, but it does make it a little hard to know what to expect, doesn’t it? How do you know if you need it? Do you do it before therapy, in combination with therapy, or after?
We can’t answer those questions for every coaching business you might encounter, but we wanted to take some time to answer those questions for our embodiment and breathwork coaching services specifically. Our resident coach, Rev. Jenellen Fischer, was happy to dive in and give you a clearer picture about what happens when you sign on to work with her.
First, let’s tackle the basics…
Right now, sessions are all virtual on a secure platform, and Rev. Jenellen can work with you no matter where in the world you live. You’re welcome to do your sessions solo, or with your partner(s). (However, if you’re in a polycule, you might want to talk to Rev. Jenellen about whether you genuinely want all your sessions to be group sessions, or whether you want to break it up in some way.)
How many sessions do I need to commit to? Can I see you just once or twice if that’s all I feel like I need?
Coaching is not a “quick fix”—it addresses things you want to work on over time with support and guidance. It also takes a little time for your coach to get to know you and understand where you want to get to and why; usually, by the third session, Rev. Jenellen will be able to talk with you about how much time you’ll need and how to set some realistic, concrete goals.
In general, you should expect to do a minimum of 6 one-hour sessions, which can happen weekly, biweekly, or monthly. On average, most clients need 6-12 sessions, although some do like to have an ongoing relationship. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do enough in one or two sessions to meet any big goals, but sometimes there are specific topics or techniques that could be covered in that time.
What if I feel like I could benefit from coaching, but I’m not sure what I want to work on?
That’s actually wonderful! Part of the coaching process is self-discovery. It’s also very common for your ideas about what you want to work on to change or evolve by the third session.
What actually happens in a coaching session?
You’ll log into our secure portal for a 50-minute session. There’s a little time for greetings and getting settled. Rev. Jenellen recommends that you come into the session with something to drink, and to make sure that you’re in as private a space as you have available to you.
Rev. Jenellen will talk to you about what’s going on in your life, what you want to be working on, and where you’re at. Based on that, she’ll suggest 3-5 topics that you’ll be working on in your time together. In future sessions, you might go over work you did in between, and you’ll build on the work of previous sessions. She’ll choose something to do with you that affirms what you’ve done in that session—for example, a breathwork exercise or guided meditation—and give you something to do on your own before the next time you see one another.
The thing she wants to emphasize is that you’re having fun during this process. Of course there will be more serious, intense moments, but Rev. Jenellen enjoys taking a playful and creative approach to working with clients. She encourages them to see the process in terms of play and discovery and joy, as well.
Will I have “homework” between sessions?
Yes, because it makes each coaching session more effective. Rev. Jenellen likes to refer to this as “plork”, meaning work that’s also play. Her style means that you’re rarely going to be assigned reading or anything passive, and instead will focus on doing, fun, and curiosity. Often it’ll involve technology in some way. She emphasizes that not doing homework, or not sending it to her before your sessions to give her time to review and prepare, isn’t failure. It just slows your pace down a bit.
How do I know if I need coaching, or therapy, or both?
The simplest answer is that coaching is more goal-oriented, offering frameworks for integrating your coaching work into your life. Therapy, on the other hand, allows you to explore your inner life and seek healing and mental health treatment. Coaching and therapy complement each other beautifully, so you can do them at the same time to great effect. However, coaching can be very helpful on its own as well, especially if you want some flexibility and creativity in your approach to your self-work.
How is embodiment and breathwork coaching different from other kinds of life coaching I’ve seen out there?
The biggest difference is that this isn’t a package or program—many coaches have a fixed process for which they charge one fixed price. With our embodiment and breathwork coaching services, it’s a highly individualized, customized experience and the length of time it takes can vary a lot.
Rev. Jenellen also works with some very specialized topics that many coaches don’t, including sexuality, kink, Neo-Tantra, polyamory/ethical non-monogamy, and spirituality.
If I come to you for spiritual counseling, are you going to try to convert me or get me to join some kind of cult?
Absolutely not! We get it—there’s a reason that spiritual counseling and services make a lot of people wary. But we’re not about any “one true way”, any one religious path, or any kind of dogma. No one here is going to tell you what to believe.
People might come to Rev. Jenellen for spiritual coaching or counseling because they’ve been carrying wounds from religious or spiritual experiences and are seeking a way to move through and resolve the harm that’s been done to them. They might be seeking a more fulfilling spiritual path or personal practice, or simply want to discover what it is they believe. It’s all about exploring how you relate to the world and what it means to have a sense that there’s something bigger than you that you interact with in some way.
I’m not sure which specific type of coaching is right for me. Can you help me figure that out? Can I mix and match?
Yes—we try to break down the different types of coaching that Rev. Jenellen offers on our Services page to help make it easier for people to understand, but you can take a blended approach as well. Reach out to Rev. Jenellen to talk about your interest in coaching and she will be happy to help you figure out what you need.
How will I know if it’s working—what will be different for me?
Some of your earliest work with Rev. Jenellen will involve setting goals together, so you’ll be able to tell very clearly whether or not you’ve reached those goals. You’ll notice changes in your life that were sparked by your coaching work, and they fit comfortably. You’ll very likely feel more optimistic, more confident, less anxious or stressed. Your outlook on life will be changing, and you may be building new skills.
It’s also important to note that if you’re trying an approach with Rev. Jenellen and it starts to feel like it’s not working or isn’t a good fit, there’s always room to modify it and revisit your goals. It’s very possible to come in thinking you want to work on one thing, only to discover that something else turns out to be much more important to you right now. You and Rev. Jenellen will adapt together if that happens.
What other modalities would you recommend that I try alongside coaching to support my goals?
Depending of course on the focus of your specific work, there are many possibilities. Any kind of bodywork like massage or acupuncture, homeopathic healing, yoga, or energy work like Reiki will complement coaching. Rev. Jenellen might recommend seeing a nutritionist if you don’t know much about nutrition (she will not do it to try to push you to lose weight—we are opposed to diet culture here!) And of course, regular medical and mental health care will benefit you in general but also supports coaching work.
I’m really interested, but I’d like to experience a little bit of what embodiment and breathwork coaching is like before I decide to go for it. How can I do that?
The best thing for you to do is to sign up to our mailing list so that you can be among the first to find out when Rev. Jenellen offers introductory coaching workshops. These workshops are virtual and interactive, and they allow you to get a sample of what working with her will be like, while also getting the benefits you’d receive from session time with her. It’s a win all around!