What are some of the difficulties that can arise when you are being coached by a healthcare provider? For example, sharing your personal information and disclosing your feelings can be difficult. I want to share critical components of the coach-patient relationship that you want to be aware of before choosing a health-provider coach.
The Coach-Client Relationship
The best way for you as a client/patient to become motivated is for you to gain trust and confidence in your coach/provider. For this to happen, your coach must enable you to engage in real and uninhibited sharing in order to identify your self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. This rapport can be established best when your coach knows how to ask questions effectively. These questions must not be condescending, accusatory, sarcastic or otherwise offensive. Rather, the questions must be empowering while keeping you accountable for your own choices and results.
Of course, your coach must be able to listen more than talk. Short simple questions keep you focused on finding the best answer, leading you to real self-discovery. Once you see they are your own answers, you can easily embrace your discoveries. Soon you will be living following your own plans because they are truly your plans.
Coaches who discuss their own successes and failures excessively can be annoying and counterproductive. You are not really that interested in your coach’s life experiences and you don’t want to be compared to anyone, except to yourself.
Furthermore, your coach must not make moral judgments about what you share. If you feel you were bad or wrong, then despair can creep into your mind and doubts about your ability to succeed can arise. However, if your coach can use the terms “working” and “not working” for your behaviors, you will feel accountability and avoid shame.
Your Coach’s Knowledge Of Disease And Health
In order to get great results with your health, your coach must know something about illness and its causes. For example, this includes knowing how to guide and inspire you to transition from unhealthy food addictions to a love for nutrient-rich, mostly raw, whole foods. Your coach should also have enough healthcare knowledge to guide you with natural remedies and help you eliminate unnecessary medications on an appropriate schedule. Either a licensed healthcare provider or one who works hand in hand with your provider is best.
Your coach should also know the connection between your ill emotions and your bodily symptoms of illness. The ill thoughts that create ill emotions and ill relationships must be identified. Then you must be open to feedback from your coach, who can recognize in you what you cannot see in yourself. The coach’s advice and observations are not meant to be a criticism of you. They do represent, however, your coach’s experience of you, and you must trust that there is something valuable for you to learn. If you are resistant and not open to feedback, you’ll miss valuable lessons for altering your life. Your coach cares enough about you to be honest with you. Do not be offended by feedback when it is given to you for your learning.
Your total honesty with sharing your personal life with your coach gives you the power to change. Because the coaching relationship entails only you and your coach in confidentiality, you can feel assured in authentically sharing what is going on in your life: relationships, eating habits, self-defeating behaviors, stresses, fears, etc. The coach does not judge you as you will likely judge yourself. Open sharing when asked is your key to a deeper, effective coach-client relationship that creates the motivation for change.
In fact, when we feel safe, we can open our hearts and be emotionally vulnerable. That opens the door to healing our spirits and emotional bodies. In one program I created, the participants are asked to share their darkest secrets (the ones that have been burdening them for years, for example) with their coach. When this is done, the participants find that their coaches do not judge. This creates more connection and allows clients to feel more open and vulnerable, which then opens them to healing, personal power. They are able to process the pain of any memory, release it and move on.
In summary, it is your lifestyle patterns (diet, exercise, communication in love relationships, beliefs and emotions) that truly underlie your health and illness. The research of Dean Ornish, M.D., at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., proves that even severe heart disease progression can be effectively reversed by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. Similarly, so can early stage prostate cancer, elevated cholesterol levels and arthritis.
When you change your lifestyle, you turn on the genes that prevent disease and turn off the ones that promote cancer, heart disease and many other chronic illnesses. I am a witness to many patients who have reversed illness by addressing lifestyle and emotional illness first. The physical illnesses I’ve seen reversed with lifestyle changes include diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, dyspepsia (heartburn), skin disorders, low energy, depressed mood, allergies, colitis, fibromyalgia syndrome, headaches, adrenal fatigue and others. Therefore, a guided course in healthy lifestyle mastery should be the first step to reversing chronic illness, not the last step when all medicines seem to fail. It is my hope that with this approach we can reverse the direction of illness, which few medications seem to be able to do.
To your long-term health and to feeling good,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
Easy Health Options