KATRIN BERNDT COACHING

What Does a Typical Coaching Session Look Like?

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I'm a certified coach and work with grumpy girlfriends who want to dump the grump and enjoy their good relationships.

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If you’ve never gotten coached before, I’m sure you’re curious about what a coaching session is like. So today, I want to give you a little behind-the-scenes peek into my coaching sessions!

Since all my clients are different and struggle with different things, the content of our sessions varies a lot from week to week and from client to client. Right now, I have clients who struggle with self-esteem issues, overthinking about the past and other women, habits of shutting their partners out and pretending that they don’t want or need them just to stay safe… and so much more.

These are the main components of our sessions:

1. Celebration!!!

We always start our sessions by celebrating something. Usually, my clients do have something to celebrate from the past week. But if they don’t we find something together!

Common celebrations include:

  • I caught myself starting to spiral into old thinking habits and paused!
  • I wanted to withdraw and leave in this situation, but I stayed!
  • My partner was out with friends and I processed my anxiety instead of texting them!
  • I wasn’t scared of feeling the jealousy this time, I expected it to be there!
  • I spiraled, snapped at my partner, we argued… and afterward, I didn’t judge myself!

I mean, wow. I was going to say that this is my favorite part of each week’s session. But that would be a lie. Because I love all the parts of our sessions haha. I just love taking the time to reflect on what has been working this past week. If we don’t take time to acknowledge the progress, we can easily miss it.

2. Thought download

Now it’s time to bring up a struggle, mistake, failure, or problem that my client wants to work on for this week’s session. There have been times when my clients don’t know what they want to work on specifically. That’s okay and we can always find something to focus on together.

However, my clients who get the best results in coaching are those who do the work in-between sessions. And when you do work in-between sessions (journaling, worksheets, processing emotions, practicing situations, etc.) you always have something to get coached on during the next session!

So during this phase of the session, my client gets to do a thought download. This means that they just pour out whatever is in their brains about this problem or situation. I listen, take notes, and ask follow-up questions to make sure I understand what’s going on.

3. What is the problem?

This is a super important part of coaching that a lot of beginner coaches miss. This is also what separates working with a coach from venting to a friend or family member, for example.

I never assume what the problem is or why it is a problem. I need my client to tell me why this is a problem. I need my client to tell me what exactly the problem is here and what their goal is/how they would like to fix it. What would you like to achieve differently next time?

Sure, I could go ahead and assume something is a problem and coach them on that. But you would be surprised how often our assumptions are wrong! And then we spend all this time coaching on something that isn’t even a problem for the client.

A coach should never assume what the problem is or what the solution is. A coach should help the client share their thoughts, identify their own problems, and come up with their own answers.

4. Coaching!

So now we have a clear idea of what the problem is, why it’s a problem, and what the desired solution is. It’s okay if it takes time to come up with these answers! And it’s also okay if we don’t know exactly what the desired solution is. Sometimes it’s just “feeling better” or “behaving better”.

This is where the coaching comes in. I use my coaching tools to help the client navigate through the problem, explore why this has become a problem, and explore what would need to change in order to change the result.

This is the most difficult phase to put into words and explain. It’s a conversation filled with questions and time to think about the questions on a deep level.

I always encourage my clients to argue with the things we come up with. I want them to tell me why this is a bad idea, why it doesn’t make sense, and why they don’t want to change the way they feel, think, or act. Because if we can come up with the ways that their brains disagree with feeling, thinking, and acting better… then we can get ahead of the curve and coach on that too!

The biggest mistake you can make as a client in this phase is pretending things make sense if they don’t. Or pretending you understand if you don’t. Or ignoring the parts of your brain that completely disagree. If you do this, you are slowing down your progress and you’re leaving your subconscious obstacle thoughts untouched. Not a good idea!

5. Summary

Towards the end of the 1-hour session, we start summarizing what we have been talking about. I often have my clients repeat back to me what they understand and their biggest takeaways from what we’ve discussed. This is also a fun part of the session because usually, my client’s biggest takeaway is something completely different than I thought it would be! 🙂

Then we discuss what the client is going to focus on and practice during the coming week. We schedule our appointment for the following week and then end the call!

The format of most coaching sessions is similar. But the content is vastly different, which is what makes coaching so much fun! The variety, the clients, the progress that is made… it’s just the best job ever to get to help girlfriends enjoy their good relationships.

If you are curious about my coaching program or my 2-hour intensive coaching session, click here to read more about it and start your coaching journey today!

xo Katrin

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