In this post I want to offer some considerations you might take the next time you’re looking to hire a coach, therapist, or some similar professional with a different title.
A friend once told me she had tried out something like 15 therapists over the course of 2 years. While that may seem outrageous, her goose-chase is understandable — there is no guidebook out there on what a “good” relationship with a therapist or coach is supposed to feel like.
I recently wrote a blog post extrapolating the main differences between therapists and coaches, and it’s had me reflect on my own winding journey of working with different therapists, healers, and coaches, as well as serving as a coach to dozens of clients.
So in this post I want to offer you 5 qualities to look for in a therapist or coach to know if the relationship is worth committing to.
1. How does your body feel in their presence?
When in doubt, always turn to the body. If your body feels relaxed, comfortable, and open in their presence, then that’s a good sign.
If you tend to feel contracted, blocked, tight, or any kind of pressure, you should listen to that.
Working with a coach/therapist is an intimate endeavor. You are opening up your deepest desires, challenges, and emotions to another human. Trust your body’s sense of safety.
2. Do they want your feedback?
Even the most masterful coach in the world can’t read your mind. They will make errors. For a coaching relationship to be successful, feedback must be built into the dynamic. Honestly, they should probably go out of their way to ask for feedback.
As you find your rhythm together, there will be a calibration period where you will need to share what feels good and what feels bad. And you need feel safe offering feedback to the coach, trust that they actually hear what you share, and believe they will implement what you share.
3. Do they seem wiser or more knowledgable than you on the area you want to work on?
Many coaches believe you don’t have to be a master on the topic you coach someone on, you just have to master coaching skills. In other words, a skilled coach could hold space for any human on any topic. For example, a talented coach who is broke could coach ol’ Jeffy Bezos into finding clarity on how to make more money.
While I do think this is true, I still think it’s a safer bet to hire a coach who is further along than you are in the area you want to work on.
If you want to grow your business, do they have a profitable business? If you want to feel your feelings, do they seem expressive and embodied? If you want to better your communication with your partner, are they a good communicator?
4. Do you feel prioritized?
Again, working with a coach is intimate. Just like if you were looking for a romantic partner, you want a coach who cares about you, shows up on time, and seems genuinely invested in your growth, healing, and development.
If they often forget details about your life, or you feel like they’re just cramming you into a crack in their schedule, ditch ’em.
5. Do you feel confident they can get you to where you want to go?
At the end of the day, you’re hiring a coach because there’s something you want.
Maybe you want to feel more free in your sexuality, or you want to feel less anxiety in your life, or maybe you want to feel more purpose.
How well do you feel like this person understands your deepest desires, and how much do you trust they can help you with them?
Did I miss anything?
I hope this post was valuable 🙂 Let me know if you think I forgot anything.
Enter your email to hear about upcoming workshops, podcasts, and posts about personal growth and intimacy.