George Swingler is a Life and Transition Coach who offers a safe and non-judgmental place for you to find your own answers

More about my coaching

So, what is Coaching?

Good question.

It's still a developing discipline, with a myriad styles and approaches. The two-dimensional drawing below portrays one aspect of how coaching relates to some other more familiar processes. 
What is coaching, vs counselling & therapy
That is, coaches tend to talk less and to ask more questions that other practitioners in the diagram.

Coaches sometimes describe the process as "a partnership of experts", where the client is the expert on the topic (i.e. on her/himself), and the coach is the expert in helping the client "unlock" their own answers.

Two important professions don't fit easily into the above diagram; counselling and psychotherapy. Coaching differs from psychotherapy in that it is less specialised, and not therapy. We don't try to 'fix' clients. We also tend to be more future-focused and goal-orientated than counsellors, and may use more structured tools and techniques to facilitate change.

Having said that, some forms of coaching do overlap with counselling and also often incorporate elements of adult learning.

My own coaching overlaps both counselling and adult learning.

​This happened by happy chance. My coaching training was based on counselling principles, that offer greater flexibility in accommodating each unique individual, while in my previous work I spent several decades helping students and junior doctors learn to become mature professionals.

Four metaphors represent four different approaches to adult learning. 
Petrol attendant: Transfers goods.
Potter: Moulds into a pre-determined pattern.
Guide: Explores terrain with a traveller.
Gardener: Offers conditions for growth.

I see myself as a Guide/Fellow Traveller and/or Gardener, depending on context.

What to expect from a session

Relationship tops technique

A coach's technical skills are important but play a rather small part. Even in psychotherapy, which calls for far greater technical skills, those skills have been found to account for only 15% of the impact on positive outcome . The client's life experience, insights and commitment were most important (55% of impact), while the relationship between therapist and client had double the impact of the specialised techniques.

To build this relationship and to create a space where you can function at your best, safety and trust are paramount. Ingredients include a coach's autherticity, empathy and non-judgemental acceptance. What we talk about stays confidential, and I won't use potentially unfamiliar approaches without your permission.

It’s about you

I tailor my approach to your needs.
You decide what success will look like and you take primary responsibility for getting there.
From my perspective, a session is successful when your ideas are better than mine would have been.

What I actually do

I listen. Talking helps us clarify what we think, and you’ll think best when you know that you have my attention and can talk without fear of interruption, without rush, and in comfort.
When I do talk, I mostly ask questions to help you think and find your own answers.

I'll offer my own insights and perspectives only after you’ve had time to come up with your own ideas.
Other general stuff that I do:

  • help you identify and examine potentially limiting assumptions;

  • suggest approaches and activities to try out;

  • offer information and suggest reading material/videos/audio for you to reflect on (it’ll be your choice whether to use them);

  • try very hard not to give advice, unless you ask for it, and then only after you’ve exhausted your own thinking;

  • with your prior permission, I’ll hold you accountable to specific undertakings that you make;

  • if there is no easy or immediate answer, I’ll sit with you in the discomfort while you search, and perhaps wait, for a way.
More specific approaches will depend on the issues at hand, and the type and depth of the change you’re seeking. Before using any of them I’ll explain the frameworks and theory I’m following, if you want to know about them.  
Practical details
Is coaching for you?