Gay & Lesbian Coaching

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Counseling and coaching are evolving together. You want your coach to be a licensed therapist too, because a therapist can cover issues from the surface to the depths, whereas a coach can only address the surface issues.  And most things that hold us back have some depth to them.

My approach to Coaching with gay and lesbian clients is to focus on finding and fulfilling your potential.  There really isn't a hard line between therapy, counseling, and coaching, so it's wise to seek out someone who is a licensed psychotherapist for your coaching goals. 

Some of the things that hold you back may run more deeply than you realize, and you'll want someone who can work with the full range of issues.  Briefly, therapy addresses the most deeply rooted issues, counseling works with the more common issues of life, and coaching helps people go from simply getting over negative feelings to reaching forward to positive advancement in life. 

Therapy focuses on emotional healing, working through the events of the past that have left emotional scars.  Much of our wounding may be unconscious, so a big part of therapy is making the unconscious conscious.  In this way, we are able to let go of old, negative patterns.  A lot of our self-doubt and procrastination comes from childhood experiences where instead of receiving encouragement from our parents and other adults, we received criticism and discouragement.

In the course of my experience doing counseling and psychotherapy with gay and lesbian clients, I've found that a great many of my clients don't only want to be free of depression, anxiety, or relationship problems, but really want to thrive.  You can find your True Self, to be your best, and to reach your full potential.  This is can be an exciting process, and I'm here to help.

You and I will talk together about your dreams, your hopes, your ambitions, your gifts and your skills.  We'll also explore the things that have held you back, whether they be real obstacles or deeper feelings of self-doubt.  And then we'll formulate a plan, and we'll plot your course for going forward.

Positive Psychology

A note on reaching your full potential and finding happiness.  Finding true happiness is closely tied to having worked through childhood issues, discovering and expressing your true self, feeling connected to significant others, and ultimately, to living a life in Balance.  One of the most exciting developments within the field of psychology is the concept and practice of Positive Psychology.  Therapy is not only about depression, anxiety, trauma, and pain.  To be truly happy and healthy, we must pursue the uplifting dimensions of positive psychology.  In the field of psychology, these are known as Character Strengths.  

The Character Strengths

The Character Strengths include six major categories.  They are First, Wisdom, which includes Creativity, Curiosity, Judgment, Love of Learning, and Perspective.  Second, Courage, which includes Bravery, Persistence, Honesty, and Zest.  Third, Humanity, which includes Love, Compassion, Kindness, and Social Intelligence.  Fourth, Transcendence, which includes Appreciation of Beauty, Gratitude, Hope, Humor, and Spirituality.  Fifth, there is Justice, including Teamwork, Fairness, and Leadership.  And Sixth, Moderation, which includes Forgiveness, Modesty & Humility, Prudence, and Self-Control.  
These qualities truly represent the best and most excellent qualities that humanity can achieve.  All of them require understanding and practice over time.  It's important that on your journey, ultimately these strengths must be pursued, when you feel called to truly be your best.  I would be happy to talk with you and help you move forward toward your greatest goals. 
Please feel free to call at 805-868-0767 or email me with any questions or to talk further. 

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Erik Edler LMFT