FAQ: How will coaching care for my wellbeing?

My coaching practice is based on continuous mutual consent, a promise of confidentiality, and maintaining a felt sense of safety. That’s how I care for your wellbeing and my own.

FAQ: How will coaching care for my wellbeing?

Exploring your inner world is guaranteed to take you pretty deep into your memories, your relationships, the legacies of your family and your cultural experience.

You will probably experience very strong feelings along the way, or encounter thoughts or memories that trouble you. You might cry. All of that can be intense, so it’s important to know how we’ll take care of you as we work together.

Every part of our coaching relationship is voluntary — your choice to work with me, my choice to work with you, and the choice we both make to continue in relationship at every turn during our sessions together.

  • You and every part of you have the absolute right to withdraw your consent for coaching at any time — even right in the middle of a session, if you need to.
  • I have the right to discontinue our coaching relationship at any time, too. But I’ll only do so as a last resort, and only after communicating clearly to you about why.

Confidentiality

Protecting your privacy

First of all, a simple promise, which we’ll agree to in our contract: when you’re my coaching client, I will not voluntarily share any personally identifiable information about you without your explicit written consent. Meanwhile, you can and should speak up to discuss any confidentiality concerns that come up during our work together.

Possible (but unlikely) limitations

When you talk to a physician, an attorney, a therapist, or a religious leader, what you tell them is confidential by law. Since I’m a coach, what you say to me is not legally protected from disclosure by a special professional privilege. For clients who do work that’s often criminalized — some forms of direct action, sex work, or plant medicine, for example — we can and will establish guardrails to protect us both in the highly unlikely event that I’d ever be subpoenaed to talk about it.

Reviews or testimonials

After we’ve finished a coaching engagement, I’ll give you the option to provide a review or testimonial about our work together, and I hope you will. But how and whether you discuss your coaching experience with me is entirely up to you.

Safety

The Internal Family Systems model, as I was trained in it, is especially designed to make sure you always feel safe enough to explore your internal world, no matter how intense the work may get. Here’s how:

  • Ecological awareness. IFS teaches that everyone’s inner life is a “delicate ecology.” That means a change in any part affects the whole system. This ecological awareness lets us stay alert for harm to any part of your system, and respond quickly with compassionate repair.
  • Every part of you gets to consent. Just as you can withdraw your consent for coaching at any time, individual parts of your personality will sometimes refuse to cooperate with us. This is as it should be! We will never force any part of you to do anything it’s not comfortable with.
  • Referral to mental health. If the work we’re doing together suggests you might need the care of a mental health professional, you can trust me to tell you so immediately, and offer to help you find one. (I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to. But I’ll try.)
  • My safety. Finally, I safeguard your safety by taking care of my own system. I’m have a long-standing IFS practice of my own, and I have a strong and happy relationship with my own internal family. I’m also part of a rich and diverse community of other IFS practitioners and clinicians, who support me in my practice.