Christopher J. Coulson, MAHPP
Eating Disorders Coach
As your collaborator, I see it as my responsibility to be fully
prepared to meet your needs: hence the depth and range of skills.
What are you moving toward? My goal is to help you discover and be who you truly are. When your essential self starts to feel nourished by appropriate concentration on your needs and desires you will slowly but surely put your disorder behind you.
I offer the following descriptions as a guide to my approach to the three types of collaboration I offer:
People often seek psychotherapy because they believe they have a major problem, be it an addiction, a behavioral issue, or some sexual idiosyncrasy. However, as I practice it, psychotherapy is not a mental health 'treatment' but an essential tool for anyone seeking to improve their life.
I do not believe that idiosyncratic behaviors, however rare or painful,
are necessarily symptoms of mental disease. They are simply behaviors
adopted in apparently healthful response to a given set of circumstances.
They may ultimately turn out to be inappropriate, and it may seem
hard to understand how we reached our present position. However, investigation
invariably reveals that there's a once-good reason for everything
Psychotherapy is not, in my book, anything to do with assessments, diagnoses, standard treatments, or any of the other trappings of contemporary medical existence. Nor is it a matter of applying some other person's analysis to the events and dynamics of your life. Rather, it is an intensely personal process of research, understanding and renewal.
If we can see ourselves as creative ground, rich with potential, then psychotherapy is like preparing that ground for planting. The tangled vegetation of our past lives must be cleared; buried rocks must be identified and removed; stubborn roots must be dug out. Then the ground must be ploughed and harrowed and the cleaning process continued until the soil is ready. Psychotherapy can take a long time because many of us have internal clutter that is deeply buried and very resistant to being disinterred.
As I practice it, counseling is a more restricted version of psychotherapy.
It is likely to be shorter in duration and will focus on cognitive rather
than unconscious aspects of our behavior. The cognitive quality of the
work makes it an ideal way of exploring interpersonal dynamics. It is
therefore ideal for couples as well as individuals.
To return to the soil analogy, coaching represents the planting, irrigating,
fertilizing and harvesting stage of our development. The objective is
to maximize the return on our investment in ourselves and to fulfill
our potential in every aspect of life. This means becoming stronger,
more focused, more effective and better able to identify and benefit
Sometimes during coaching a "rock" from the past will emerge and obstruct progress. It is therefore useful to be able to dip into a psychotherapeutic or counseling mode in order to clear this before continuing.
Those who make use of eating disorders coaching recognize that they can accelerate their recovery and transition to a full and healthy life. Coaching provides focus and conviction to move forward in a sustainable way - a way more aligned with your true essence.
In terms of theory, I take the positive view of the human species espoused by the likes of Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Gordon Allport and James Bugental. This is sustained by today's exponents of Humanistic, or Positive, Psychology. In essence, this view says that the human being is naturally healthy and developmentally oriented, seeking in its best perceived way to improve itself and the lot of humanity as a whole.
The healthy human proceeds through life in a process of trial and
discovery that ideally builds satisfaction and fulfillment along
with wisdom. Such wisdom is the product of experience processed
intellectually, emotionally and physically. We are a whole organism,
not divisible into mind and body.
When pushed, for I dislike jargon, I term my theory 'Humanistic Existential Synthesis'.
It is humanistic in that it is optimistic and collaborative, seeing my client and myself as partners in a profoundly important quest. I take my lead from my clients, recognizing that only they truly know what it is they are trying to achieve and how to achieve it.
My approach is existential because it is about our ways of being and the meaning we attach to actions and things. It includes a rigorous existential analysis that is potentially a more truth-oriented process than psychoanalysis. This is because existential analysis researches the client's meaning rather than seeking to explain the client's actions in terms of someone else's theories of human nature.
Finally, my approach offers a synthesis because it seeks to reinforce our sense of wholeness and integrity. It uses analysis of aspects of ourselves only in the way that we examine a jigsaw piece before finding its proper place in the overall puzzle.
We, like the jigsaw puzzle, are much more than our constituent parts. As we begin to see ourselves in our wholeness, we grow increasingly empowered, enabling us to conduct bolder and more fulfilling life experiments.
I hope it is clear that I am very serious about our work. My beliefs about human nature tell me that there is always a solution if we can only put sufficient effort into discovering it.
If you think I am the kind of ally that would be valuable
to you, please 'phone or email
me to set up a time for your free exploratory visit or 'phone call. My contact details are below:
I am nationally registered (licensed) as both a psychotherapist
and a counselor in the United Kingdom, and practice as a dynamic life coach with a specialty in eating disorders in the United States.
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