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Frequently Asked Questions

What do you expect from your clients?


Please respect appointment times, give timely notice if you need to reschedule, keep up to date with payments, and treat me, and the coaching process, with respect.


Beyond that the main thing I need from you is honesty.  

Tell me what's really going on for you.  What do you really want out of coaching? How can I best be of help?  If you feel dissatisfied with a session, or want something different, let me know.  If you slip up with your goals or find yourself facing uncomfortable feelings, trust me enough to tell me what's happening, even if it feels vulnerable.  I promise I'm here to help, not to judge!  And I'm best able to help when you give me a clear picture of what is really going on with you.



What if 'm not sure about my goals yet, or I just need someone to talk to?


Sometimes just having safe person who will listen and offer support can make a huge difference.  If this is what you need, short term or long term, just tell me.  Some clients want a coach who will push them to reach their potential, others appreciate a more gentle approach as they figure their lives out.  Tell me what you think you need from our sessions, and we'll start from there.

What is Coaching?

What is the different between coaching and therapy?

Therapy is a valuable process where old psychological wounds from the past are healed.  Coaching, on the other hand, is facilitated support for growth into the future.  While there is some overlap, therapy focuses more on healing the past, while coaching focuses on realizing your authentic self and living your best life going forward.  In coaching we may discuss your past and how old negative messages and stories are holding you back, but we always do so with an eye on what you want to live into next as your life unfolds.  I am a big believer in both coaching and therapy—both have had a positive impact for me at different times in my own life journey.

Do you treat mental illness?

No.  Another important difference from therapy is that coaches do not diagnose or treat any kind of mental illness—we are not licensed to do so.  Even a coach like myself, with a research PhD in psychology, is not legally allowed to diagnose or treat mental illness without a clinical license.

So what counts as mental illness?


We all have good days and bad days.  We all have small traumas and self-destructive patterns that we are working through. Most of us feel a little anxious or depressed now and again.  All of that falls within the normal spectrum of human experience and is welcome in the coaching conversation.


I draw the line with a client who is experiencing serious issues in these areas—severe depression, anxiety, or addiction, major trauma, or psychotic symptoms—in those cases, working with a clinical psychologist or psychotherapist is appropriate. 


If I get see life-disrupting indications of unaddressed mental illness, I will refer that client to a psychotherapist.  Depending on the situation, it may be appropriate to work with a therapist and a coach at the same time, as a support team.

What is trauma-informed coaching?

Trauma-informed coaching means coaching in a way that is sensitive to the complexities of emotional trauma. Most of us have a least a little bit of trauma, and sometimes the places where we are most stuck in life are place where sensitivity to past trauma can be especially helpful.  Again, the role of the coach is not to diagnose, treat, or otherwise "fix" your trauma, but rather to help you better understand yourself and to become your own healer as you grow into the future.  If you discover this is a major issue for you, I can help you find a trauma specialist.

What is the different between coaching, consulting, and mentoring?

A consultant offers an expert opinion in their field of expertise, while a mentor works closely with someone to help them develop mastery with a specific skill or subject. Coaching is a process of facilitated transformation.  Whereas consultants and mentors are expected to give advice constantly, coaches support their clients in finding their own answers whenever possible, and encourage clients to discover and act on their own inner wisdom. 

What?  You don't give advice?

Of course I offer advice and suggestions wherever my clients have a clear blind spot—especially once I have gotten to know you and had the chance to developed some insight into your life.  But at the end of the day, I would rather empower to make better decisions you than tell you what to do. 

I want to help you open up new possibilities within yourself.  The truth is, you have a wealth of knowledge and insight inside you.  I want to help you get in touch with that and grow more confident in finding your own answers wherever possible.


There is plenty of great information out there—usually the real challenge is not so much finding the information as putting it to use effectively.  You've probably read self-help books or attended seminars that were full of great information—the real test is taking that information and applying it consistently once that book or seminar is over.  That is where most people trip up, and where having a coach can make a huge difference.

You have a PhD in depth psychology & somatics?  What's that?

Depth psychology is the psychology of the unconscious, or deep self, and focuses on personal development by making the unconscious conscious.  Depth psychology emphasizes that everyone is unique, and that the most significant individual growth comes from exploring and embracing your own unique path in life.  This can involve uncovering and integrating repressed aspects of yourself, or recognizing and working through self-sabotaging behaviors.  If you are open to it, we might also explore your night-time dreams to nurture deeper self-awareness.  Or use visualization techniques to explore new possibilities.  Imagination is a much more powerful force in the brain than is generally given credit for...


Somatics is the study of the mind-body connection, the ways in which your psyche is embodied in this life. By consciously working with both body and brain, we tap into deeper resources for meaningful and lasting change.  So, for example, we might explore how your physical symptoms in a challenging situation express your hidden attitudes and judgments about that situation.  The process works both ways: using somatic techniques to self-regulate the nervous system on the physical level, and working consciously to psychologically embody a more authentic and confident self.

The degree to which we incorporate depth psychology & somatics in our work together is always up to you.  I may offer suggestions, but you always get to choose which approach feels most useful.

What is your email policy?

Beyond logistical emails (scheduling etc...) I'm happy to offer one in-depth email response per session.  In addition, you are also welcome to send me regular email/text updates as you accomplish your goals throughout the week, as part of my function as your accountability partner.  Usually I don't respond directly to these progress reports.  I read them carefully when they come in and save further discussion about it until our next session. 


That said, things may come up in-between sessions that you really want my feedback about.  When it comes to addressing these deeper concerns, this is where I offer one in-depth email response per session.  When such a response is requested, I ask that you make it explicit in your communication (i.e. "please let me know what you think about this") and I will do my best to respond within 24-48 hours.

How Do I Know if You are the Right Coach for Me?

Let's talk!  I'm happy to make time for a 20 minute phone or zoom call.  I don't charge for these initial consults because I believe it is important for us to get a sense of each other to know if we are a good fit before committing to the process.  Tell me what you are looking for and we will take it from there.

Jonathan's been very successful in helping me to clarify what it is I'm looking to change about my life, and his guidance to that end has been invaluable.

- Michael Colucci

Questions About Pricing?

If you have questions about payment or coaching packages, a separate pricing FAQ can be found on the Services page.


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