Skip to main content

What is Life Coaching, Anyway?

Life coaching is for the “worried well”:  people who are emotionally healthy but in need of some help in making positive changes – or making change positive – in their lives.

I was trained by Dr. Martha Beck whose school of coaching is unique.  Most programs approach personal growth with the spirit of the Protestant work ethic:  you’re not good enough so I will step in with a Program of Discipline and Hard Work and keep you Accountable so you can Achieve your Goals!  But Martha’s approach is inspired by Eastern philosophy:  You’re enlightened already and only need to drop your delusions in order to find enlightenment again.  It isn’t a process of addition (work harder) but of subtraction (dissolve limiting beliefs). As the old beliefs fall away, you can see and feel your path more clearly.  You feel more energized, free, and empowered in your life.  The actions you take feel less like work and more like play.

This coaching is made for periods of transition, because that’s when the old is naturally falling away and making room for the new, the transformed.  Who are you meant to be?  Now is the time to discover.

“I had never been one to seek out help to work through the challenges that I face with work and family, but the opportunity to work with Allison came at a time when I felt that I could benefit from an outside point of view – I was ready to take a chance to make some changes.

“I find working with Allison refreshing. She is bright and insightful and is able to make observations about aspects of my life that I had never considered.  She puts me to work each time we meet, assigning me a manageable, but meaningful, task designed to help me to get ‘unstuck’ with a problem. The thing that amazes me the most with our time together is that Allison asks a question or makes a comment that sticks with me until the next time we meet. She has the ability to ask essential questions that have enabled me to overcome some difficult hurdles.  I look forward to our every meeting and can’t imagine why I waited so long to find a life coach.”

Michelle, University professor and mother of two, in New Hampshire

Life Coaching FAQ’s

Is life coaching licensed or accredited?

No, and there are no plans to make it so.  Life coaches like the freedom!

I was, however, personally certified by Martha (“I’d hire you in a New York minute!” she said to me after I coached her as part of my certification. It was one of the high points of my life!) You can expect high ethical standards and professionalism from me.  If you experience otherwise, inform Martha Beck, Inc.

How is life coaching different from therapy?

For starters, I’m not a therapist.  Life coaching is part of a movement away from pathologizing the ups and downs of normal life experiences and of enhancing wellness instead of diagnosing illness.  In other words, we’re like personal trainers for your life.  In a life coaching session, just as in a personal training session, you’ll be challenged and encouraged and feel stronger at the end of it.  We also teach you the tools so you can learn to coach yourself.


“There are two things that put Allison in a crowd of her own. Firstly, she is a lovely mix of compassion and wholesome American with a bit of funny thrown in. Secondly, she has an absolutely incredible ability to remember things, so much so that it almost seems like she remembered everything I said from the first to last session, down to teeny weeny details. We would be talking about something on session 6, for example, and she would refer to some comment I had made months earlier at the beginning of our coaching and then something related from a few weeks after that – and then pull everything together to make a brilliant point. I was floored because most people’s memories are not that good.

I have thought a lot about this and, knowing her as I do, can draw only one conclusion. I believe it is because Allison completely LOVES what she does and really, truly cares about the people she coaches. That is why she is such a brilliant coach. I have recommended her to about ten of my friends, most of whom have coached with her and have been totally delighted with the results. One girlfriend who has done more than ten sessions said, ‘Allison surprised me with things she said and really made me think. I can’t say that about many people.”

Renée Elliott, Founder of Planet Organic, UK, Beluga Bean Coaching Academy, author of family cookbooks and mother of three, in London, UK