Apparently, I chose the right time to enter the world of trauma coaching. Sure, if you’re on social media it often feels like there are more coaches than potential clients, but I think many people are having a very personal reaction to the pandemic. Upon examining their lives, many are recognizing that they want to help, but even more are recognizing that they need help.
Admittedly, I don’t watch the news and barely see headlines now. My ignorance is bliss. But I do believe that eventually COVID will pass. Why? Because every plague, pandemic, epidemic and vast illness has been wiped out when people have wanted it and devoted resources. Why do so many people in third-world countries die of malaria? Because they don’t have the resources to devote to research and development and those of us in major countries where malaria is not an issue don’t care.
There are a glut of coaches out there today. Those who can’t attract clients will fall by the wayside and those who are just bandwagon jumping will be onto the next thing soon. Let’s hope it’s cryptocurrency. My portfolio could use a boost.
Why Are People Flocking to Coaches Now?
Before the Internet, people had to get their porn in theaters and on videotape. They had to actually shop at a store to get the goods they wanted. Compilation albums and CDs were sold on TV. Anybody remember Freedom Rock, man?
The Internet has created a myriad of opportunities for people who either didn’t once have access to certain material and people, or for whatever reason, shunned it in a pre-Internet world. Again, look at porn. Most women would not visit an adult theater or an adult bookstore, yet the rates of females looking at porn and buying sex toys have never been higher. Enter ITunes and Pornhub. Goodbye Freedom Rock and XXX double-features at that seedy building downtown. And hello trauma coaching.
I believe the move to coaching can partly be traced to the Internet, though it took far more time and a neo-plague. I think the first wave of coaching came in the opening months of the pandemic. That was when I was getting a lot of pornography addicts contacting me. The resources they trusted, like 12-step groups, started shutting down publicly. Some recognized they needed additional support, especially in the face of isolation, so I started getting messages and not long after, I started splitting my time between my traditional freelance and ghostwriting jobs and helping people with pornography addiction.
You know how you may go to the movie theater if something looks great, but otherwise you’ll wait for HBO or cable to show it? Why? You’re interested, but not that interested. If you’re in a rush, you’ll hit the McDonald’s drive-thru, but when the line is 17 cars deep, why not go inside? Convenience. It’s easier to stay at your own house and call on the phone instead of seeing your family if things are awkward. Why? Because there’s a healthy buffer of a telephone line between you. Trauma coaching tackles most hurdles, imagined or otherwise.
And Then The Trauma Started Surfacing
People seem more self-reliant and self-resilient than ever during this pandemic. During its first year, especially for those who live by themselves, it was lonely. It was even more lonely for those who were stuck with others but don’t have good communication. Enter many husbands and wives who didn’t know things were rough. People learned to adjust their mindset and, for survival’s sake, came to depend on themselves more than ever.
I believe COVID has made most people more headstrong in their belief system. Liberals are more liberal than ever. Conservatives are more conservative. The pandemic also revealed the deep truth about ourselves. For many people, once they stopped worrying as much what other people thought, they naturally turned inward. Many didn’t like what they found.
When I was in rehab back in 2014 and 2015, I didn’t make certain breakthroughs for weeks. I was in classes and other activities basically 12 hours per day there. Imaging needing four weeks to recognize you have issues with someone in your life you didn’t realize you did. Eighty hours per week multiplied by four weeks and that’s 320 hours it took to recognize a lot of my imposter syndrome came from my grandmother. I was lucky I had a condensed version of the processing experience. For most people to reach certain conclusions about themselves, it tooks months to reach 320 hours. But, they got there.
Maybe I Can Do This Over the Computer
Aside from the aesthetic shock of masks, one of the most interesting things I saw during the early days of COVID were news shows using Zoom like so many of the podcast appearances I’d made. It turns out, people will still watch the news, even if the weatherman is at home or the sports guy gets interrupted by his kid or dog. This may not seem like a big deal, but it was a radically new way to consume news, and when late-night talk shows and daytime chat shows moved to this protocol, it just became the new normal.
Ironically, as a portion of the populace was reaching difficult, complicated conclusions about their mental health and trauma history, therapists’ office across the world closed. Social service agencies shut their doors. Only the most important medical procedures were conducted. The existing world of help we could count on disappeared, just when so many people needed it the most. How could online trauma coaching not explode?
It wasn’t overnight, but the move to telehealth was fast. Not only did existing clients make the move, more people than ever before decided to dip their toe into the water. It makes sense for the kind of person who has a fear of sitting in the same room with a mental health professional. It allows safe space and boundaries to be intact from the first second. You’re not going to bump into your therapist or coach in your hometown because they live 7 states away. Nobody local, including your family and friends will find out. For someone who is curious about how to begin the process of healing the feelings that have been coming up in the last 18 months, telehealth with a therapist is a Godsend. And for those who more prefer the slightly different process, and very different label, of coaching, it’s been lifesaving for many.
The Trauma Will Subside With Time, Work
Today, I have over a dozen regular clients and see even more for packages of 4-8 sessions to tackle a specific issue. I wouldn’t be coaching and they wouldn’t be seeking a coach if the conditions of the world were different. Now having been so engrossed in the world of betrayal trauma for the last year, I see how my clients have improved. Trauma coaching clicked for them. Some evolve mentally, some make small changes in their lives. Others make drastic ones. Some show courage that makes me so proud they can muster. And when they say I’ve helped and changed their lives? It feels unreal. I’m more used to messing up people’s lives in service of my own needs.
When somebody sits on the other end of the computer for the first time, you can see fear in their eyes. They’re not risking anything but an hour of their time. I don’t charge for initial consultations. Yeah, it’s partly to draw people in without worrying about price (I offer a sliding scale, despite what my rate card shows). But it’s also so people feel they aren’t taking part in some kind of procedure. I want them to see me as a guy on the other end of the computer who isn’t special, but is just like them. If I can get through my trauma and come out a much happier, healthier person on the other side – not to mention I’ve also received a lot of training – why can’t the client?
Trauma is a bitch. It’s not just bad memories. It’s your nervous system’s response to these memories and holding onto the emotional impact. Our limbic system tries to overpower and repress the memories. Sometimes it wins. But telehealth trauma coaching can put you in charge of yourself in a way you never thought possible, and it’s usually $50-$100 less than an average face-to-face therapist session. That’s nice in a world where groceries are double the cost they were on January 1, 2020.
You Went This Far, May As Well Read the Pitch
I’m not trying to be funny, or just pushing for more business, but I don’t see how the idea of having someone in your life who is looking out for you, but is not an active participant, is a bad thing. Yeah, I think about how I can help specific clients when I’m not with them, but there isn’t texting and emailing. They know they can reach me in an emergency, but also respect my boundaries. They know I have their back. But they also know that can come with a healthy dose of being told what they need to hear.
That’s me. No burning sage. No dancing in the moonlight. I could tell you what your spirit animal is, but that’d just me making stuff up. I prefer to converse. Sometimes it’s about hard stuff. But it’s always in service of your mental health and your happiness. And yes, you too have trauma. And you, too, could benefit from trauma coaching.
You literally have nothing to lose by trying it out. Maybe you’ll give it up in a week, like the clarinet in fifth grade. Or maybe you’ll find some that will help you transform your life into the kind you’ve fantasized about having. Book an appointment with me HERE and let’s talk. That’s all. We’ll talk. And you’ll feel better because you’re no longer alone with your trauma.