I know a lot of folks who have had two divorces. I have had a least a dozen breakups in one decade.
So, Why do we keep breaking up?
What We Don’t Know About Breakup Will End Us.
If you have gone through a breakup in the last decade this is what is actually happening.
Prelude to a Breakup:
- Load App on phone.
We hear fairy tails of people being best friends first and then it turning into a relationship that produced two kids, a happy marriage, and a great pension plan. We have heard about that friend who met her boyfriend on Tinder and they are doing good. We have plunged ourselves into some form of self-betterment like working out, meditation, or doing yoga. We have said, “I have patterns that I’m going to break.” Nonetheless, we keep breaking up and getting back online to mend what’s broken.
Watching other people be “successful” online compels us to do what they are doing. The mob is meeting via artificial intelligence. So, let’s talk about “meeting someone online”.
What is a dating profile?
It’s a picture of a past moment that we judge with one glance. That’s what most dating apps have trained us to do. And it’s not wrong. However, what you are seeing in a person the you attracted to is yourself. That is to say, the parts of our conscious we feel disconnected from we project onto an image and hope that that other person will fill in the blanks.
So, in some way, swiping is reinforcing narcissism. Philosophy aside, desire drives us to consume. That what a date with someone is, it’s a consumption of information mixed together with projection.
If no one has said it to you in a while, “Intimacy takes time.” We often confuse the rush of terror that comes with meeting ourselves in a new person with falling in love. Intimacy is peaceful. Dating however is anxiety provoking because most of us go into it thinking about “forever.”
- “Will this guy be the one?”
- “Will she be the mother of my kids?”
So, bla bal bal, we meet, we share some information, and then we get naked and fuck each other. All the feel-good chemicals rush in. The love songs start making some sense. And attachment kicks in. We get used to having a particular person in our life, call it magic, and start to adjust our choices around the relationship.
It’s a program. I’m just going to say that. The way we get into our relationships is a program. The only way out of that program is intimacy. But, again, 96.8% of us are just going along to get along. So, inevitably we “breakup” and trade one person for another.
The Breakup Cycle
Breakups happen at the beginning of the relationship not the end of them. We talk about “red flags” and shit like that to describe what might ruin a relationship. The fact is that our parents programmed us to be a certain way in the world by handing down their limitations to us. The function of being a parent is to program your child. You know what, you aren’t going to understand why you do what you do. You won’t, so talking about your childhood or whatever stupid story you are telling yourself doesn’t help unless it changes your behaviors. Nothing can be figured out by talking about it.
You have to live, fuck up, forgive and keep going until your body gives out. But, you know why we go round and round about our stories? It’s because we think that doing that gives us some control over how they will unfold. Somethings have already been decided in the great mystery of existence.
You don’t get to choose the duration of a relationship. Stop thinking that you can be a person that engenders people staying in your life “forever.” That is stupid. Each relationship has a time-period built into it. In fact, the relationships that last the longest are also filled with a lot of space. A deep bond has a pulse to it. It’s not always together. It’s not always falling apart. It’s both.
I’m annoyed and I’m mad at you for reading this article because what you need to be doing is talking to a professional that can help you communicate who you are. “I can’t afford it.” Well what are you doing with your time? Spending hours reading articles online about twin flames, mental health, red flags, or getting your ex back is just mental masturbation.
And I’ve done it. It doesn’t get us anywhere. The only thing that moves us forward is relationships with healthy people that hold space for us to show up unafraid. But, let’s be real, most of us are running in fear after a breakup. Truthfully, we were fearful the from the beginning to the end of the relationship and all the time in between.
And a lot of us cope with breaking up by doing the same shit:
- Leave the relationship emotionally while we are still physically in it and going through the motions.
- Talk to our friends about how bad our partner is but still have sex with them.
- The sex starts to shift and doesn’t feel as connected.
- Reading articles on how to save the relationship.
- Reading lists on what a good partnership looks like.
- Some version of “This isn’t working.”
- Then we breakup. We lust after our ex. We go back and forth. Or we numb out.
And we don’t ever fucking stop to heal.
Now I’m really mad at you for reading this article looking for answers. Honey, nothing you read is going to get you what you want. Sorry.
Do you know what it’s going to take? It’s going to take a relationship with a counselor, spiritual guide, or teacher that will direct you back to yourself. The same person who hurt you won’t heal you. It takes someone new–that new person is you. And to get to that fully expressed person vibrating at the rate of Love, facing yourself is required.
It’s not until we master our emotions that we will be able to have a truly loving relationship; with or without a partner in the picture.
But, that’s not where the story ends. Yes, loving ourselves is important. But, we don’t love ourselves by ourselves. It takes relationships to guide us and aid us in being expressed. So, here’s the deal pumpkin, If you are reading this it’s because you are afraid.
Being afraid is not way to live life, to date, to get in a relationship, to breakup, or to exist.
There is a better way to never breakup again.
Have faith in the process. Give yourself credit for progress. Get help.
Book Your Free Consultation with Me now.
12 Realistic Steps for This Thing We Call Life
- Go along with the crowd and hate your life.
- Blame your parents for everything. #fatherwound
- Have more than one addiction.
- Get divorced more than once or die alone with 12 cats.
- Give other people advice how to live life; especially when your life is fucked up.
- Become LA spiritual and post inspirational quotes on social media.
- Have a like/hate relationship with your body, time, and God.
- Become intellectual and never feel your feelings.
- Hire a goal oriented life-coach for $20,000; or just give your power away to something or someone else.
- Project onto everyone else that they are a narcissist; then fill the Gram with Selfies.
- “Do Ceremony”–taking sacred drugs in some quasi-shaman’s Orange County living room.
- Have a life-crisis that wakes you up because anxiety and depression are only drinking buddies and not real friends.
There are no definitive answers for your life or existence; ok pumpkin.
We are all just reading something someone said at some point in history and repeating it to each other. Some of us agree, some don’t, and we all fake it until we die “wise.” So, in the meantime, this is the brief overview of the 12 Realistic Steps for This Thing We Call Life. Feel free to repeat it and make this bitch go viral–mama’s got money to make and jerking off to Rumi quotes isn’t doing it.
Step 1: Go along with the crowd and hate your life.
What rat bastard coined the term “waking up”? None of us are waking up. Even the people who are the most spiritual are still consumers on this planet. Too dark?
Well, I use plastic bottles, buy cheap clothes, fuck strangers, have drank booze and done psychedelic drugs, and yet “I am the light that inside all of us.” And yes, Gandi, Jesus, Buddha and the Spiritual Masters are not me unless they are me looking at me through the spiritual lens.
WE ARE ALL ONE.
None of us have to stay alive. It’s not mandatory. It is a choice. A lot of us just choose to go along to get a long because it produces the feeling of belonging, which feels safe. We like what we like and sometimes turn into raging assholes over what we don’t like.
Every single one of us will have a day that goes like this:
“What am I doing with my life? Maybe I should just kill myself. Nothing makes sense. I feel so alone. No one gets me. I don’t care anymore.” (Insert Netflix Marathon or numbing agent of choice.) “Hmm, I’m hungry, I should go get something to eat.” And then you jerk off, go to sleep and live another 70 years.
Step 2: Blame your parents for everything.
In a quest for redemption we seek out the reason “Why” we are so fucked up. In my case, my Grandmother wasn’t getting her sexual needs met by my alcoholic Grandfather and decided to molest her sons–my father being one of them. So, that set off a generational chain reaction that has made having healthy relationships a wee bit difficult. And, I’m the one who made the choices I did. It’s not like my grandmother’s ghost was like, You go fuck all those guys and get herpes and then look back and regret life.
Nonetheless, we live in a cause and effect world. So, really bad shit has a long reaching impact. When you can’t access forgiveness the next thing in line is blame.
Future parents be warned; your child is going to need therapy–send them to me. (I have a Masters and am legit.)
Step 3: Have more than one addiction.
Insurance companies and big industries are depending on our addictions. So, thank you addictions for keeping the economy running and for giving me meaning and purpose in life. Also, fuck you addiction because I’ve been recruited into your cult-like following.
Hello, I’m Rebekah and I have codependent tendencies–Hi, Rebekah. (The addiction is the cult–the actual 12 steps are the redemption.)
Step 4: Get divorced more than once or die alone with 12 cats.
Do you boo.
Everyone is going to tell you to love yourself no matter what anyway. So ride the fantasy of forever into litigation as many times as you need to so that you can die saying, “I tried.”
Never get married and have animals as your friends. Either way–divorced or perpetually single–you are in good company.
Step 5: Give other people advice how to live life; especially when your life is fucked up.
I’m doing this right now. Enough said.
They say the best counselors are the ones who have lived the message they are sharing. That’s me, right here, living the message: Freedom Baby!
The power is in the process.
Step 6: Become LA spiritual and post inspirational quotes on social media.
This step is a symptom of anyone about to leave their “normal life” and become a life-coach. Chances are there will be a name change that goes along with this step as well; for instance going from Joe to Orion (Based on a True Story). So, this is a fun attempt at being a better person but really the ego just got a little more cunning. According to Dr David R Hawkins 49% of America are low-vibrating conflictual beings (AKA total douche-bags).
Step 7: Have a like/hate relationship with your body, time, and God.
Author Mark Manson would say something about this step that goes like, “We all want to feel good…but what pain are you willing to endure?” All of us are chasing our tails trying to feel good all the time. The fact is, feeling shitty about your body, time or God is a cry to level up already. Set some new standards and endure pain to realize them.
Step 8: Become intellectual and never feel your feelings.
Paging big pharma and the internet. Why bother feeling when there are so many options for distraction and hubris?
Step 9: Hire a goal oriented life-coach for $20,000; or just give your power away to something or someone else.
I’ll gladly take your money and sell you back to you. Porn has been doing it. So, if it’s good enough for porn, isn’t it good enough for all of us? I wonder what Hugh Hefner would do?
Step 10: Project onto everyone else that they are a narcissist; then fill the Gram with Selfies.
I just don’t get why people have such a hard time having meaningful, long-lasting, loving, and healing relationships these days said every generation since the dawn of industry. We can’t take care of ourselves without each other. Duh.
Step 11: “Do Ceremony”–taking sacred drugs in some quasi-shaman’s Orange County living room.
Sure seeing a Jaguar in a psychedelic haze and speaking to your past-lives may provide relief for this current 3D plane of existence we are sharing. But, we all poop and that has to go somewhere. We are still responsible for this life, no matter how fucking old our soul is.
Step 12: Have a life-crisis that wakes you up because anxiety and depression are only drinking buddies and not real friends.
I met some 20 year olds in a oxygen bar called Tonic located in Boulder, Colorado. They wanted recommendations for what to order off the menu of tonics and potions. I said, “It depends on how you feel. What emotions are coming up for you?” The three 20-something guys replied, “Tention, anxiety, and acid reflux.”
What the fuck?
Being able to relax isn’t a luxury. And fuck it, we are all going to die, it’s how you live on the way there that give us all something to blame while we are doing the same damn thing as we trudge through
THE 12 REALISTIC STEPS FOR THIS THING WE CALL LIFE.
I hope you realize this is a satire.
Self-help will totally save you and you should probably go work with a counselor that knows how to unlock your potential.*Sarcastic tone
*Actual voice: But, if you have any interest in what the truth can do for you, I take visa, master card, and process it all through Paypal. I’m just a schedule click away.
Listen, I get it, life is tough and going through a breakup is wicked hard. You do not have to do it alone. I don’t discount my packages but I do offer payment plans. So, I suggest not suffering these bogus 12 Realistic Steps and actually enrolling in Breakup Rehab. It will change your life, now. I’m happy to help but you have to do the most difficult thing and get on-board.
It’s not about being “ready”. It’s about committing to your life like your life depends on it—because it does!
SIGN UP NOW
The 5 Questions We Ask when Deciding to Break Up or Stay Together.
If you want real answers, just hire me. But in the mean time, for those of you without an extra 10K for life changing guidance, I hope this article helps.
The 5 Questions:
- Is my boyfriend a narcissist?
- How to I overcome conflict in my relationship?
- What are signs of abusive behavior?
- How do I save my relationship?
- What are signs that I’m in a good relationship?
This isn’t an easy article to write because there is no one “right” answer to those questions that is specific to your situation. However, if you are reading this it’s because you are in that really shitty place where you don’t know if you should try harder or cut your losses. I’ve done my best to summarize answers that will move you forward. Chances are that you are attached to the person who is inspiring this type of Sherlock Holmes gathering of information. Your mind is like, “If only I can get to the bottom of this then life will be bliss.”
How do I know all this? Because I’ve lived it multiple-times over.
I’m not only and amazing counselor/witch/healer, I’ve also been in the dating pool enough to know to learn how to swim.
The 5 Questions We Ask when Deciding to Break Up or Stay Together.
Chances are if you are asking this question, Is my boyfriend a narcissist? it’s because you want to blame all your shit on your partner. Is it okay for a man to be abusive self-centered dick? FUCK NO IT IS NOT!
However, why are you dating someone that has you asking the question, Is my boyfriend a narcissist? What half-baked pop-psychology shit have you been rifling through to circumvent the very real fact that your choices create your life.
If he is a narcissist, that means you can’t change him. If he isn’t, you still can’t change him. And if you stay with him, then you get to be just as fucked up as he is. So, start with the wo/man in the mirror.
You could try to be the “better person” and look at if from a spiritual lens.
It sounds like this:
“Well my boyfriend may be acting like a narcissist but that doesn’t mean that is who he is.” Great, you separated the behavior from the identity. But, dating someone who only thinks of themself all the time feels like shit. I mean, some of us submissive types go along to get along. But if you think for yourself at all, there is a good chance being with a “Narcy” isn’t a good match for your overall well-being.
Sucks for you that you got addicted to them though, which brings me to the next question:
How do I overcome conflict in my relationship?
“Well everyone has fights.” That’s true. But, if you are focusing on that chances are little attention is being paid on how cooperative your partner is. If you are thinking, “They reject me most of the time” then get out of that martyr situation. I mean, burn off your Karma, and then a better situation will show up.
But, if a better situation seems far away, we can get stuck trying to fix the shit we are in.
If you are asking, What are the signs of abusive behavior? then you have experienced abusive behavior. People don’t ask this question unless some shit has gone down.
When people fight, many of us seek to destroy the other person by undermining their character, points of view, and sometimes we physically harm the other person. This is not how healthy people fight. Healthy people say things like, “I’m so angry right now I could scream my head off but instead I’m going to walk away and come back when I’m calm.”
The reality is “blowing it out” might feel good in the moment but it locks both people in an addictive cycle resulting in a dysfunctional relationship.
Please click this: Signs of Abuse
So if you got to the question, How do I save my relationship? after having gone through the thread of finding a diagnosis, learning about conflict resolution, looking over signs of abuse, you are not going to save a healthy relationship. You are just trying to find out how to put out a tire fire with your body.
However, if you began the search for answers with How do I save my relationship? there are a few factors to look at. The first one is, Why? According to John Gottman 68% of couples have the same recurring fight for the duration of their relationship. So, the quick and dirty answer to preservation of what you’ve got is to pick your battles and forgive quickly.
This then brings us to the award winning question, What are the signs I’m in a good relationship?
- Cooperation: The ability to turn differences into relational strengths.
- Contribution: Self reflecting so that you give the best of you to the relationship.
- Communication: Tell the truth every time.
- Consideration: There is more than just me involved in my decisions.
- Christ: Have a spiritual foundation to turn to in times of trials and celebrations.
A lot of people will tell you that it’s better to be single than to be in a bad relationship. I disagree. Being single is a bad relationship if you keep attracting bad relationships. Being single is a critical time to examine your inner critic and see how kind you are to yourself. However, that will get you only so far, so we need bad relationships as tools of refinement. The really hurtful abusive relationships that echo shit childhoods can fuck right off though. Those are ecosystems of destruction and death; that require more than a life-coach to repair. Eh-hem.
In short, this life is a journey and no one is going to care about your legacy 100 years from now. You have to care about your time more than anyone else. To make the most of it I suggest reading Breakup Rehab and learning the skills that produce happiness, prosperity, and good feeling relationships. Help is here as well. I offer integrative sessions that combine psychology with psychic insights so that you can get to where you are going faster. Book a session now.
And thanks for reading. I hope this helped.
“We are as sick as our secrets”. –AA
It’s in every yoga studio, in every eyelash extension salon, 6:30pm at the liquor store, and tucked away in the phrase, “Let’s have a girls night.” Cities like Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Denver, and New York all house these beautiful women who are holding onto a secret. Some of these women have some things in common and proudly belong to the division known as “Boss-ass Babes”. A group of them are top executives and a few are artists turned savvy business women who, on the surface, seem to “have it all”.
She has an Instagram account full of pictures of tropical vacations, afternoon rose wine, curated meals that some hipster dreamed up, and fashion. There’s a lot of networking and late nights that show up on her Instagram stories. And, it’s just that, it’s a story.
The door closes on the yoga studio and the heat is turned up to 109 degrees. “Andrea” has on her lululemon hot yoga shorts and a bondage inspired sports bra. Her 5’4 frame looks elongated as she stands tall in tree pose. She convinced her friend “Vanessa” to join her for this early morning class, “To burn off last night and because the teacher–Keegan–is so hot.” “It will be great and then we can get a green detox drink after!” she promises her sluggish friend.
Vanessa doesn’t make nearly as much money as Andrea does and she has had to fall back on her parents several times since her breakup had such an impact on her online clothing business. Andrea came up from the middle, got a scholarship to an Ivy-league school, and landed a top tech firm job that flies her all across the world. These two women met through mutual friends who were into fashion and they became “besties”.
As sweat runs down Vanessa’s back, she is quietly questioning her life choices while simultaneously trying to keep her focus on when to transition from one pose to another. Half way through the class, she gives up and walks out. “Fuck this!” Andrea feels embarrassed but finishes the class, and then after she puts herself together for work, texts “Megan”: Vanessa is such a train-wreck! I can’t believe she bailed on yoga this morning!
Megan is in the middle of a meeting and shoots back a poop emoji and a LOL face. If there were a pack leader, Megan would be it. She was engaged, running a seven-figure fitness business, lives in Los Angeles but has a condo in New York that had been in the family for generations, and she defers big decisions to her spiritual guru shaman. She is sleek with perfect hair (extensions), a designer wardrobe, and a beautiful Mercedes.
These women and those like them drive commerce in the Western World. Their hearts are in a pretty good place, and despite knowing about the Law of Attraction, their minds are in turmoil. What Andrea doesn’t know about Vanessa is that Vanessa is on antidepressants she washes down with a bottle of Malbec, most nights of the week. On the nights she’s not chasing her pills with booze, she is on a date with another “rando”. And she’s chasing her booze with cheep sex. But, this isn’t the big secret because when all the girls are together–the tigers and the ringleader–they laugh and joke about dating, sex, butt-plugs, and do their best to one-up each other’s ability to be salacious.
Megan feels like she has dirt on both Andrea and Vanessa since they both complain to her about the other one. She also feels better than them because she is engaged. For Megan, life is going “according to plan”. But, she didn’t plan on her sex-life being so dry and flat. She didn’t plan on feeling envious of Vanessa’s ability to hook up and move on.
Both Megan and Vanessa think Andrea is totally put together. But, what Andrea doesn’t share is that she spends way to much money on Amazon.com around 3am in the morning because she can’t sleep; her anxiety keeps her up.
Hints of these secrets show up when they get together and “get four bottles deep”. It’s not that they are bad. It’s not that therapy hasn’t worked. It’s that in yoga class, in the eyelash salon, in the liquor store, and after “girls night”; the ache of living with broken hearts, guilt, shame and emptiness is there.
Love is packaged and sold as a drug in these circles. We binge watch shows like The Bachelor and Say Yes to the Dress. No one is keeping up with the Kardashians; although some of us are still trying to emulate them. None of us feel really great about our bodies. We all have had a version of childhood that left holes in our psychology. A handful of us drifted into the “plant medicine” world. And using catch phrases like, “I’m enough” is just enough to get us to the next day.
But, the medicine isn’t in the stack of self-help books we buy but don’t actually read. It’s circulating through podcasts but only as information. The medicine isn’t in a “mindset” coaching formula, singular church service, or twelve-step gatherings. Broken hearts and empty spaces are healed through the conversations that happen in Breakup Rehab.
It doesn’t matter what her name is–she is lost. I’ve been her. I am her. And what I know to be true is that rehabilitation brings us back home again.
Allen Ginsberg elucidates this by saying, “And while I’m here, I’ll do the work. And what is the work? To ease the pain of living–everything else is a drunken dumbshow.”
We are fallible humans that pass down the lineage of guilt to one another like it was an explanation for existence. It’s not. Life cannot be explained nor can it be lived fully with misunderstanding. Access to unconditional love and the peace that coincides with it requires a commitment few can integrate but in retrospect. Love is nothing and everything.
And it’s there, in the quiet moments, in our prayers, at all hours of the day, in our asking and in Breakup Rehab.
I’m a liar, thief, cheat, bully, and manipulator. I admit it. And as I reveal that side of me, I’ve upset a lot of people. It takes a true warrior with heart to bring shadows to light, and transform them.
In the last week I have had two people respond to my social media posts by telling me, “You should not be giving relationship advice.” The first person argued that only people with PhD’s are qualified to make money as relationship counselors. The second person responded to my Facebook Live about the instinct to murder by saying in essence, “Those who need help themselves should not be relationship counselors.”
I agitate people because I say things “you are not supposed to say.” I realize that being a Breakup Specialist and charging people for counseling might seem exploitative. “You are taking advantage of people in a vulnerable position.” People who are in pain because of loss are vulnerable. People who struggle with low self worth are vulnerable. People who are hungry are vulnerable. And a primary focus of marketing, that I didn’t invent, is “put pressure on their pain point.” However, there is strength in our vulnerability and paying for help is a very vulnerable act. Investing in help changes people let alone the conversations we have that provide non-judgmental perspective.
I also recognize that I am still healing.
I have killed off my meaningful relationships time and time again.Sometimes, destroying things makes me feel alive. Does it make me less qualified as for my position as a “healer”? Maybe. But, more than this, it challenges my commitment to be transparent, stay congruent, and speak the truth.
I share all of this to say, that the first sign we are on a right path or path with heart is resistance.
We learn disapproval of our behavior early in life through parental conditioning. This then forms into survival strategies such as suppression, compartmentalization, and projection. As we grow up alongside care-givers, abusers, and teachers we practice different versions of these strategies until they turn into our identities.
It’s important to note that when you come to a crossroads in your life where you commit to a new way of being–more open, transparent, more focused, and go against what you have known; it registers as a risk. What I’ve found to be true is deep commitment to personal growth is met with both internal and external opposition. It’s as if the laws of nature are asking, “Are you sure you want this?”
As a caveat, in the western world we are programmed to think that people who have wealth are also people of virtue. In fact, they just have access to large-scale creative expression as well as massive destruction. An example of this is the oil and gas industry. As the saying goes:
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required,” Luke 12:48 (King James Version.)
In my life it sounds like, “You should not be doing what you are doing.” “You are dangerous.” “You are causing harm in people’s lives.” I’ve let this stop me before. I quit trusting in my own authority. And people do get hurt when we finally stop being who they have known us to be or something that doesn’t fit into the “safe” version of what we should be.
The true test isn’t in overcoming resistance, but in being persistent. Resistance only represent the end of one thing–a minor death. The true sacrifice comes when we are deliberate in our motion forward. The “can’t”, “won’t”, “shouldn’t” messages that arise both internally and externally must be met with focus and determination. It is not determination of the mind, but of the heart.
Life-force-energy congregates in this middle place. It takes energy to have your shadows exposed. Often we fail to change in the middle place and run back to what was familiar. But, if we lean into the heart, we will find the bravery to be with the transformation, and the courage to persist.
Then, there is a moment, where critical mass is reached and there is no going back. The message of the heart has found its way into the world. It may be presented as a whisper at first, but over time, with practice it becomes more consistent.
New authority is established. The journey of rebirth from a child crippled by an outgrown system gets purified through overcoming resistance, gaining life force energy by being persistent, and the heart’s full expression anchors in through consistency.
The phrase that sums this up the most is, “We are all walking each other home.” And, in my experience, it’s the ones who provide resistance that are really showing us the way to walk our path with heart. Bless the test and walk on!
Comprehending Mental Health
Is mental health a luxury?
What is mental health?
Life-coaching isn’t mental health.
Mental health is both an noun and a verb. It is also how we describe someone’s internal operating system (E-IOS). Ironically, much of mental health has to do with emotions, which are housed in the body. The field of psychology–the cross section of philosophy & biology–is where we learn how to study and treat mental health issues.
An advanced degree in the field of psychology equips an practitioner to better support individuals who have experienced rape, drug addiction, trauma, and those who suffer from mood or personality disorders. I am not a clinical mental health practitioner.
I hold a Masters in Counseling but I am not a clinical counselor not a marriage and family therapist. I am registered as a minister of the Universal Life Church . The purpose of services rendered may prove to be therapeutic but are not intended as therapy; rather as coaching, mentorship or facilitation of personal goals.
A vision-board session with a life-coach doesn’t treat mental illness. Having a better grip on how to schedule your day can be useful to a lot of people but does not help to manage OCD behavior. I can’t say this enough–LIFE COACHING IS NOT THERAPY!
Therapists are held to a code of ethics. The most prominent being that therapists have duty to keep what is shared as confidential unless the client plans on harming themselves or someone else, which then means psychotherapists have a duty to report. We cannot have dual relationships. For instance I couldn’t have my landlord as a client. There’s a long list of ethical guidelines psychotherapists must adhere to including getting supervision. Client privileges rely on the bedrock of ethical practices.
My Bias Towards Untrained Life-Coaches
The billion dollar wellness industry has a virus inside of it. There is a fine line between providing support and reinforcing disease. “Well that’s just your story.” “Do you work.” “Go inside.” Bla bla bla. Defining your goals is a mental act and the primary focus of life coaching. But, when aspects of the field of psychology are co-opted and diluted it opens the door to exacerbate anxiety & depression through subtle layers of comparison.
Humans seek completion. We like homeostasis and when we are not in that state it is due to stress. I can’t speak for everyone but when I see “have a six-figure” coaching program—it makes me feel like shit. Specifics aside, a lot of us are nervous wrecks because of the cycle of coaching programs and self-help garble that has flooded the “wellness” space. The seeking of healing can injure seeker.
Without being too philosophical about it, it comes down to everyone staying in their lane so for the sake of validity. What needs to be treated is actually being treated.
Comparison is the thief of all joy.
Clinical issues: Addiction, Abuse, Anxiety & Depression
Public figure Simon Sinek talks about millennial’s addiction to their phones and has predicted a rise in suicides & depression which we are now seeing. The suicide rate is skyrocketing with a strong correlation to social media as the catalyst.
The issue I have with untrained life coaches is that a sparkly media campaign that talks about Law of Attraction often attracts people who are in crisis. Life coaches are not trained to help people in crisis. The code of ethics specifies that psychotherapists do not practice outside of their scope or field of expertise. Yet, life-coaches, psychics, and healers often violate this ethical code and don’t refer out to a better suited practitioner.
Granted one of the skills the we learn as psychotherapists is the power of actively listening to or clients without an agenda. Is a life-coach able to do that? Yes. But what if that client talks about raping someone, or having been raped, or the intent to harm themselves? Is a “discovery call” where coaches are trained to “focus on the pain point” going to point the client in the right direction? It’s possible. But what often happens is that the life-coach has only a few tools to address a huge systemic issue and are in over their head.
It’s not that every person with a psychology degree is equipped to work with mental health clients. We can only take our clients as far as we have been ourselves. This means that the practitioner must be invested in their own help and healing. We must continue to educate ourselves so that we can know what clients we can and cannot work with.
Mental health is dynamic and cannot be managed by the tools that life-coaches use. This being said, many mental health practitioners choose to refrain from taking a licencing exam and therefore practice counseling under the umbrella of life-coaching.
What does all of this have to do with Mental Health?
The DSM is the primary resource that catalogs mental health disorders and courses of treatment. To paraphrase, a disorder is a set of behaviors that are maladaptive. There are two types of mental health disorders—personality and mood.
Anxiety and depression are the most common mood disorders. Narcissism has gotten a lot of airtime and is the most popularized personality disorder.
Disorders like schizophrenia, where people hear voices, can sometimes result in individuals killing or harming someone else because a “voice” told them to. Individuals who get an advanced degree in psychology such as a PsyD are equipped to treat people with mood and personality disorders. Life-coaches aren’t.
As a person trained as a clinician but who also incorporates psychic information into my sessions, my consent to treat form clearly states:
I understand that the purpose of services rendered may prove to be therapeutic but are not intended as therapy; rather as coaching, mentorship or facilitation of personal goals. I understand that Rebekah holds a Masters from Naropa University but is not a Licenced Psychotherapist but rather a Breakup Specialist who focuses on relationship & addiction issues.
*I am registered as an addiction counselor in the state of California.
What I offer can be labeled counseling or consulting. However, I am not a licenced psychotherapist and operate under the title of Breakup Specialist. Many people with masters have chosen to practice like this for various reasons. People seek spiritual counsel from me and I can consult on addiction issues.
As a client seeking help it is best to distinguish between if he or she needs emotional guidance or if they only need facilitation to achieve a specific goal. If anxiety, depression, addiction or abuse are a factor then working with a person with a Masters or PhD or PsyD in Counseling is the best choice. For a simple pep-talk, life-coaches are better suited.
A Note on the Origins of Life Coaching:
Thomas Leonard, an American financial planner, is generally acknowledged as the first person to develop coaching as a profession in the 1980s and the history of life coaching today really starts with him.
Leonard observed that his clients, though emotionally stable and hardly needing therapy, wanted more from him than just the usual tips on how to invest and safeguard their incomes.
They wanted help in their lives better and planning and achieving their goals.
( Retreaved September 22, 2018: https://www.lifecoachingprofessionally.com/history-of-life-coaching.html)
The Bottom Line of Mental Health
If people cannot afford my services I still offer a free session to make sure a person in need is resourced. I often charge students and past clients a fraction of my listed prices because it is important to me they are properly supported. It is ethically and morally important to me that I direct individuals towards the people that will best support them. What I have to offer isn’t always the best fit.
I also wrote the book Breakup Rehab (available on Amazon.com) to make the tools I share in my spiritually focused private practice accessible to everyone who reads (English). It is not on audio because reading this information is an important part of the therapeutic process.
The point is that therapy is good for what therapy is good for and life-coaching is good for what life-coaching is good for. Ethical practices keep clients safe. It is best to refer people to Psychology Today to find a therapist that takes insurance or best fits their needs. At the end of the day our well-being hinges on who we learn from and making sure we have the correct mentors for our life circumstances.
Thank you & Be Set Free!