When David came in, he wanted to talk about his week, he seemed happy and confident, he told me that at work he was doing much better, because he felt motivated and “in touch with his artistic self”. It was great for me to see how far he had come. We did some visualization exercise, and then I asked him how he felt about coming out to his family; he lost focus immediately, opened his eyes, and told me he didn’t want to go through with that, he said he was doing very well now that he had accepted himself and that he had found new friends and support in the gay community. Still, in all these months he had never said specifically the words “I am gay”, and I felt concerned about this, but didn’t want to push his timing, because, if he wasn’t ready, then we would have to work a little bit harder to overcome his fears so that he could tell his family who he was, and show his true self.
We ended that session working on his self-awareness, self-love and acknowledgement of his actions.
David was supposed to come back the next week, but he didn’t, he called to say he was sorry, but he didn’t want to come back. That was the last time I heard of him for the entire month, and the two months after.
The come back
After two months of not hearing from him, he called one day, and asked to meet. We did that week; there was a short moment of embarrassment from his part, so I immediately tried to make him feel at ease, helping him remember that with me he always had a safe place to be. At this point we sat down and started to talk, off course he started explaining to me that he had left because he didn’t feel ready to come out to his family, and he felt so scared he didn’t want to face it with me, because he was aware that at the time, he didn’t really want to face it at all.
That day we talked about his family, who they were and how was his relationship with them. We talked and re-framed perspectives about his family for the entire month, empowering his positive beliefs about them and reinforcing all that we had worked in the months before.
The second month he told me on our second session that he was feeling ready to talk to his brother and mother. He did. David went back home and talked to them. He called me after and seemed happy and proud of his actions, he sounded good, he said to me “ I told them I am gay”.
Until now he hasn’t told his father, but he is getting ready, he asked for time, and that is all I can give him for now, time and support. Hopefully when he will be ready he will tell him.
Summary of the coaching process based on the ICF competences, ICA modules, and Power tools used in the process.
- The sessions with the client lasted between the 45 and 60 minutes, once a week, every Tuesday. We would do the sessions face to face.
- How the client trusted the process and his coach, where the key to begin working what really was an issue for him. It is because of his trust that the coaching relationship that evolved through the months grew stronger and stronger.
- The client took positive action at the end of the coaching relationship, as intended in the beginning to help him come closer to his original goal: coming out. He did so in his social and work environment first, and then with his brother and mother.
- I used most of the modules and notes from ICA to help myself in the process of coaching:
1.1 Values and life purpose
1.2 Creating awareness
1.3 Underlying beliefs
1.5 Self management
1.6 Releasing judgment
1.7 Self development pan
1.8 Power listening
1.9 Powerful questions
1.10 Creating action
1.13 Creating trust