Alice contacted me after reading one of my articles on the public interest club forum. She told me that she would like to try coaching in getting her life in order. I provided the client with the information about myself in a form of short introduction letter and asked her to fill the primary introduction form. We engaged for the 12 sessions set for the next 4 months.
Alice sent me the form back very quickly; she marked the fulfilment in the areas as Health, Children, Family, Peace, Self-Development, Finance, Relationship, Joy – from 8 to 10, Career – 4.
We met at her apartment in the small city near the capital city; she arranged that her youngest daughter is playing in the same room at that time. She was very welcoming and smiling, but I could feel the stress inside. We started the session; she told me more about every aspect of her life and slowly came to the unclear future with her job in a period of time in a year. We explored the options she has and these were:
- Staying at the same position it the same organisation;
- Switching the position staying in the same organisation;
- Some completely new option.
While talking about the options, Alice shared the positive influences of her current job position and she looked absolutely happy, alive, interested in the information she was sharing, going into the details, I could hardly stop her. The acknowledgement for being passionate about the job she was doing followed immediately and my client started to bloom for a while. And then she shared that she has no any chance to grow within that organization because she is continuously refusing the offers to raise her professional levels as far as that always has been connected with the business trips around the World.
Alice also mentioned her specific fear of being enclosed in an elevator, so she chooses better to go by stairs if it is possible. Her good figure was witnessing about that as well. I gently asked her what she knows about claustrophobia. She said that she has already thought about that and she even has the consultation with the therapist and a doctor. A therapist offered her a therapy which was not successful for a year. A doctor prescribed her anti-anxiety medications, which she decided not to take because of being pregnant. So, she decided to try coaching in overcoming this fear.
I asked Alice what could be the first step to take in the direction of overcoming her fear of enclosed spaces, which is available right now and which is very important to her right now. She said that now the issue where this fear disturbs her – is going by elevator because she has to go for a walk with all her children and it is not easy to do it just coming by the stairs. So, the first sub-goal is learning to go by elevator. The homework for my client she chooses was to think about the situations when going by elevator was comfortable for her.
On the second session Alice looked frustrated. We started our conversation with the wins she can mention from the last week, she couldn’t remember any. Then I started asking her about her successes in English language studies and driving licence studies, and my client recognized that she is successfully moving forward and I acknowledged her for that. The energy of the conversation became more positive and we came back to the topic of the session. The client told me more about her experience with the elevator.
She remembered that when she was a child, she used to go by elevator without any negative emotions, but one time her parents told her that it is not safe to go with elevator, so she should go by the stairs. We started exploring possible reasons why her parents told so and it appeared that the situation was held in the end of 80s, in the Soviet Union, when some kind of sexual revolution came to these countries and there was a boom of different cases connected with violence in elevators. So, we came to the conclusion that my client’s parents were just afraid about their daughter and it was safe itself to go with the elevator itself.
Then we discussed a little about the current situation – what are the present circumstances when my client has to take elevator. She told me, that now the circumstances are the following: she leaves in a modern prestigious house, the elevator is light, spacious and clean, it is equipped with the emergency button. So, the situation my client finds herself now – is completely different from the situation she was afraid in the childhood. So, we figured out the underlying belief – the elevators are dangerous. Followed by my questions, the client realised, that the elevators are not dangerous themselves, there could be dangerous situations (not only in elevators), so, my client wanted to get prepared for them. Then we came to the solution that a lot of dangerous situations connected with the violence could be avoid if you are aware about these possibilities and you can protect yourself; the client verbalised the wish to take a self-protection course. On the top of the hour I asked the client, which step forward she would like to take and she told me that she will apply for the self-protection course.