Sally works part time and has a son and daughter (aged 6 & 8). She has been married for eleven years and has also been married previously. Sally came to our group because of life change. Her kids are now at school and she wanted a different career but didn’t know what to do. She wanted some clarity around what career to pursue to fit in with her children and husband, who works shift work.
Sally was a valuable member of the group and despite needing to miss 3 of our 8 sessions because of her and her children’s illnesses, she was very dedicated with homework and contributions to the group. The group has supported her through resigning from a job she disliked and has wanted to leave for years and she is now enrolling full time in a course she has wanted to do for many years! “You made me accountable for not only my actions but my thought processes too, when they had almost become a habit of whinging. I had become tired of the complaining-Sally and just needed something or someone to stop that process and make me finally accountable to change.”
Kathy is a stay at home mother; she has one son who is 6 years old. She has been married for seven and a half year and came to our group because she related to the letter (Appendix 1) immediately and she needed more direction. She is having a number of difficulties within the home including her marriage and managing her young son. She has a medical condition which prevents her from driving and feels that this is a huge barrier to her leading a ‘normal’ life including finding a job, which she has been trying to do for some time.
Kathy was the most challenging member of the group. She was struggling a great deal with her current situation and was feeling trapped. She tried to be supportive of other members of the group, however all issues tended to go full circle and ended up being about her. She was very much in a victim mindset. It was a constant challenge to ensure the group was getting equal time to share. Kathy gained great support from the group and it has allowed her to continue to explore her options for work and interests outside the home. One member of the group recommend a counselor to her and both she and her husband are now seeing this counselor. Kathy is also exploring a number of other tools offered during our sessions and is continuing to explore her options for work and improved happiness. She is planning to continue with group coaching next term.
The pre and post program questionnaires (Appendices 3 and 4) provided information to capture the change in participant’s happiness levels over the 8-week pilot program. The pilot program increased participants overall happiness.
As can be seen in Figure 1 the overall increase in participant’s happiness was 1.2 rating points. Kim showed the greatest overall increase of 3.6 while Tanya showed no change. It is interesting to note that Tanya’s overall change of zero did not result from no change, her happiness around some life areas (personal growth and learning and fitness) increased, while others (work/career and friends) decreased leading to no overall change. In contrast Kim experienced improved happiness in all but one area of her life (extended families).