How to Create Emotional Health

Emotional Coaching

Bamboo Bridge, whose courses are offered to veterans free of charge in eight Midwestern cities, is a three-step process: First, recognize the need for change; second, take action; third, recognize that change itself is a process; emotional transformation doesn't always happen overnight. There's still more work to do.

Coaching as a Vehicle for "Courageous Conversations"

While self-awareness is often accelerated in a group environment, often the next step toward greater emotional clarity is to continue into a more focused, one-on-one relationship with a counselor, teacher, mentor or coach. In recent years, this specialized way of furthering one's career, relationship and spiritual development has come to be known as coaching.

Kevin Buck, M.F.T., a founding member of Partnership, Garden Grove, Calif., describes coaching as an ongoing relationship designed to help people produce more fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. It is not psychotherapy. "In most therapy, the starting point is dysfunction. Therapy focuses on fixing a problem. In coaching, the starting point is the client's desire to better oneself personally and professionally. What it's really about is having courageous conversations."

What Are the Possibilities When You Work with a Coach?

  • You take yourself more seriously.
  • You take more effective and focused action immediately.
  • You stop putting up with what is dragging you down.
  • You create momentum so it's easier to get results.
  • You set goals that you might not have done without your coach.

What happens as you gain emotional intelligence? You learn to identify your emotional "triggers." Perhaps the most toxic of all emotions are anger and hostility, for they rob us of peace of mind and the ability to think and act clearly. Hostility can literally kill you by repeatedly stressing your cardiovascular system with a flood of stress hormones designed for brief "fight or flight" encounters.

How Can You Overcome Your Anger?

One way is to "reframe" your anger. Get to know it. Do some inner research, and find out the real "story" behind it. Perhaps, as a child, you were never allowed to go somewhere that was dear to you, and you are still holding deep anger for your father or mother. Your cells hold the memory, and every time a similar incident comes up, you get triggered. You may need to go back and, as Kramer says, "collapse the dysfunctional belief system" that is limiting your possibilities. This may mean letting go of your long-standing resentment and forgiving your parents. Remember, forgiveness is letting go of the need or desire for someone else to apologize for the hurt we suppose they caused us.