A couple of months ago, all was well with the world, and then the Coronavirus pandemic came along to change our daily lives routines radically.
While we rejoice in some of the good aspects of the current situation, we should never undermine the fact that, one way or another, it has taken its toll on us. If you find yourself breaking under pressure, there is no shame in seeking professional guidance to find your inner peace and mental wellness.
In celebration of the International Coaching Week, taking placing from the 4th to the 10th of May, we had the privilege of talking to Executive and Wellness Coach, Karine Kamel, who has a long trail of achievements under her belt.
In addition to 13 years of experience in Public Relations, Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility, Kamel is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, an Associate Certified Coach, a Member of the International Coaching Federation, and a Certified Practitioner from the American Board of Hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. She is also a Positive Discipline Parent Educator.
Kamel enlightened us with valuable information about coaching, breaking various misconceptions along the way.
For those (like us) who’ve never been to a life coach, the first, and most obvious question that posed itself was: what is coaching?
Karine described it simply: “It is what makes my soul happy. Witnessing the growth of my clients, and seeing them take steps towards achieving their life goals, is humbling.”
And before our minds went wandering, trying to work out what ‘growth’ means, Kamel added: “Life doesn’t always go as we planned, and at times, we find ourselves stuck doing things or being with people that don’t serve us anymore. Embarking on the coaching journey evokes transformation and gives clients the tools they need to steer their lives in the direction they want to honour their own values and be in sync with their life purpose.”
Explicitly stating when the right time to contemplate coaching is, Kamel said, “Whether you’re at a crossroad in your career, you’re about to get married or going through a divorce, whether you just had a baby for the first time, or you’re just lost and unsure where to begin to get back on track.”
So, seeking coaching is not necessarily linked to adverse changes, as many think: “… If you’re going through any positive or negative change, feeling stuck, or you have a goal you want to reach. It could also be that the way you’ve looked at yourself and the world is changing, and you need to make sense of it all.”
The definition of personal growth varies from one person to another, and so do choices; Kamel recommends anyone seeking coaching to delve deeper into the topic, and its numerous schools and methods, to opt for what suits them best.
But picking the method, or shall we say, the path of growth is one thing, choosing the right guide is another: “When choosing a coach, ask for their accreditation. It is natural to ask a coach for their credentials.”
Kamel also describes the dynamic and stresses on the importance of a healthy coach/client relationship:
“Overall, it is a relationship between coach and client where the focus is on moving forward, taking steps for the personal and professional development of clients. We start at the present, see where the client is at, and we use our skills and offer tools for our client to reach their goals and become the best version of themselves. A coach and client are equal in this relationship and design an alliance early on with guidelines on how to move forward together.”
For some reason, we couldn’t help but linking a coach/client relationship with that of a patient/therapist, which takes us to another question: what’s the difference between coaching and therapy? Many of us blur the line between the two; luckily, we have Kamel to differentiate between them:
“While both professions could work well together, they are inherently different. It is critical to understand that and seek the professional that you need. My foundation is in Psychology, which is added value in the sense that it allows me to immediately refer potential clients to a psychologist when need be.”
In order to maintain the clarity of the information provided by Kamel on the topic, we found it better to list the differences:
- Coaching cannot treat a mental illness. This is the job of a psychologist or psychiatrist; they diagnose and treat.
- Coaching focuses on the present and future; unlike therapists, coaches do not go back to the past.
- Coaches work with high-functioning individuals, while therapists work with individuals with a dysfunction or a disorder.
- Coaches do not give advice. But therapists provide advice and recommendations.
So what to expect from coaching? Kamel mentioned a long list; from gaining self-awareness, clarifying goals and priorities, and designing an action plan, to capitalise on your strengths and developing empowering habits that are in congruence with your core values.
Indeed, the course of our conversation with Kamel has taken us to the topic of the hour: Coronavirus, and whether it should be a stumbling block for anyone seeking help:
“During this traumatic time we are all going through, make sure you pay attention to your mental wellbeing. Coaching is designed to be done online and over the phone. I have been coaching virtually for a few years now, regardless of covid19.”
And as a kind gesture, Kamel offers you a special discount during the International Coaching Week; all you have to do is reach out for Kamel on her website and mention Cairo 360. Also, check out Karine Kamel’s Instagram Account.
One final word: your wellness matters.