~ By Michael Borowiak, MSW, LICSW
This year I decided that I wanted to enter a couple of Nordic Skate Ski races. I took up skate skiing two years ago when my kids developed their skills in this through the Minnesota Youth Ski League. It’s been fun skiing together with them. While I have the basics of skate skiing down, I realize I am going to need to refine my skills if I’m going enjoy the races. To do this, I can learn on my own via YouTube and friends, and I can seek the expertise of a coach to help. I’m choosing to hire a coach this year to more effectively reach my goal.
I see this same approach in the coaching that Traverse does with parents going through difficult divorces and family transitions. Learning a new pattern of interaction that reduces the stress that conflict brings can be accomplished through coaching. If you already have strong communication skills, coaching may help you to refine your skills in the often, difficult challenges of co-parenting. Coaching typically is short term, focused on specific communication techniques and strategies of co-parent engagement that reduces conflict.
Coaching is different from therapy. Therapy is about providing support to individuals, couples and families in learning new patterns of behavior and thought. In a way, therapy is like teaching someone to skate ski, while coaching is about refining your skate skiing skills. Therapy diagnoses the problem and recommends a treatment plan to move forward. Coaching does not diagnose the problem or address why you may struggle to implement a skill you have applied elsewhere.