Life Coach Aims To Help People Get On The Right Track

OSWEGO, NY – Sometimes, people just need a good listening to.

That, in a nutshell, is what is at the center of “life coaching.”

Jim Farfaglia, the longtime director of Camp Hollis, has been helping shape the lives of thousands of young people over the years. It is a job he is proud of, and loves doing.

Eventually, he said, he will retire. However, he doesn’t want to stop helping others. As a certified life coach, he will be able to fulfill that mission.

Jim Farfaglia
Jim Farfaglia was one of the many speakers at the recent Teen Services Seminar. He will be pursuing a second career as a life coach.

“My goal is to work slowly and develop the business for when I retire from the county (a few years from now),” he told the Daily News recently. “The idea is to start slowly, do this part-time on nights and weekends.”

He graduated from Coachville University, which is based out of Texas.

“Classes were conducted via telephone conferences with some great teachers from around the world. I had to support that with practice coaching ten clients and being coached myself by a certified life coach,” he said. “It was a lot of hands on work, which I loved.”

People from all over the world are taking part in the classes, he said.

“I was able to tap into those peoples’ creative energies,” he said. “These are active classes. You’re not dialing in, putting the phone down and playing a video game. The teacher is constantly asking questions, she’s calling you by name. You have to complete 200 hours of classes (each class is one hour).”

Students pay the fee up front and then can take the course pretty much at their own pace, Farfaglia noted.

It took him about two and a half years, because he was dedicated full-time to Camp Hollis about seven months out of the year.

According to Farfaglia, Life Coaching is a shared exploration of a person’s life.

“It is most often used when a person (the “client”) is experiencing some stress or uncertainty in their life. The life coach offers his/her skills to identify the stress/uncertainty and explores ideas with the client of how to move through it,” he said. “Life Coaching is based on the belief that the solution to a person’s stress/uncertainty is within the person. Hence, the life coach shares the search for the solution with the client.”

There are several questions a person can ask themselves to determine whether they might need the services of a life coach, Farfaglia noted.

Among them are:

Are you feeling “stuck?”

Is something lacking in your job or relationships?

Has grass always been greener on the other side of the fence?

Do disturbing patterns keep “happening” to you?

Has the “spark” gone from your life?

“Belief in one or more of these common phrases is often an indicator that the Life Coaching method may be right for you,” Farfaglia said.

Life Coaching isn’t clinical therapy or psychiatric counseling, he stressed.

How Does Life Coaching Work?

“You acknowledge that there is something missing or you want more in your life. Or, perhaps, the improvement strategies you’ve tried before just haven’t had a lasting effect,” Farfaglia said. “After a brief discussion about your situation, you and the life coach will determine if coaching is right for you and, if so, agree to work together.”

Sessions, which take place either in person or on the telephone, focus on the coach listening carefully for clues to the client’s situation.

“In some of the bigger cities, mostly all coaching is done over the phone. One of the first coaches I met lives in New York State, but most of his clients are in California,” Farfaglia said. “I prefer face-to-face when it’s possible.”

After a session, the client is asked to explore what has been discussed.

This “homework” helps to reinforce the ideas brought up in Life Coaching sessions.

Common coaching topics include work or school challenges, relationship patterns, health/nutrition imbalances and personal goal strategies.

A typical Life Coaching process lasts for two or three months.

“It doesn’t teach specific health, nutrition or exercise regimens. But, should a need for any of those arise, the coach can suggest appropriate professional assistance,” Farfaglia pointed out.

As a life coach, he will focus on there specific areas: job coaching, youth in transition (the time when they’re leaving the nest, but aren’t sure where they’re going), and life legacy (which deals with the aging Baby Boomer population and how they will leave their mark in the world).

“Life legacy is a fascinating area. It’s like, ‘I am making a good wage and I have a nice home, but, I feel there is something lacking in my life.’ As we get older and there are more of us there is more of an opportunity for us when we retire to do something,” he said.

Farfaglia has worked for more than 25 years in the human service field as a teacher, job coach, group process facilitator, outdoor educator, residential camp director and workshop leader.

He has extensively studied in the areas of nutrition, body energy, affective communication, spirituality and life coaching.

He is a member of the International Association of Coaches.

For more information, you may contact him at 592-7034.