How do I know if you're the right person for me?
The right fit is very important in any coaching or therapeutic relationship. The best way to know if I'm the right person for you to work with is to read through my website, my book, and my blogs and other materials and see if I'm someone you could see yourself feeling comfortable and safe with, and enjoying our work together. Another way to think about it could be, am I someone you think you'd like? Or, you can skip all that and just go ahead and book a free consultation to talk to me. Comfort and safety are of the upmost importance because coaching often involves topics that are uncomfortable. One more thing I can say, although this is admittedly vague, is you will probably feel a sense of rightness in thinking about working with me and/or actually doing it.
What types of people do you feel get the most out of working with you?
It's a good question. Over the years I've been doing this, I've realized that the people who seem to get the most out of my work are people who are conflict avoidant and perhaps tend to withhold their feelings or thoughts to their partner, or others in their lives. They may even have a recurring feelings of being "bad" or "wrong" or "not enough". Many of my clients suffer from depression or anxiety - or sometimes even have suicidal thoughts or tendencies - which for these types of people I feel is at least somewhat linked and connected to these issues. "Trouble speaking up in relationships" is kind of a specific yet general category that I feel captures this type of person. As I say this, I imagine you know if you fit into this group.
What will we actually do together?
As I said in the about page, I've studied many different modalities and theories of coaching and therapy and all of them have influenced my thinking about how growth and "healing" happens.
We'll usually start with how you think, feel, and act now and we'll gain insight into how you'd ideally envision yourself thinking, feeling, acting instead - in essence, we'll pinpoint what you want. We'll develop new goals and practices for the outer, behavioral part of what you're looking for. And we'll investigate your inner world and past experiences to shed light on what's happening now and what's in your way.
We will do this through one-on-one, or one-on-two with couples, discussion and some experiential processes to allow insight to become grounded in reality.
How long are our sessions and how often do we meet?
Typically, I'll meet with my clients every two weeks for 50 or 120 minutes a session. If it feels like there is a lot of material or some sort of crisis going on, we can meet every week or even a couple times a week. If you feel like you just want some "maintenance" every once in a while, we can meet every month or sporadically. I'm also open to meeting for more or less than 50 or 120 minutes at a time in special circumstances, but I'd like to agree to that in advance if that's what you want. I find more than an hour and a half to start hitting the law of diminishing returns, as there is only so much one can take in at one time. (Please, mention your desire for a longer session in our initial consultation.)
Where do we meet? Do I need to be local to the Bay Area?
I've worked with people all over the world, and I'm happy to work with you wherever you are. If you're not in the Bay Area, we can meet over phone, Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. If you're local to the Bay Area, my offices are located in North Berkeley, the Pill Hill area of Oakland, and near the Financial District in San Francisco, and we can meet there or also in any of the afore mentioned ways if that feels more comfortable.
Why work on an auto-sliding scale, donation-based model?
Two reasons. First of all, and most importantly, I think that coaching and therapy have historically been a luxury item. I have no issue with wealth, but I feel like I have a lot to offer and I want to be able to serve all people regardless of economic status.
Second, I personally don't care for the direction that personal growth is going these days. It's a lot of very green practitioners saying "Pay me a gagillion dollars and I'll completely change your life in 6 months!!!" I have no doubt that you can have dramatic shifts in your life in six months, and if you work with me I intend on creating those shifts even sooner, but I feel this process of growing and learning is life long and I see a lot of over promising and under delivering. The value of this work is so subjective that I feel it's better to allow the clients to determine the value to them.
Then are you a non-profit organization?
I tried to be. However, because I am not licensed by the state and am not a religious organization, the hoops I'd have to jump through to do so would be massive. So I am a business, but I've taken the principles that made me want to be an NPO forward to this model.
I just say donation because I don't have a better word. You could say voluntary fee, or something. I'm not trying to be sneaky. The money you "donate" supports me and my family and allows me to continue to offer my services a lot of the time for free or very little.
So what do I pay you?
My suggested rate is $150 per 50-minute session. I tell clients to pay the intersection of what feels like they are honoring the work but doesn't add financial stress to their lives.
How do I donate to you for a session or just to support you?
I accept Paypal to email@example.com, Venmo to @Aaron-Steinberg-6, or Square Cash to $AaronFSteinberg. I also accept cash, check, or credit cards, but we'd deal with the logistics of that specifically when we meet.
I'm interested, but I don't feel comfortable signing up to work with you without getting to know you first.
I get that picking and paying for coaching and counseling is a big deal, and it's a vulnerable relationship, and I do want to make sure you feel comfortable before making that commitment. Therefore, you can book a free 20 minute consultation with me to see if we are a good fit. You can book by clicking here. Please read my practice policies before our call. (A link will also be included in your confirmation email.)
Wait. What if I have a question or concern that isn't answered on this page?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or read the practice policies document.