What is Ontological Coaching? Ontology is the study of Being. Ontological Coaching is the process of an Ontological Coach working with a person to help them discover the way to live life by their own design. They coach people on who they are “Being” as well as what they are Doing to move their project areas/ goals/dreams forward with power and with speed. The process is for people who want an Extraordinary life and will not settle for anything less.

How does it work? Basically, it begins with the coach asking the client to choose up to 4 project areas that they would like to work on at a single time. Examples of project areas may include; to increase their business/income, experience more daily joy/satisfaction, have a fun/loving romantic relationship, income producing property, lose weight, write a book/script, produce art work, increase their social network of friends, etc. The Coach then works with the client to shift “who they are Being” while in action, especially when they get stuck, so that they can get out of their own way and produce results.

Ontological coaches usually meet with a client weekly for one hour either in person or over the phone and works with them on any area that they experience denial (blind spots), resistance (minimal action/feeling frustrated or shut down), suffering (it feels really hard) or settling (giving up on want they really wanted) in their life.

The Coach addresses those experiences with the client in a variety of ways such as; distinguishing whether the client is in their “Essence” (being the best of who they are) or Survival Mechanism (which is fear based or inside their comfort zone) as they make choices. They figure out if the client is being a victim vs. being responsible in their life, whether or not they are living their life on purpose or letting people, places and circumstances take them out of their game.

Unlike most motivational coaching typically Ontological coaching goes deeper and confronts issues like, whether the belief system the person is operating from is empowering or disempowering, whether a scarcity conversation (I don’t have enough, I’m not good enough) vs. an abundance conversation, is running the show. The coach assists the client in identifying any winning strategies that may have worked in the past but are no longer useful to the client and may be slowing the client down or sabotaging them.

The coach puts focus on how the client can have their commitment to their goals guide them as opposed to their feelings guiding them, and assists them to restore power to areas of their life where they are currently feeling a loss of power.

At the end of each call the Coach provides the client with weekly practice areas (homework) to address who they are being (ex. controlling vs. letting things flow, easy going) and actions to move them forward (ex. Listing positive and negative consequences of trying to control outcomes). Practice areas include such things as; developing a daily Well Being tracking sheet, scheduling healthy priorities first, writing out conditions of satisfaction for a relationship, writing out answers to completion questions designed to have the client put closure on past based conversations that are incomplete and holding them back and noticing their resignation when it shows up, etc.

The Coach assists the client in keeping what’s possible for their dreams/goals alive. Clients discover ways to keep the flame of possibility flickering vs. allowing it to be snuffed out.

For example, before becoming a coach myself I had gone through the program to see if it could help me. My goal was to have a romantic, fun, loving relationship. At the time I was operating out of a context (belief system) that all the good guys my age were either taken or gay. I spoke as if it were practically useless to look for a guy or relationship as it felt like a needle in a haystack. My way of being around it was resigned and cynical. I struggled to keep the possibility alive that I could find a great guy and it didn’t have to be a long and hard search. My coach worked with me to break up my cynicism and resignation, create a more empowering context to operate out of and have me discover the possibility of a fun, loving relationship with a man that met my conditions of satisfaction.

After working with my coach, I found I was able to find a great guy, develop the relationship, and work on ways to keep it, as opposed to sabotaging it.
The relationship is now growing.

Coaching is a powerful tool that people can access to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone and into the field of possibility. At this time, Melt Magazine is considering putting a monthly column for readers to have regular access to coaching by submitting questions to be addressed.

If you would like to submit a question click here and fill out the submission form. Your question and answer could be in the next issue of Melt Magazine.

* Stacy Ekstrand, L.C.S.W., C.P.C.

    *Stacy is a licensed psychotherapist and is a Certified Professional Coach. As an Ontological Coach, she works with people to obtain an extraordinary life by their design. Some examples of her clients include; a seven time Emmy award winner who is working to put a television show on the air, a computer business owner looking to increase his capacity to be in an extraordinary relationship, an HR Administrator at a major corporation wanting to develop his coaching skills, a female business owner wanting to produce a book, an insurance salesman wanting to save his marriage and increase his business/income, an art teacher wanting to enjoy her job more often.
Stacy also assists in training other people who are interested in becoming a coach.

If you would like to contact Stacy and learn more about becoming a coaching client or a coach yourself click here and fill out the submission form with your contact information and Stacy will get back in touch with you.



© Melt Magazine 2004