Frequently Asked Questions
Answers by Nancy Lonsdorf M.D.
|Q. Dr. Lonsdorf, why have you added coaching to your practice?|
A. Dr. Lonsdorf: Coaching fulfills a need of my patients to break free of old, limiting patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior that no longer serve them—and often that are not commensurate with their highly developed consciousness. This coaching is profound, efficient and delivered by a coach who is highly insightful and can relate to my clientele on a deep level.
Also, with nearly 25 years of practice and my background in psychiatry, it’s clear to me that many of the persistent health problems my patients suffer from actually have emotional or psychological roots. Unless the underlying issues are addressed and resolved the health problem or life issue will continue.
|Q. What kinds of problems are you seeing with a mental or emotional component that would lend itself well to your coaching?|
A. Dr. Lonsdorf: Nearly all health problems have some mental or emotional component, for example, they are aggravated under stress. Some of the most common ones I see that closely linked to emotional issues include digestive issues, chronic pain, headaches, sleep problems, mood swings, social anxiety, PMS, overweight, skin problems and fatigue.
|Q. Why are you offering coaching rather than referring these patients to a counselor?|
A. Dr. Lonsdorf: Sometimes I do refer patients to a counselor, when I feel that a diagnosable mental or emotional condition is itself the problem and needs to be treated directly. However, most of my patients are basically mentally and emotionally healthy—but simply suffering from a misperception about themselves or their life that can be readily corrected with coaching.
|Q. So your coaching is not for the treatment of emotional or psychological disorders?|
A. That’s correct. Rather than treating an emotional “disorder” or diagnosis, Coaching for Mind-Body Balance is for mentally healthy people who wish to look at an area of themselves or their lives and see how they can make it better, make it “whole.” It’s for learning how to approach or experience it differently, in a more complete and evolutionary way, creating new possibilities and freeing up blocked energy to achieve and fulfill a particular desire.
|Q. How is your Coaching different from counseling?|
A. Dr. Lonsdorf: Counseling, in the sense of psychotherapy, is defined by Merriam Webster as “professional guidance of the individual,” and usually involves specific psychotherapeutic methods and the professional relationship over time as an integral aspect of the therapy.
Counseling generally views the past as having a reality today, focuses on life issues and difficult feelings as problems that need to be treated or fixed, and works over months or years to overcome self-defeating patterns by establishing new, more positive ones as a result of the relationship with the therapist.
Coaching for Mind-Body Balance, on the other hand, aims at creating solutions quickly, within 1 or 2 sessions. It directs the client to find the solutions from within himself or herself through greater awareness of the underlying assumptions that limit his or her experience, fulfillment and self-expression in life. It views the past as only a memory, and seeks to identify the assumptions we have carried forward that may no longer work for us today.
Coaching for Mind-Body Balance is solution-oriented, aims at a breakthrough on the issue in 1-2 extended sessions, and generally follows these three steps:
1) Identifying the underlying, limiting concept, belief or assumption(s).
2) Increasing awareness at deeper levels and a variety of perspectives with respect to the issue, which systematically frees the person of the emotional grip of the issue, enabling more positive and adaptive thoughst, feelings and behavior in that realm of their life.
3) Creating a new, inspiring vision that gives direction and focus to the freed-up energy of the mind and serves the client in achieving her identified desire or goal.
|Q. That sounds like a lot to achieve in one session. Is that why your Intensive Coaching Sessions for a breakthrough can last up to 10-12 hours?|
A. Dr. Lonsdorf: Exactly. For the coaching to be successful, the client has to find the answers within herself or himself and it takes some time to go through that process of inquiry and self-discovery. Then there is the resolution process and stabilization aspects to be completed.
|Q. Are both of you present throughout each session?|
A. Dr. Soferman leads the coaching session. He is present throughout the entire session, whereas I may or may not be present for the entire time. This depends on the discretion of the coaches and the preference of the client is also a factor. I always introduce the client to Dr. Soferman, and am present or on the line when the first meeting or first formal session begins.
|Q. How is the coaching done logistically?|
A. Depending on where each party resides at the moment, we meet either in person, by video-conference or over the phone. Dr. Soferman currently resides abroad and coaches by video-conference or telephone. We have found, and our clients confirm, that Coaching for Mind-Body Balance is equally effective whether done in person or through tele-communication.
|Q. What happens during a session?|
A. Dr. Soferman listens, asks questions and helps guide the client to discover what underlying belief patterns, expectations and motivations may be resulting in undesirable outcomes in her life. This usually takes the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the session. From there, he helps the client to examine and reflect systematically on the issue in a way that brings about some level of breakthrough in their feeling and experience of it. This usually comprises the second 1/2 of the session. Lastly, Dr. Soferman may guide the client in a creative process to create a new vision for the future and to stabilize the effects of the coaching.
|Q. What kinds of problems are these clients having?|
A. Ongoing relationship problems are common, including marital issues, divorce, relationships with children or parents, business partners, bosses or co-workers, break-ups, etc. I also see unresolved grief, lack of financial success, career indecision, health fears, stress-related health problems, etc. Or a person may simply not be realizing their full potential for success, not feeling inspired about their lives, or be looking to find their mission or “passion.”
|Q. Can your coaching help those who have already tried counseling?|
A. Yes, absolutely. Many of our clients have had counseling before and the coaching was able to resolve what the counseling didn’t, usually within a fraction of the time they invested in therapy.
Dr. Soferman’s approach is very direct and aimed from the start at resolving the source of the issue and creating breakthrough results. It is very efficient and can accomplish an immense amount of work and progress within a relatively short time. At the same time, clients often comment on the supportive quality of the compassion, friendliness, warmth and relaxed pace they experience during the coaching.
Often we see that the problem lies in the way the person is thinking about themselves and their life, which is often rooted in past experiences that are no longer relevant but continue to shape their experience and decisions in life. This, along with a desire to change and openness to the process, is the perfect situation for good results from the coaching.
Keep in mind, however, that Coaching for Mind-Body Balance is for basically healthy people and is not a substitute for counseling or other mental health treatments.
|Q. What about those who have avoided counseling out of concern that it wouldn’t be sophisticated enough to treat them at their depth, which may be profound and subtle, given their long years of spiritual practice?|
A. This is a valid and common concern in many of the clients I see. Fortunately I can say with confidence that they will find that this coaching meets them at their depth and restructures from there.
I believe that Dr. Soferman can help just about anyone, because he sees the clients issues clearly and to the depth with his keen perception and he also attunes very precisely to the client’s feelings and perceptions. He is very clear intellectually and I’ve watched with awe as he’s expertly guided client after client out of the maze of confusing logic and limiting false assumptions that lie at the root of their suffering.
Answers by Ziv Soferman, Ph.D.
|Q. I’m wondering how it is that the series of questions you ask bring about a breakthrough or transformation, especially for those who are already perhaps very highly developed in their consciousness and level of awareness.|
A. When we go into the series of questions, we eventually arrive at a “primary cause” regarding the way the client approaches their life or their role in the world. This may in turn be realized to be some memory or conclusion they came to about life that they developed at a very young age or before, due to experiences they underwent, such as a health problem, loss of loved one, extreme difficulties or abuse, etc. Later it may be realized that many of these impressions from the past guide our perception and decisions in life today, yet shouldn’t because they are based only on memories or impressions that are irrelevant to the current life.
Now normally, people are not aware that this is the basis of their thinking, feeling and perception of the world. And when they become aware of it, they can realize that it is not a “truth” but just a memory or an opinion. By realizing it is just a memory, it becomes clear that it’s programmable or changeable. When that feeling of the idea being true is changed to “the idea is just a memory,” its binding effect weakens a lot immediately, and due to the highly developed consciousness they have, they usually experience a sudden sense of freedom that may be experienced as relief, laughter, etc.
Then the client is invited to create for himself a new paradigm or perception of life that can better serve him or her in the here and now.
|Q. How does your coaching compare to energy healing?|
A. Unlike energy work, the intellect is very involved in this coaching process. This allows for the gain of a lot of insight and understanding into what guides our behavior. So back in daily life, we can with full awareness choose the old ways again or adopt a new paradigm that better serves us and stay with it for a long time because we’ve fully integrated it in mind, body and emotions all together.
While energy work can make people feel better emotionally, the underlying distorted thinking that caused the bad feelings remains, therefore the negative feelings tend to get re-created, and the benefits do not last. The results of this coaching are lasting because the changes occur at a fundamental level, and our thinking and perspective become more accurate, empowered and effective.
We come to understand ourselves and our behavior at a very deep level and the results, while automatic, come from our “healer within,” rather than the outside or from realms beyond our understanding. It works for us and we understand it.