MaryKay Johnston cannot help but fall in love with her
“It’s such a love relationship to see (my clients) and to know
them,” Johnston said.
Johnston calls herself a life coach. She, and others like her,
helps people toward the goals they set for themselves.
“I help show you the life you want to live instead of the life
you should live,” Johnston said.
Johnston coaches people in all areas of life. She might help an
individual on a job interview or help someone make a jump into a
new profession. Johnston has even helped people with
“We are not trying to fix anyone,” Johnston said. “Everything
that we bring out in people is already there.”
Some people who seek a life coach want to reach a goal they
might not have otherwise achieved.
“Some people need to look over the veil of fear,” Johnston said.
“There is so much wonder and greatness, so many possibilities.”
One of Johnston’s clients recently reached her goal of becoming
an artist by participating in an art show. She had been working
with Johnston for two years.
“She always had that skill,” Johnston said. “Now she has
developed her skill so her life passion is real.”
Northern Colorado Coaches Alliance is a group designed to let
residents in the northern part of the state view information on
many coaches like Johnston. This enables them to make the right
connection with their coach.
“Connections are very important,” Johnston said. “There is a
connection of the heart. We are all human beings.”
Many life coaches have certification from schools such as the
Coaches Training Institute and Coach University. Coaches who have
graduated from these schools have gone through one-on-one training.
Master coaches, or fully trained coaches, critique their work
before they take the certification exam.
Like psychologists, life coaches keep their sessions with
clients confidential. The price for these sessions can range from
free to $500 a month. Johnston said prices depend on the
Lloyd Thomas, a life coach and licensed psychologist, charges
approximately $150 per month for individual and couple coaching and
$500 per month for group and corporate. Johnston works with
individual clients to decide on price.
“Sometimes you want to work with someone so badly you overlook a
number,” Johnston said. “I would work out a payment with an
individual. Everyone has unique circumstances.”
Thomas believes both therapy and coaching focus on the client’s
entire life. However, both types of treatment have their own unique
“The focus (in coaching) is future oriented,” Thomas said. “(We)
focus on the client’s biggest dreams and deepest desires.”
Thomas said therapy is past-oriented. A therapist frees the
client from the past so that he or she can choose new possibilities
in the future.
Some people see life coaching as an excuse to be a non-educated
“To me, life coaching doesn’t seem authentic,” said Monique
Pawlowski, a junior creative writing major. “It seems like a
cop-out for a psychologist.”
Pawlowski’s father recently decided to pursue a career in life
coaching. Experience in the workplace plays a key role in
“I think (life coaching) tries to do something good,” Pawlowski
said. “It probably depends how much they put into it.”
Life Coach Carmen Mendoza responds to those with views such as
these with questions.
“I would ask what their experience as been,” Mendoza said. “I
would get an understanding from their point of view first.”
Dominic Brewer, a clinical psychologist at the CSU Counseling
Center, believes those who would seek help from a coach would not
be the ones entering into therapy.
“It seems like a coach is a lot like a friend or family member,”
Brewer said. “I just hope that (a coach) would know the point they
need to refer someone to a health professional. Other than that, I
think coaching could be a really positive thing.”
To Johnston, coaching is about values that guide a person’s
“Life is like a dance,” Johnston said. “Living your life in
accordance with values is like a beautiful tango. Without values
everything seems out of step.”