Scott L. Fenton, PsyD
Presence-based Coaching for those interested in inner exploration, compassionate-awareness, and a life of being fully YOU.
Hello, and welcome! If you are reading this, you are probably looking for a type of coaching that stands apart from the ordinary, something that can reach the deep suffering you (and most all of us) are experiencing. Through my own personal work, readings and trainings in such practices as Mindfulness, Hakomi Therapy (Body-centered therapy), and The Enneagram, I discovered that a sense of fulfillment in life (a more complete antithesis to suffering than "happiness") can only be found in presence, a direct (non-conceptual or non-verbal) experience of the present moment (trust me, you probably have these experiences every day, but perhaps rarely notice them!).
But here's the trick that often gets missed: the most important part of getting to experience more clarity, freedom and vitality is to introduce more compassionate attention into our everyday lives. We have been fooled into thinking we must be strict or even cruel to ourselves in order to enjoy living more. This pandemic notion is clearly absurd once we bring it into the light!
To you, the person who honors and trusts me with your presence and concerns, this is what I have to offer: my presence, absolute acceptance, respect, and compassion for whatever is going on for you in this particular moment. I find that this quality of presence is often expressed through a mix of attentive listening, humor, validation, curiosity, creativeness, mutual openness, and gentle promptings to pay attention to and acknowledgement the truth of your experience. I find that quality of presence is contagious.
What this all means is that "The Work" of this kind of coaching isn't one-sided. Any type of counseling is only successful when each person in the room is working on themselves through presence. How can I expect you to open your heart if mine is closed? How can I expect you to feel strong or courageous if I am not? How can I expect you to experience peace, love, or vitality if it is not first present in me? Similarly, how can you expect to have your grief, anger, sadness or fears understood if I am not also in-touch with those aspects within myself? This is absolutely a mutual process.
Presence-based coaching isn't about "fixing what's wrong," or "problem solving." It's not restricted to some sense of "normal functioning," and trying to achieve that. This work's aim is broader and deeper. It is about shedding all that binds you so that you may live a life of absolute freedom. Freedom from your story, your identities, expectations from others, and fears of the future. Freedom from all the voices that tell you you are not perfect, beautiful and lovable just as you are right now. This work is about becoming fully human.
"The basic work of health professionals in general... is to become full human beings and to inspire full human being-ness in other people who feel starved about their lives." - Chogyam Trungpa