NOT LONG AGO, I saw a cartoon in the New Yorker. A hapless-looking guy walks into a shrink’s office. “Just tell me what to do,” reads his T-shirt. The joke is on anyone who has ever seen a mental-health professional and walked out feeling no less adrift
than before. Therapists can deal with deep, emotional issues;
they are less adept at offering advice about practical quanda-ries like work-related stress or squabbling kids.
So where does that leave you if you’re feeling stuck, directionless and ineffective at solving your own problems, but unwilling to take a pickax to the past?
With any luck, it leaves you in New Jersey.
There are no hard numbers to prove it, but New Jersey may
have more life coaches per square mile than any other state.
Life coaches are the professionals who are trained to help us
face challenges in our personal or business lives.
New Jersey’s chapter of the International Coach Federation—a professional organization based in Kentucky—is
among the largest in the United States, with about 270 members, says chapter president Andrea Harvey of Branchburg.
(Not all 270 identify themselves as life coaches; some fill other
niches, such as executive coach.)
Last winter, I endeavored to discover whether New Jersey’s
would-be claim to the title Life Coaching Capital of the World
is yet another stain on the state’s reputation or a distinction of
which we should be proud. Is this a credible, even laudable,
Stuck in a rut? Done in by your to-do list?
Consider the services of a life coach. (Skeptics need not apply.)
BY TAMMY LA GORCE