The world is not always an easy place to be. We face challenges each and every day and many of us are most likely familiar with the feeling of suffocation, dissatisfaction and frustration in our often hectic and confusing lives. This is where Alisa Salamon’s talent comes into it’s own.
Alisa is a transformational life, career and corporate coach and having launched her Lifescaping Coaching business over a year ago, she’s created a space which helps those who desire a change. “I work with people who want to bring around a fundamental change in their lives… I help them refocus their thinking and get out of a series of patterns of thinking that have burdened them for a number of years.” Alisa tells me. Through an initial taster session with potential clients, Alisa embarks on a set of incisive questions to get to the root of how a person might be feeling and why they may want to bring around a change. “Coaching brings with it no judgement and no boundaries.”
After having come across her own personal cross-roads in her corporate publishing career, Alisa felt like she could not exceed any further, like she was wearing a mask and assuming a persona that was not authentic. One which was not her own. “My passion was the coaching aspect of my job… I love people and I love helping people” Alisa explains.
The coaching sessions are versatile and can accommodate a variety of wants and needs held by each individual. Alisa coaches those wishing to change their careers, or who are unhappy in their job. It’s not only professional, but personal obstacles that Lifescaping coaching thrives to change.
“Clients might approach me saying I feel stuck and frustrated, and I’ve got these repeated patterns that will not go away. They might be relational or existential. For example, someone might say ‘I keep getting the same kinds of boyfriends’ or keep falling into destructive relationships… or they might be someone who is self-sabotaging: they get to a point personally or professionally where they’re just about to step into success and then they step away, they sabotage themselves, they can’t move forward.”
Alisa helps to effectively rewire a certain way of thinking and to help those she works with to reflect on themselves and their behaviours through a different lens. One very insightful and powerful technique used is that of Neurolinguistic programming. An example of one of the approaches using NLP involves someone sitting opposite themselves (theoretically) they name who or what they are talking to, it could even be an alter ego. They take the first seat as themselves, and then the second seat as the second person/object/alter-ego – whatever it is they may be fighting with – and then a third position, with the life coach to participate in objective observation of the conversation that has taken place. They then delve into the experience, chat about it and see how it went. It can be very complex and take ninety minutes or more, but is very beneficial in providing a certain type of perspective for a person. Even just listening to Alisa explain it to me begins to make me comprehend how insightful and thought provoking an exercise like this could really be for any given person fighting with one demon or another.
Alisa’s work is very cognitive focused and provides a range of practices that assist in changing a negative or unproductive mindset. Homework is also set in between sessions to aid in a client putting these sessions to real-life situations. This could be from something as (seemingly) simple as letting your partner load the dishwasher, to writing your own job description to thinking about and noting your top ten values in life. “This can give a strong indication of who a person is and whether they are aligned with their values. Here we can find out about their motivation and why they hold those values.” Alisa says.
Even though some may come in with one particular idea, it can sometimes bring up other underlying problems that someone is having that is then tackled between client and coach, which in turn can help combat the main goal that they desire to achieve.
Alisa makes it clear that whatever happens in the session, it is completely on the agenda of her clients, not her own, although there is always guidance through encouragement.
One thing that also must be clear with life coaching is that it is not therapy. I explain that it sounds like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is a very successful, effective and productive form of psychotherapy. Alisa informs me that CBT has definitely inspired her coaching practice. However, they are not to be confused with one another.
“The difference between coaching and therapy is that coaching is very forward looking, looking towards a future where you find solutions to issues and challenges you are facing. There might be elements of looking back for someone for example, why they might lack confidence or have low self esteem, but, I tend not to look back”.
Alisa has a lot planned for the progression of her coaching career, and although she adores one on one sessions she is thinking of diversifying her profession. Some ideas in the works include designing and running corporate workshops on topics such as how to manage time better, how to motivate yourself, how to build resilience or working with cross-cultural teams. There’s hopes to strike partnerships with other coaches, to organise meet-ups and webinars too. Alisa has also just set up a taster session at communal workspace The Projects on Ship Street where all workers an invited for a half an hour taster session to get a look into life coaching, what it is and how it might (or might not!) Benefit them.
As she states herself: “The simple and honest answer is that you probably don’t need a life coach. However, everyone can benefit from having someone listen to them–really listen to them—unconditionally.”
Having spoke with Alisa about her career and what it entails, I really admire her passion and how much of a genuine, focused and intelligent woman she is. We can hope she has done for each encounter what she did for herself: reinvent your life for the better.
Find out more about Alisa’s work and how to reach her here: