She was having a serious life crisis and later posted about how she thought about committing suicide. As awful as that was, her job was to be stable while coaching those of us who needed help finding stability and focus in our lives. I know that sounds horrible, but it’s true. She was supposed to be the rock and the rest of us were supposed to be the ones who got just enough scaffolding to get our lives more structured so we could make positive changes. I wish I could have fired her. But I would have felt tremendously guilty.
At least I fessed up to her that I couldn’t be close to her because of the pain and suffering her life had become, and therefore couldn’t handle having her as my coach anymore. She offered a refund, but I couldn’t take it. Thankfully, we communicated over email and she asked if I wanted her to “unfriend” me on Facebook. I told her yes. I still followed her business page for a couple of months later, until about a week ago when I finally unfollowed her.
Man, I hope she learns from that whole thing. She claimed to do coaching work in a hospital where they specifically did training to learn how to have solid boundaries and how that “isn’t an issue” for her. Obviously, it is and she needs a lot more training! I don’t care what kind of professional you are, whether it’s coaching, counseling, or full on psychologist. If your job is helping people with their mental or physical health, you cannot blur the lines between personal and professional. You have to maintain those professional boundaries. There’s authenticity, where you’re like, “Hey, I totally get what you’re going through because I’ve struggled, too”. Then there’s “OMG, I just tried killing myself…but I’m A-OK! Let’s work on those abs!”
If you’re in any kind of healthcare (and yes, I consider coaching healthcare), you need to not be a boundary-less dummy. It’s better for you and your clients! I don’t think I’ll be doing anymore coaching of this variety. Ever again.