Life coach added to Sewickley Samaritan Counseling Center staff
By Joanne Barron
Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7:16 p.m.
The Samaritan Counseling Center of Western Pennsylvania has taken another step to help people be their “best selves,” said Beth Healey, director of development and marketing.
In addition to the counseling and educational services the center has provided since 1982, Samaritan has introduced life coaching with Curtis Songer of McCandless.
Samaritan serves clients through 10 locations throughout Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties, including offices in the Sewickley area: 414 Grant St. in The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley and 1106 Ohio River Blvd.
However, Songer said he meets most of his clients in coffee shops throughout the Pittsburgh area.
He also can coach by phone or by Skype, as some of his clients are out of state.
Songer said many times, clients are referred by the Samaritan center when they are finished with therapeutic counseling sessions.
Counseling deals with a client's past, but life coaching, he said, looks forward to deal with behaviors that need to be changed, decisions to be made and actions plans to be developed to meet goals.
Healey said counseling and life coaching both are valuable.
“Counseling — which Samaritan is well-known for — involves addressing crises and mental disorders and fostering healing from trauma, abuse, grief, etc., as well as programs which promote whole health and well-being,” she said.
“Life coaching, on the other hand, is a learning process in which a person is empowered to attain specific personal and/or professional goals. There is a growing demand for life coaching.”
She said men and women of all ages and from all backgrounds seek life coaching to be motivated to be the best they can be.
“They do the work themselves but use a coach to help them discover the strengths and skills they already have and how to best utilize them, set goals, and strategize a plan to achieve the things they want to do or want out of life.”
Songer said he can help those who feel undervalued and unappreciated in their career and need a better work-life balance.
Much of his work is helping people to deal with transitions after they've lost their jobs, moved up a level at work or after divorce. He also assists with parent, child and family relationships, leadership development and college selection.
He has several pastors as clients.
“When they need help, they seem to have the least access to it. Where do they go for help? They need a third party who is unbiased and not as close to the situation,” he said.
Most clients meet with Songer one or two times a week for four to six months.
They also are given an assignment to do over the course of the week, such as journaling and completing online personal assessment forms.
Songer, who was born in Oklahoma and raised in Spokane, Wash., has consulted for a variety of companies. He also has been a life coach for about 20 to 25 years, mostly as a hobby, he said, through his church as a mentor and volunteer.
He was ordained as a pastor five years ago, and continued life coaching as part of his duties as executive pastor for two years at New Community Church in Pine Township.
Once he left the church, he began a private life coaching practice and contracted with the Samaritan center in March.
Healey said Samaritan makes coaching services affordable, by working with clients to understand what they are able to budget and helping them to accomplish goals in as few sessions as possible.
Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Quaker Valley students extend their school day — willingly
- Sewickley Herald honors: Memorial Day celebration crew recognized