The Members of the Gay Coaches Alliance

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Chris Kisling

Chris Kisling
Address: chris@chriskisling.com

You Are OK: Coaching & Counseling

Type: Life Coach
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[How I Got Here and Started Doing What I Do]

chris kislingIf  I claim to know something about the special tribe I serve, it's because I have walked that path myself. Shy, sensitive, introverted, uncoordinated, smart geek/band dork, uncertain of my sexuality, deeply religious—from the very beginning, it was a perfect storm for feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I spent years looking for the instruction manual that had been left out of my packaging.


At the same time, I was conscious of a burning desire to connect, to love others, to help them find answers. In high school, I used to lie awake at night, excited and unable to sleep, picturing myself working with individuals and groups, helping them to find more purpose, comfort, and joy in life. I knew I had great potential, but I just didn’t know how to get out of my own way.


A door began to open in college, when my sister sent some books by Barry Neil Kaufman, best-selling author of a dozen books, including Happiness is a Choice. As I read, a chill ran down my spine when I realized just how powerful the right question asked from a loving place could be. Eventually, Barry (“Bears”) became my teacher and the Option Institute International Learning and Training Center in Massachusetts became my second home as I embarked on a deep and ongoing immersion into the Option Process.® This journey of several years required careful examination of my personal beliefs and judgments, as well as rigorous schooling and practice in the art of being with people—including myself—in a loving, non-directive, non-judgmental space. 




During this time, I also finally started coming to terms with my sexuality. At the end of my rope, I'd gone to a local health center for a free depression assessment during Mental Health Month. Afterwards, the counselor looked across the desk at me with obvious concern: ever the overachiever, I had a made a perfect score on the assessment. When he asked what was wrong, I knew the answer immediately: God and sex. That began the process of coming out, of reconciling what I'd been taught with what I knew about myself, and developing the courage to choose my own path. It was a journey that dovetailed perfectly with my Option training.




Another door opened when I met a most interesting man in the middle of the desert. That workshop at the Burning Man festival with Steve Bearman, PhD, led me to the amazing Interchange Counseling Institute and their premier 10-month counseling training program in San Francisco. The program rocked my world and gave me an awesome supportive community, incredible hands-on training, and a much broader array of tools to use in supporting change and growth in myself and others.




Today, nothing fuels my passion more than helping individuals and groups to understand and move past the internal barriers that stand between them and comfort, peace, purpose, and connection. I've been privileged to walk beside so many amazing people, who have generously let me into the darkest and most vulnerable corners of their lives—spaces so often inhabited by self-judgments. They have allowed me the honor of loving them one simple question at a time, and they have used those questions and their answers to open windows, unlock doors, and transform themselves. I am most richly blessed.

 

 


 

 

How I Roll. My practice is built on helping you to uncover and change the beliefs, judgments, and patterns that underlie, color, and ultimately determine your experience. My role is to support you, to challenge you, to want the very best for you (as you define it), to love you, and to help you on the journey to increased self-acceptance and inner comfort.

Live sessions can be scheduled in person at my home office in Baton Rouge, or via phone or video session on Skype.

Generally, we work in 50-minute sessions with follow-up homework that includes both ongoing personal inquiry work (like journaling) as well as some kind of tangible steps we agree on to help activate/embody the change you're wanting to create. Insight without action is useless.



Session Content: Sessions could take a number of formats, depending on what shows up.

  • Inquiry work, including Socratic dialogue/ exploration and belief-mining
  • Investigation of distress triggers, patterns, past trauma
  • Metabolizing and clearing strong emotions (grief/anger/fear/etc.) that may show up or that you may be stuck in
  • Reparenting: Helping you identify and acquire resources you didn't get in the course of your development, and undoing ineffective/destructive patterns
  • Somatics/Bodywork: Getting out of your head and accessing and exploring/ processing emotion and internal conflict through movement and the body
  • Guided meditation/relaxation
  • Narrative therapy: Identifying your dominate narratives/storylines (including the problem-saturated ones) and reauthoring them in a way that serves you
  • Liberation work: Identifying and strategizing ways to deal with various kinds of external and internalized oppression
  • DP4/Deep PEAT Processing
  • Improvisation: A technical term for making best guesses and tryin' stuff out

Commitment is key. Individual sessions can be hit or miss and don't allow time for the work necessary to build the muscles for lasting change. My approach (and my pricing structure) is designed to encourage and incentivize you to Do The Work. Contact me for more details.

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