My name is Susan Lennox. I am passionate about helping people to build the most fulfilling lives possible. My goal is to help you to be the best version of you that you can possibly be.
A Hierarchy of Human Needs
You may have heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As a humanist psychologist and Professor at Brandeis University, Abraham Maslow devoted his life to studying mental health and human potential. He was the father of positive psychology, the study of what makes life worth living. His model of human development, as well as the thinking of others in the field of positive psychology, informs my approach to coaching.
Maslow believed that all human beings have an innate drive to reach their full unique potential, which he termed “the self-actualizing tendency”. Self-actualization means becoming all you are capable of becoming by developing and using your unique talents and interests to their fullest.
This involves identifying your values and discerning what you deeply want from life. It also involves discovering your unique strengths and skills and developing your potential through learning and your actions in the world. At times it may also involve healing the trauma or wounds from earlier in your life that are blocking your ability to move forward with clarity and confidence towards your most important life goals.
Life Coaching: A Holistic and Developmental Approach
I bring a holistic lens to my work with my life coaching clients. Even when we may be working on a fairly discrete issue, I see you as a whole person with needs, desires, strengths and preferences at many interconnected levels. I also see you as a person who is seeking, not just specific short term goals, but also personal growth and development, and a fuller expression of your unique self.
It is vital to identify and appreciate your largest life vision even if your current coaching focus is on a narrower shorter term goal. For instance, your short term goal may be to leave an unrewarding job and to find a more fulfilling position. You could approach this project in a limited frame of simply building an action plan and then grinding through the steps of a job search. In contrast, you could enlarge your frame to consider whether your next steps will move you towards or away from self-actualization.
When considering your next steps in terms of the larger spectrum of human needs, you will want to evaluate issues such as:
- Does your potential next step take you towards or away from your ultimate life goal?
- Would it allow you to use and develop your innate talents?
- Does it afford ample opportunities for meaningful social connections, a sense of belonging, and contribution?
- Is it in harmony with your deepest values?
- Will it allow you to exercise your creativity?
- Will it give you sufficient independence so that you can experience your efforts as meaningful and making a difference?
A holistic coaching approach also takes into account whether there are deficits in the fulfillment of your more basic needs in the hierarchy that may slow or stop your movement towards self-actualization. For instance, the lack of a strong and supportive social system or outright opposition to your goals by important people in your life may impede your ability to move forward to fulfill your higher goals. If so, your coaching plan might address strategies for cultivating a supportive network as you move forward.
By bringing awareness and attention to all of your human needs in this holistic manner, you will achieve more long lasting and satisfying success in meeting both your shorter term coaching objectives and fulfilling your larger life vision. Learn more about my Life Coaching services here.
What makes you get up in the morning? Which domain of your life holds the greatest potential for contribution, challenge, growth, personal development, and reward? For many people, the answer is “my work or business”.
Meaningful and satisfying work can be a rich source of personal fulfillment and satisfaction. But when work or business is not going well, it also can be a source of deep frustration, disappointment, boredom and misery.
Business coaching encompasses both the larger issues of life purpose and vocational discernment on one end of the spectrum and, at the other end of the spectrum, day to day workplace issues related to personal effectiveness and productivity, leadership, workplace conflict, and more.
As a former employment law attorney, I have seen plenty of dysfunction and misery in the workplace. And as a former organizational development consultant and executive coach, I know that work challenges can also be a rich source of growth and fulfillment. If you are facing workplace challenges or want to find a vocational path that better suits your values, talents, and skills, Business Coaching can help you. Learn more about my Business Coaching services here.
A Spectrum of Support
As a psychotherapist as well as a coach, I understand that some people find obstacles in their quest for self-actualization because their earlier life circumstances deprived them of the necessary conditions for developing a sense of safety and self-esteem. If you sense this is true for you, you may find it helpful to consider some psychotherapeutic treatment to create a strong foundation for achieving your life vision. I would be happy to support your healing and growth in this way and invite you to learn more about my psychotherapy services here.