by Peggy Rice, Hope Coach Trainer
As I mentioned in my last blog post , a Hope Coach is someone who helps a person move from “stuck” to “unstuck,” from hopelessness to hope. A Hope Coach is trained to listen to the Hope Seeker’s story, ask good questions, and help the Hope Seeker find a way to move forward in the situation.
A Hope Coach is a peer, not a counselor or therapist. She (or he) won’t be giving advice. She won’t be problem solving, but will help the Hope Seeker do their own problem solving, find their own solutions. A Hope Coach will listen, because we believe the once a person’s pain is simply heard – listened to – the Seeker may begin to see a way forward, see the next steps to take.
A Hope Coach is trained and certified to:
- Be an exceptional listener. As they minister to people who are hurting and feeling hopeless, they ask key questions and respond with compassion.
- Help others process the pain of what they are going through – helping people process the honest emotions of painful situations.
- Speak faith-based hope into the situation – into the other’s feelings of hopelessness.
A Hope Coach is a compassionate listener in a short-term relationship, meeting 2-5 times with a Hope Seeker, who is stuck in pain and cannot see a way forward. The Hope Coach is trained to be a good listener, helping the Hope Seeker process their honest emotions and pain, while offering the assurance of hope that will overcome and work for the Hope Seeker’s good. The Hope Coach brings the power of hope through listening and caring questions, and through their compassionate presence. Sometimes, a Hope Seeker just needs to share their story with someone who will listen! A Hope Coach might share part of their own story to help illustrate from their own personal experience.
A Hope Coach completes an 8-hour training offered by Fresh Hope, complete with quizzes and a Practicum. In this process, they learn good questions to ask at each phase of the Hope Coaching Process. Questions like:
- What’s been the hardest part of the situation?
- How does this make you feel?
- What parts of this situation can you control?
- How can you take charge of these things to begin to move forward?
- Where do you see this situation in 3 months? 6 months?
- What would be your” next first” step?
Questions like these allow the Hope Seeker to move from processing the pain to beginning to move forward. The Hope Coach is with them to guide them along the way.
So: who can be a Hope Coach? Someone who is a compassionate listener, a caring individual, and willing to go through the training offered by Fresh Hope.
If this interests you, you can find more information, including details on finding a Hope Coach, or becoming a Hope Coach, at freshhope.us.
(Sections of this blog post are from the booklet Hope Coach Training, a Ministry of Fresh Hope, by Pastor Brad Hoefs and Chaplain Joy Stevens, 2020)