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New Hope: Guide To Self-Coaching

Booklet #1.

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Dedicated to my wonderful wife Susan; to all the special men and women associated with the Transitional Living Program at the VAMC in Battle Creek, Michigan; to the New Beginnings Program in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and to my sweet sister Karen who passed away at forty-three. Also a special thank you to Don Viets, editor, friend, and colleague.



I'm not a writer; I am a social worker and an addiction therapist with almost thirty years of professional experience. I try to help others by a process called Life Coaching. This book is a self-help approach to achieving goals, removing barriers to success, and learning a healthy problem-solving system. Remember you can only go so far by yourself. When you get stuck it's okay to ask for some help.

NEW HOPE, is really a composite of four independent but interralted booklets which range between 25 to 50 pages each. It contains my "formula" to emotional healing and recovery which I have honed and developed in my clinical practice in a whole variety of treatment settings over the years.

Basically it is a four part practical system: release stressful feelings; use positive thoughts to control harmful emotions; take positive action to solve the problems; and embrace positive power to bring back more hope and faith. This approach is a powerful self-help program as well as multidimensional professional intervention to help folks change inside and outside emotionally, cognitively, behaviorally, and even spiriturally.

I wrote this book because I was compelled to send a message to the millions of people in this country who are frustrated, overwhelmed by set-backs, and filled with emotional pain. Don't despair. We are all born with the innate ability to defeat any human obstacle whether it is social, emotional, physical, or financial.

The key is to discover our inner spirituality--the power to choose the positive. When this power is found, we can then begin to help America heal too.

The reader of Booklet Number I: "Release Stressful Feelings" should gain the following benefits:

1. Awareness of the self-coaching process that assists one in personal growth, development, and self-esteem.

2. A practical approach to defeat anger, sadness, fear, shame, and other negative emotions.

3. A healthy system for managing stress and solving problems.

4. A framework to overcome barriers and obstacles to success.

5. A fresh approach to begin a process of emotional and even social healing.


"Speak, then, from your hearts, for you are this perfect day, and in you dwells the light which has no end."

Gnostic Gospel of Truth (Footnote #3)

"If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal--that is your success."

Henry David Thoreau (Footnote #4)




The self-coaching process begins and ends with journaling. There is a great release that comes from writing your emotions down. Then when you are ready, share your journal with someone you trust. And that is the secret to turning your life around, right? Well it's a start.

Try this simple exercise right now. Focus on one feeling that has been bothering you a lot. Write about this feeling in your journal and describe the situations or details that precipitate it. Keep writing until you have a sense of release and peace. If it gets too painful put the journal away for awhile. And now you have just learned a better way to help yourself, and that's what self-coaching is really about.

My knowledge of this healing process began many years ago with the practice of social work. Recently I discovered that these principles transcend the boundaries of social work, and they are very useful to anyone wanting to improve his or her life. This booklet will strive to take self-coaching one step further by applying a theory of positive living to social conditions as well as individual issues and concerns.

What sets social work apart as a profession from psychology, psychiatry, the ministry, and medicine is the importance it places on the emotions and treatment of all facets of a person's well being. A person (we social workers believe) is an expression of mind, feelings, body, spirit, and environment.

What I've learned in my clinical practice is that feelings must be faced openly and honestly before other aspects of personality and being can be adequately treated. Feelings are the doorway to self-change, growth, improvement, and quality living. They are equal in importance to mind, body, spirit, or the environment.

To change ones life around (healing in the broadest sense of the word), stressful emotions must be identified, released, and replaced with positive emotions. Internal change, healing, or recovery means the ability to experience an increase in the quality of life without constant failure, emotional pain, suffering, and destruction to self or others.

This does not mean we won't experience setbacks, challenges, problems, or other human hardships. Self-Coaching makes the promise to us that constant failure, pain, and suffering can be removed from our life.

What all of us can learn is a better way to solve problems without repeating the same mistakes over and over again. This is the power of hope which people must regain to achieve healing or recovery.

My definition of positive change applies to the ability we do have to respond to and overcome any human hardship. It can be manifested in any form that involves a healthier coping system; such as recovery from addictions, intimacy in relationships, more prosperity, job satisfaction, rehabilitation from injury or crime, or better physical, mental, and emotional health.

In other words, our life will get better when we decide to learn how to handle our feelings better. Stressful feelings can be reduced to five emotions that will serve us or destroy us: anger, sadness, fear, guilt, and worry. Positive feelings include five emotions which will always uplift and heal: peace, hope, gratitude, forgiveness, and love.

I am focusing on these ten feelings because they seem to present us with our greatest challenges throughout our life. When we learn how to handle these basic emotions better, then we can advance to dealing with the many variations.


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