Life Coaching Service Offered in Auckland

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A new service offering life coaching sessions for prosthetic patients is being trialled by Peke Waihanga in Auckland.

The service is being offered as an alternative for those patients reluctant to engage with a psychologist, although the service will run under the supervision of a psychologist.

The Life Coaching Service will offer face-to-face sessions with Ian Winson, a bilateral amputee himself, and provide coaching on the practicalities of navigating life with limb loss.

Image featuring Ian, as he greets a patient visiting the centre.

Photo by Mahdi Hussainmiya.

Ian says patients who Peke Waihanga clinical and rehab team members recognise as exhibiting signs of not coping can be referred to the service. “These signs can develop into something bigger if not attended too early in the patient’s journey.” Patients may also self-refer and request an appointment.

“Trauma amputation triggers intense psychological reactions and causes monumental life changes -pain, depression, and adaptation of life changes are a longer-term challenge,” Ian says.

Not all patients who need support consent to a psychology referral despite benefits being discussed at all initial assessments. Expanding the psychological support Peke Waihanga can offer its patients to include life coaching alongside its existing psychology service and peer support service means a greater choice to match patients’ needs and preferences, Ian says.

He will work with patients referred to the service to help them work on specific goals and gain confidence and validation in working toward achieving their goals. Coaching sessions can be held at the centre before or after a prosthetic appointment.

Ian says for new amputees “there is so much going on that even the easiest goals and tasks can appear to be a mountain that cannot be climbed.” But it is not just people new to limb loss who could benefit from life coaching sessions. “Long-term patients can also get stuck in a rut and need help to get out and be more adventurous. In these instances, again the team will recognise and propose to the patient that a life coach may be useful.”

Image, showing that Ian Winson is a bilateral amputee.

Photo by Mahdi Hussainmiya.

Ian was injured in an explosion in an Auckland watermain in 2011 when he was working as a civil engineer. He became a double above knee amputee with multi trauma to both upper limbs and a TBI and has since had 35 surgeries.

He says being an amputee gives him an advantage as a life coach of amputees as he understands what other patients are going through.

“Everyone deals with it differently however sometimes you need to be shown what is possible. I am very lucky to have inside of me a degree of no fear to try something. I think this helps both amputees and able bodied people challenge their own fears. I do know that the patients and clients that I have interacted with have had a positive experience and this has also been the same for me as I am learning from them also. It is not a one-way relationship.”

Ian has always been involved in a range of sporting activities and reached representative level in hockey and was a hockey umpire and coach. He describes himself as having “a stubborn streak and determination to achieve whatever I set my mind to”.

Since the accident he has become a personal trainer, swim coach and recently qualified as a life coach. He continues to do endurance sports, engage in CrossFit and gym, coaches swimming and remains committed to raising a family “and strive to mould and strengthen both my mental and physical well-being to be the best person I can be”.