In Amplitude’s current issue, Elayna Alexandra describes how certified life coaching helped her adjust to limb loss. Her experience was so powerful that she became a life coach herself, joining a small community of amputees in the profession.
Like traditional mental health counselors, life coaches help their clients achieve a healthier outlook on life, while overcoming mental blocks and emotional obstacles. While it overlaps with conventional psychotherapy in many ways, life coaching takes a more forward-facing approach. Instead of focusing on the causes of your unhappiness, life coaching is oriented toward the sources of your happiness. It emphasizes the goals you want to reach, and then maps out a plan to help you reach those objectives. “[Life coaching] allowed me to put some skills in place where I am treating myself with respect, instead of beating myself up and judging myself,” Alexandra says.
If you’re interested in working with Alexandra, her website is elaynaalexandra.com. We’re also aware of a handful of other amputees who combine life-coaching expertise with first-hand experience of limb loss. We’ve listed those individuals below.
BTW: If you’ve had a successful outcome from working with a life coach, send us an email to share your experience.
“‘Normal’ is all a matter of perspective,” Boudreau writes at her website. After losing her right leg below the knee in her late 20s, she got involved with the limb-loss community as a peer visitor and support-group member. It was a natural fit for Boudreau, who’s trained as a clinical social worker. She began thinking of ways to combine her professional expertise with her new identity as an amputee. “I love helping people feel better about their lives after amputation,” she says. Her coaching program features practical tools to help you make the mental and physical adjustments that come with limb loss, while building a new action plan to get you moving forward again. “Life changed forever for me when I had the amputation,” she says. “But it wasn’t the end of my life.” Find her online at www.lindsayboudreau.com.
“I became a life coach because I wanted to help women feel confident in their future,” writes Cole. A prolific presence on Instagram (@ohkelliana), she has a direct, down-to-earth approach that reflects her background in digital marketing. Although her six-week group coaching course, Confidence Academy, isn’t specifically designed for amputees, it covers many issues that commonly pose obstacles for people with limb loss, including body image, self-doubt, fear of failure, and society’s oppressive demands to conform to unrealistic ideals. “There’s no point in comparing yourself to anyone else, because there is only one YOU,” she says. “Instead focus on you, your journey…the shift alone will set you free.” The next Confidence Academy session begins next week, on June 27. You can get more information about the program and sign up at this link.
Before he became an amputee about 10 years ago, Kappler spent many years helping people cope with post-traumatic stress and anxiety as a clinical psychologist. Many of his patients during that time were wounded veterans who lost limbs and acquired other physical disabilities in combat. “Amputation brings an avalanche of feelings enveloping you and threatening your very existence,” Kappler wrote in a recent blog post. “After the trauma of limb loss, the last thing you want to do is face your feelings. However, the sooner you stop ignoring your emotions, the sooner you can start to develop a physical and psychological recovery plan.” He offers a free initial consultation, followed by a flexible, individualized plan that fits your budget and your mental-health needs. Get started at amputee.coach.
“At the end of every limb that is lost, is a person ready to take a new step,” Twyman says. One of her nicknames is Robo Barbie, which gives you an idea of her spunk and sense of humor. A triple amputee downstream of a spider bite and sepsis (both legs, left hand), Twyman got into coaching after struggling to move forward after her own limb loss. “I had a team to cheer me on, a winning play book, but no coach,” she says. Twyman works not only with amputees but also with their families and caregivers, providing personalized counseling to encourage positive thinking and promote healthy adaptations to limb loss. You can find her website at privateamputeecoaching.com.
“Don’t ignore pain, especially if it’s emotional pain,” Metzger writes. “Let yourself be vulnerable and embrace how you feel. You will feel more courageous and worthy.” As an amputee for four years and a military veteran of 25 years, Metzger brings a wealth of personal experience to her practice. She’s particularly adept at promoting physical fitness among amputees who lack the motivation to get started, or who feel so hopelessly out of shape that they don’t know where to begin. “A lot of amputees explain that they can’t do this or they can’t do that,” she writes. “Start out small . . . . small exercise goals can get you to the larger goals.” Visit Metzger online at lifeafterlimbs.com.