As I consider my journey to becoming a volunteer coach for Pain BC’s Coaching for Health program, I remember looking at potential volunteer options with a variety of organizations and being immediately drawn to this opportunity. For me it combines experience and strong interest, as well as being able to contribute in a flexible way to an exceptional organization and community.
I undertook the volunteer coach training back in October 2019 and again in 2021, with the privilege of meeting many like-minded people and skillful teachers. I have learned and practiced the art of coaching within an understanding of how best to support people experiencing chronic pain.
As a volunteer coach, I work with clients referred to Pain BC experiencing a range of pain-related conditions. I have the honour of connecting with people; together we navigate their experience of pain and identify what self-management approaches work for them. Often clients will enter the coaching process with a specific idea of what they would like to change or introduce in their lives. With this focus in mind, we explore and get clear on a plan that is tailored to their personality and motivations, from a place of understanding and compassion. Throughout the sessions I provide a listening ear and ongoing encouragement to the clients I work with, and I am continuously impressed and inspired by them.
Volunteering as a coach over the last two years, I've noticed how much people have been in need of connection, especially those who may live alone. The Coaching for Health program is offered over the phone, and so I have been able to continue to work with and support clients from across BC during a time that has been particularly challenging. During this time, I have often worked with clients to identify ways they can continue to connect with people, bring joy into their lives and remain active. I walk alongside them as they connect to their own creativity and resilience.
As a part of Pain BC, I am fortunate to be aware of the many options offered to support people experiencing chronic pain. During the course of coaching, it can become apparent that the client may also benefit from engaging in one of the other services offered. As their volunteer coach, I am in the perfect position to provide the client with the information they need and help them connect to the service should they choose. For anything I am unsure of, the Pain BC team has always been amazing at being available, supportive and informative.
I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people, clients and staff alike. Through my training and my work as a volunteer coach with the Pain BC Coaching for Health program, I have experienced far-reaching benefits and effects beyond what I could have anticipated. I hope I am able to give back as much as I have gained!