Solution-Focused Life Coaching


Solution-focused coaching helps you improve an already functioning life. Consultation with someone experienced in solution-focused approaches can serve many purposes. Perhaps you wish to achieve a short-term objective, such as learning to better manage your time so you can open your own business. Or maybe you want to connect with your co-workers or your boss in a healthier manner. Or maybe you want to learn to cope with life in a less stressful way. Whether long- or short-term, your selected goals and objectives can be achieved quickly and easily with an independent observer “rooting” for you, from the sidelines, as you move toward success. Solution-focused consultation/coaching is generally accomplished by phone, video, email, or live online chat in the privacy of your home or office. No travel, no parking. Getting objective feedback on your thoughts, goals and plans can become a part of your schedule with a minimum of inconvenience.

Solution-Focused coaching starts as an alliance between Dr. Hurd and you, the Client.

Rather than concentrating on “mental illness” or some “disorder,” solution-focused consultation:

  • starts where you are now
  • focuses on what’s right and what’s wrong about what you’re doing
  • explores what is working and what’s not working
  • determines what needs to change, sets a long-term course of action, and then develops short-term goals and paths to help you achieve your objectives in the healthiest way possible

Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. brings to the table over 35 years of experience. He was originally trained in the principles of cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused therapy. Eventually, his practice shifted to the principles of life coaching rather than conventional mental health because they work better for most people, in cases where there are not immediate, life-or-death issues or some kind of serious mental illness.

Your work with Dr. Hurd will always be on solutions, personal responsibility, your strengths, and moving forward in life. The process is deemed successful when you attain your goals and enjoy it in the process.

The Basic Premises of Solution-Focused Consultation/Coaching

  • You have strengths:
  • Identify your strengths with the help of Dr. Hurd;
  • Harness those strengths to attain your selected goals.

Solution-focused coaching takes place over time. It can last several weeks, a few months, or it can be an ongoing process, depending on your goals and how much help you feel you need. With these sessions, you are always in the driver’s seat. Dr. Hurd is in the passenger seat – not telling you where to go, but making objective suggestions about the best way to get where you want to go, and how to sustain your newly found momentum.

Solution-focused consultation is convenient and practical. Sessions are on your own time, by telephone or email — no traffic, no parking. Face-to-face communication is not necessary to help you change your life. In fact, clients who work by phone or email often face fewer inhibitions and distractions, which make solution-focused discussions more concise, honest and direct. The convenience of phone and email communication in today’s busy, high-stress age cannot be overstated. Video is also an option. You can choose which method makes you the most comfortable.

The power of working with Dr. Hurd lies in the fact that, by actually scheduling your sessions, you’re “answering” to your own goals. On the surface, you answer to Dr. Hurd, but in reality you are answering to yourself. You know that you have committed to a scheduled session, and that Dr. Hurd supports your goals; asking you relevant questions to keep you moving ahead. This process creates a sense of hope. In our work, we avoid unnecessary emphasis on the past, on psychopathology, victim-think and weakness.

Solutions–NOT Excuses!

Solution-focused consultation/coaching is potentially something that can help you, if your life is going pretty well but you need improvement.

Often, people know what they want to do and even how to do it, but they lack an objective third-party who believes in them and encourages them. Dr. Michael Hurd serves this important function. Most people who seek personal help are actually looking for solutions. They want direction and answers, not excuses and explanations. They want to change, not just to understand. Most want to change quickly, with a minimum of dialogue about their childhood, their parents, or other things in their past over which they have no control.

The central point of solution-focused coaching is not just to cure “what’s wrong with you.” It does not impose mental health disease labels (such as the highly suspect “ADD” and the like), or make excuses–even valid ones–for what’s wrong with your life. The central purpose of consultation with Dr. Michael Hurd is to identify what’s right about yourself; then to build on that knowledge to target and achieve your desired objective. Dr. Hurd will “cheer you on”; offering objective input as necessary.

The success of your sessions is not measured by how long the process takes. The success is measured by how well you identify and achieve your goals; goals that connect to a sense of longer-range purpose in your life. It’s a work in progress. While early sessions will focus on your strengths, subsequent meetings will help you recognize and develop them.

Meet Dr. Michael Hurd

Dr. Hurd brings over 35 years of experience and training in helping people in different ways. He started out working as a mental health professional in a psychiatric hospital, and moved on to counseling centers, family service agencies and eventually private practice. Eventually, he evolved into working exclusively as a personal/life coach with the unique ideas and methods described in his books, articles and throughout this website.

Long before these practical and objective approaches to life problems became trendy, Dr. Hurd was already practicing the techniques and philosophies implicit in cognitive-behavioral therapy in mental health settings in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Now, his approach is part of the mainstream. Dr. Hurd discovered most of these methods not in books, but through real-life “grass roots” experiences dealing with people and their real personal challenges in personal growth, in everyday life.

The potential areas of your life where solution-focused consultation can help are almost limitless. Dr. Hurd’s particular areas of specialty include:

  • career dissatisfaction/career change/managing your time;
  • keeping on track, keeping your goals centered on the “radar screen” of your life;
  • breaking free of, and moving past, procrastination;
  • learning to follow up your good ideas with action, and not get stuck in the perpetual dreamland of “I’m gonna do this one day, and I’m gonna do that one day;”
  • coping with difficult people in the workplace and in your personal life;
  • attempting to deal rationally with questionable psychiatric labels, including Attention Deficit Disorder and many others, placed upon you or a loved one by some mental health professional;
  • excessive behaviors – whether it’s shopping, food, drugs, alcohol, time on the computer, or anything else self-defeating in nature;
  • how to talk to people in ways that will cause them to listen;
  • life changes – whether due to death, divorce, unexpected or planned changes that don’t go exactly as you wanted;
  • sex and sexuality;
  • money management, budgeting, priority-setting;
  • romantic satisfaction, and
  • how to think better in order to integrate thought with action

Feel free to write to Dr. Hurd about his areas of expertise and whether a solution-focused and life coaching approach might be helpful for you. Simply use the contact form on this site.

Solution-Focused Coaching — In a Nutshell, it’s Introspection

  • It creates a sense of urgency for achieving goals and developing talents that have gone by the wayside.
  • It maintains a sense of momentum by giving you someone to whom you must answer.
  • It provides support and a sense that someone believes in you, from a totally objective perspective as opposed to the biased, threatened or overly optimistic perspectives of loved ones or friends.
  • It can be valuable to anybody at any time.

Solution-focused coaching is not about finding out or labeling what’s wrong with you. It is about life – your life, and improving your life. We all have our weaknesses. The point of objective, professional guidance is to help you capitalize on your strengths and create success for your own sake.

A satisfied client reports: ” … was delighted with your comments. You have the ability to get at the ‘meat of the matter’ and read between the lines to give helpful suggestions.”

Check out Dr. Hurd’s Article: Philosophy Matters in Life — Here’s Why

Also check out Dr. Hurd’s Article: Politics & Professional Helpers

To order your first session CLICK HERE, then select video/phone or email consultation.

Solution-focused consultation can take place by phone, via video call, by email, or online chat (e.g., Facebook Messenger).

Coaching/consultation by email, phone or live chat, while potentially very helpful, is not psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can include treatment of serious mental or emotional disorders, while long-distance consultation is for everyday life problems, stress management, or just needing someone to talk to.

If you are a new client and have already been in contact with Dr. Hurd regarding your first appointment, please fill out and submit the New Client Form.