CS6 – Family Life Balance

We are all individuals. These case studies are indicative of the kinds of issues that may arise. In all cases, the response is client tailored.


This client came claiming the their Work-Life Balance was ‘out of sync’. They were feeling pressure from many sides and were struggling to meet the demands placed on them from their strained resources, which is a simple, straightforward explanation of what stress is.

What was very clear was that the client was very confused and feeling unable to make any decisions or focus their attention. They had already taken the free Stress Test (see side bar), but that they wanted to be successful, but did not know where to start.

My Initial Response

The advantage of being a therapeutic coach rather than being a counsellor, is that I can provide guidance and psychoeducation. In this case, the client was creating even more stress adopting an unhealthy definition of work-life balance, which is having an appropriate ‘division of one’s time and focus between working and family or leisure activities’.

However, what is normally at the root of the challenge is that the stressed person has failed to focus on their needs, and the interface of getting this needs met with in the context of their work and family. It often means that the goals and priorities have not been properly negotiated and communicated.

We started with an Emotional Needs Audit (see side bar) and being to see where conflicts and tension shad started to develop. This allowed the client to reconsider carefully the nature of the stressors and explain that to those around them more clearly.

Follow up

What became apparent was that this client did not really understand why they had struggled. In this instance, I explored the following:

  1.  What knowledge did the client need to have or skills they needed to develop to understand and explain their challenges. In this case it was to deepen their understanding of their emotional needs.
  2.  When then looked at the works and family environment and identified key areas that needed to be addressed, but what was apparent was that the client had suffered ….
  3.  A trauma two years previously that had been unaddressed. Using a quick and simple, gentle and effective Trauma Response we able to calm and to reset their focus and calm demenaour.


The client simple found that they were able to re-engage their natural gifts, strengths and talents, being their resources, so that they were (as it was described), back to their ‘old self’.


About Keith Abrahams

Keith is an experienced senior director, CEO, business leader & consultant who now practices as a portfolio director and adult educator. Keith's passion is for community in which he volunteers as a therapist with PTSD sufferers & in a social enterprise, encouraging small businesses to thrive and as a school governor.
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