My name is Chris Cole.
I serve clients in recovery from any number of addiction, mood, or behavioral issues. I specialize in bipolar disorder and spiritual emergence, but my experience with addiction, disordered eating, body dysmorphia, psychosis, and spiritual emergency allows me to relate to a wide range of clients. Because I have been through quite a journey myself, I have no doubts about your capacity to thrive in recovery, whatever that might mean for you. I offer an experienced perspective, a holistic wellness orientation, and an encouraging relationship conducive to sustainable growth in every area of your life.
You might be wondering, "How does someone become a life coach?" It really all started with my own difficulties. As a kid, I struggled with disordered eating and addiction, and then I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of eighteen, and still, I wasn't ready to change. But I eventually went to rehab, so everything was fine, right? Well, not exactly. It turns out my substance abuse was not my only problem. In fact, substance abuse was pretty much my only solution. So when I wasn't using anymore, I really had a lot to figure out. Sobriety was just the starting point.
Shortly after I got sober, somewhere between recovery meetings, therapy, and college psychology courses, I developed an irrepressible urge to help people like me for the rest of my life. When I was younger, I only cared to talk to people who had been through the same sort of troubles, and those ended up being the people who helped me the most. It was important for me to relate, and I hoped to do the same for others.
My first job in this direction was as a wilderness therapy instructor. I worked in the wilderness for a couple summers while I finished my bachelor's degree in contemplative psychology from Naropa University. Then I went on to work as a therapeutic mentor in a transitional living program. My most recent position in the clinical field was as a life skills coach for another program that helped young men transition out of treatment.
What these few years in the treatment arena taught me, combined with my personal experience, is that the best programs in the world all have one added component complementing their clinical services: life coaching. They may use different titles, like "mentor" or "peer support" or simply "staff," but basically these are people a little further along the path who are helping others navigate familiar terrain.
I like to call myself a life coach because we're taking a holistic approach to the entirety of your life. No part acts independent of the whole. Beneath every thought, behavior, and action is a deeper wisdom–a life principle–calling us to come back into balance. The extent of our success together will depend on cultivating a trust in this fundamental sanity.
In 2013, I became certified as a Strategic Intervention Coach and started my own little company, Cole Coaching, LLC. I help people develop clarity, focusing on practical action toward a more purposeful existence. I truly believe in everyone's innate wisdom and their ability to choose health when given proper support. I live in Boulder, Colorado, but I coach over Skype or phone, so there aren't any geographic constraints. If you happen to live in the Boulder area, I'm happy to find a way to meet up in person.
Today I coach people internationally as well as locally, helping individuals move beyond the limitations of their past treatment to discover an essential brilliance which has been lost or obscured. Without the darkness, there is no dawn. Perhaps my greatest asset as a coach is a whole-hearted faith in the transformative power of suffering, provided we are courageous enough to be honest and take action toward the life we want to live. A greater freedom awaits our sincere pursuit.
In addition to life coaching, I have written a memoir about my own recovery journey. I've titled it The Body of Chris, in honor of the delusion that I was the Second Coming of Christ. It took me a really long time to finally come to terms with treatment for my bipolar disorder while also honoring the validity of spiritual emergence, and I could never find many resources for men's eating and body issues, so I felt like it was important for me to tell my story. The Body of Chris: A Memoir of Obsession, Addiction, and Madness was an Amazon #1 bestseller for bipolar disorder, named a two-time Finalist in both Spirituality and Religious Non-Fiction for the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and has received praise from transpersonal and clinical psychologists alike. If you're not quite sure whether we could relate, my memoir is a great place to start.
My most recent project, the Waking Up Bipolar podcast, is a collaborative effort focused on the intersection of bipolar disorder and spiritual awakening. This has been really fun so far, and the guests have been extraordinary. Plus you get to hear my voice before deciding if you like me, so that saves us all a little time, right? In all seriousness, I believe that your bipolar has the potential to mark your life in beautiful and poignant ways. We will figure out how together.