Maijidda Labo Mahuta is a certified life coach/marriage counselor from Katsina State. In this interview with Daily Trust, the Geography graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria says Nigerians are now more receptive to counseling.
How often do you get engaged for your services?
When I first started, the reception was a bit slow. You know, people do not trust what they do not know or understand but gradually as people began to understand what I do, the trust also began to grow and now ma sha Allah (meaning what God willed has happened) I get so busy tending to people that I hardly find time for myself.
What major issues have you been called in to address?
I mostly address marital issues, especially marital abuses. I also tend to single ladies and teenagers needing guidance.
It is alarming the way our society is heading, most of the people that come to me are generally sad and have been abused psychologically, physically or emotionally and many of them have lost self-esteem to the extent that they feel useless and unloved. There is a need for relatives and friends to kindly check on their family and friends regularly to really make sure they are alright.
Why do you think Nigerians need life coaches?
Yes, there is a great need for life coaches, most especially now with the rampant cases of kidnapping, rape, high rate of poverty, unemployment, divorce, drug abuse, the social media craze and the constant need for perfection in our lives. Now more than ever people find it difficult to admit their weaknesses or secrets to their family and friends. Oftentimes people are at a loss on who to confide in and where to find professional guidance.
What is the difference between life coaches and therapists?
A life coach is someone who helps clarify goals, identify obstacles and problematic behaviour in order to create an action plan to achieve the desired result. A life coach helps people take control of their lives and also take action to steer it towards their goal, while a therapist determines psychological illnesses and pathologies so their patients can be clinically treated. Therapists analyse their patients’ pasts as a tool for understanding the present so as to treat a particular problem. Therapy generally takes a long period of time. A therapist is a healthcare professional.
Therapy is about healing and takes you from suffering to baseline while life coaching is about striving to take you from baseline to flourishing.