Mesila’s family coaching method can be broken down into the following stages:
During Intake a rapport of trust is established between the coach and family, creating a safe atmosphere where the family feels comfortable opening up about their situation. Expectations of the process are voiced on both sides. The coach encourages and motivates the family by emphasizing his belief in the their ability to progress. At the same time a healthy dose of realism is injected. There is no magic potion- this process entails dedication, hard work and perseverance. The coach asks guided questions and mostly listens, enabling the family to take responsibility and come to their own conclusions and solutions. The family receives the Mesila guide to budgeting, and they are instructed to track all their expenses, collect bills and bank statements order to accurately fill in the balance sheets in the guide. The records are to be handed in after a month, at the next session.
The Three Stages
1. Awareness Stage
During the first stage, our goal is to help the family become aware of its financial situation and take responsibility for its financial behavior. A clear awareness of their income, expenditures, assets, and liabilities should lead the family to acknowledge the need for change and to the understanding that there is room to improve. At the same time, the coach instills hope and belief that there are solutions, motivating the family forward.
2. Change Stage
On the basis of awareness, the family members are encouraged to take measures to increase their income in a lasting way, and suggested practical strategies to achieve this. They are guided to take control of their spending and avoid unnecessary expenditures. An arrangement is drawn up to handle any existing debts so that they do not adversely affect the family’s day-to-day function and a five-year budget plan is built.
3. Maintenance Stage
During this stage, the coach offers whatever type of assistance and support is required in order for the family to continue following the plan. He helps the family members find solutions to financial challenges that arise, all the while encouraging them to cope with their challenges independently. Gradually, he reduces his involvement in their finances and hands over the financial reins to them.
The coach demonstrates to the family where they started vs. where they are now. Do they recognize and appreciate how much progress they made? After reviewing the family’s milestones, the coach asks them which pitfalls they feel they must watch out for in the future? While encouraging them onwards, the coach maintains an open door policy, should the family require further guidance along the way.