I’m of the opinion that everyone can use an editor. It’s useful to have someone to bounce an idea off of and whittle it down to the sharpest point.

Working with an editor can be kind of intense. It’s like therapy or professional coaching. You work through bad habits and confront flaws you didn’t know you had.

This is starting to sound a bit like therapy. And maybe that’s a good thing. These days, folks are much more open about getting help. That used to be a taboo. Not so much anymore. I don’t just mean “getting help” in the traditional sense, as in tackling stress or some other mental health problem. People are turning more and more to counseling for all kinds of things.

How about work? Take it from me, running a small business is emotionally consuming. You get attached to your ideas and lose sight of the big vision. Change can be hard to swallow or even conceive. Sometimes, the biggest hurdle in professional development is ego.

Business coach Jeff Martin

Business coach Jeff Martin – you don’t need to be in trouble to ask for help

Business coach Jeff Martin helps his clients get over the hump to entrepreneurial maturity. He specializes in counseling mid-career professionals on how to find another gear in their growth, usually by taking a deep look at their work and helping business owners figure out what to focus on. Before starting his coaching business, the Company Growth Academy, Jeff was a serial entrepreneur himself. He knows what it’s like to get attached. Jeff is an Out to Lunch veteran for his custom men’s clothing line — Short and Fat.

Now let’s talk about counseling in the more conventional sense.

About 20% of Americans sought mental health counseling in 2019. But the practice of counseling in a social environment expands beyond mental health disorders.

Marie Collins, negotiating the compassion business

Marie Collins, negotiating the compassion business

Major life events can be difficult to navigate and our understanding of how stress works has changed dramatically. That’s why Marie Collins says her counseling center,  The Family Tree, adapts its services to pressing community needs. Marie is Family Tree’s executive director and a licensed counselor herself. The Family Tree started as a parenting resource center and has grown to offer a broad canopy of services: marriage counseling, anger management, trauma and addiction counseling.

In the words of the inimitable Bill Withers, whether it’s professional advice or personal counselling, “We all need somebody to lean on.”

Christiaan Mader and the art of listening

Christiaan Mader demonstrates the essence of counseling – the art of listening

This conversation was recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Lucius Fontenot.

And here’s more lunchtime conversation about counseling alternatives in Acadiana.

Liaten to Out to Lunch Baton Rouge