Thursday, 6 March 2014 11:16am
Helping students manage their time and studies before they get into real difficulties is Brian Johnston’s job at Otago.
The former mental health counsellor at Student Health and qualified life coach trialled life coaching as a “fence at the top of the cliff” strategy for students two years ago. Now he is based in the Graduate Research School offering assistance to postgraduate and undergraduate students – particularly those involved in research.
“I noted when I was working over at Student Health that for many people their problems had begun with lack of sleep, poor time management skills and struggling to make the change from high school where they had had their hand held.”
These issues were exacerbated when working alone on research projects.
For $15 a session, which is sometimes paid by departments promoting the services, Mr Johnston offers coaching particularly in areas such as dealing with procrastination, planning, and getting sleep.
The confidential service uses a strengths-based model, with structured techniques to help overcome a student’s individual issues.
Mr Johnston is best contacted by email, and sees clients at least twice.
“I ask people to look on those hours as an investment in their future. The skills I teach are applicable across their lives.”