“A process of coaching touches upon the roots of the soul,” Adva Perry Avishay, chairman of the Israeli Coaching Association recently told The Jerusalem Post. She sat down with The Post to discuss the field of coaching in Israel and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Israelis. “The process of coaching is empowering; it focuses on strengths and abilities to help the participant being coached have a process of meaningful and tangible change in any field in his or her life,” she said. “This can mean anything from seeking a change in your career to relationships, whether parenting, romantic or professionally, as well as leading a healthier lifestyle and much more.”According to Perry Avishay, coaching is a limited process usually spanning 10-12 meetings and lasting some three months.“The main idea is to create change and it is a process that involves not only talking with a coach but also taking independent actions in the field, because at the end of the day the goal is to help a person go from point A to point B,” she said. She said that a significant step in the process is to first understand what a person would like to truly achieve and map out a strategy to achieve their vision. “Precision is key to this process, we ask a lot of questions that people wouldn’t necessarily ask themselves on a daily basis and through their responses we build a very precise plan,” she said. “As I like to say, we ask the questions to ‘turn on the light in your head.’” She added that the process always sees obstacles that “reveal themselves” and as such, participants also receive the necessary tools to overcome these obstacles – “they garner a lot of strength and courage to leave their comfort zone,” she added. “It is a magical process, we see such dramatic changes in people’s lives in a relatively short time, people don’t believe that they can change so quickly,” she said. Perry Avishay is no stranger to the process herself. Prior to becoming a coach, Perry Avishay was a lawyer for 15 years in the field of health, holding senior positions such as legal counsel for the Bureau of Ethics at the Israel Medical Association and serving as a Compliance Officer at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.“Then 10 years ago I underwent a huge change in my life when my mom, who practically raised me and my sister as a single mother, got sick with cancer,” she said. “It was a rollercoaster for six years and on the night of her last hospitalization I stood by her bedside with the understanding that this was goodbye, and it was the first time she saw me cry since she got sick” she recalled. “And among her last words to me were: ‘Be happy, don’t be sad.”Perry Avishay said those parting words had a dramatic impact on her. “I suddenly understood, like an inner light – and I felt like something drastic was going to change in my life, from within,” she said. This drastic change led her to the field of coaching, a lifelong dream of her mother.“I feel now like I am living my mission, I don’t feel like I am working a day in my life,” she said. “I learned what it means to live with happiness and joy – this is the gift that coachers want to pass on, to teach people what it means to be happy.” As such, Perry Avishay has since dedicated her life to this, becoming chairman of the Israeli Coaching Association, a nonprofit professional organization that provides oversight of the field of coaching in Israel. The Association established some 15 years ago, developed strict criteria as to who can call themselves a coach in Israel today, including completing fields and hours of study, exams, as well as abiding by an ethical code. Today, the Association has over 1,100 coachers and oversees some 20 schools dedicated to the field. “It is a growing and important field in Israel, especially now with the coronavirus pandemic,” she said. “Many people have felt like they’ve lost control, whether financially, or otherwise and so we have seen an increase in the number of people seeking the process of coaching, mostly with regards to their career, followed by relationships and t hen parenting.”Perry Avishay said that it is an incredible process to undertake, especially following such a difficult year. “The answers are found within you, the coaches help find these answers and lead to the change you are looking for, it is both a practical and magical tool for anyone looking for a change,” she said.