Personal Development and Writer Coaching with Dave Fox

Life Coaching for Happiness, Confidence, and Stress-Reduction

Dave Fox is a certified life coach based in Vietnam. He works with clients all over the world via Skype, FaceTime, and phone, and is also available for in-person life coaching in Ho Chi Minh City. 


We all wrestle with negative emotions from time to time – sadness, anxiety, self-doubt, self-bullying, and anger to name just a few. These emotions often happen without much thought. It feels as if they enter our brains without us having any control over the matter. There’s something about our emotions that many people fail to realize, however…

Every emotion is the last step in a three-step process:

  • Step 1: Something happens. It can be a momentary event or a long-term situation.
  • Step 2: Our mind interprets what happens.
  • Step 3: An emotion follows that interpretation.

So the key to overcoming negative or self-defeating emotions is usually not as simple as saying, “I should change this feeling. I should be happier, less stressed, or more confident.” (That’s why it feels so ridiculous when someone tells you to calm down, cheer up, or “just snap out of it.”) The key to overcoming negative feelings is to reverse-engineer this three-step process – to dig into our belief systems and the ways we’ve learned to interpret life events, to deconstruct the stories we tell ourselves, and adjust those stories into more positive ways of thinking.

Now, let’s be clear on something: Changing your reaction to painful events does not mean you must be happy about those events. This isn’t about pretending everything is great. It’s about adjusting the ways you respond to things that cause you pain, and attaining greater control over your emotions so that difficult life experiences don’t consume you.

Some people fall into negative thought patterns about who they are or should be, who others are or should be, and about how life is or should be, because they learned these ways of thinking at a young age.

If you’re struggling with sadness, excessive worry, or low-self esteem (in general, or in a specific area of your life), I’ll work with you to examine your stories and shift your reactions so that they don’t drag you into a downward spiral.


Mood Enhancement Techniques

When working with clients who are suffering from depression, anxiety, or self-esteem issues, I use a variety of techniques, tailored to each person’s needs and personality. These include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Coaching: Talking through the events in your life, examining the ways you react to those events, and learning how to minimize painful responses and enhance your overall happiness.
  • Mindfulness and emotion-tuning: Reducing stress and increasing happiness through proven, mood-enhancing activities such as meditation, self-exploration, relaxation techniques, and physical activities that are known to change your brain chemistry. (Don’t panic! Many of these physical activities are quick and easy and do not require dragging yourself to the gym at 5 a.m. every morning, unless you’re into that kind of thing.)
  • Journal Coaching: Exploring your thoughts through writing exercises that help you tap into and understand your subconscious mind. (You do not need to be a “good writer” to use these techniques! On the contrary, they are most effective when you don’t worry at all about the quality of your writing.)

For each of us, some approaches work better than others. For example, some people find journaling highly effective while others just don’t like doing it. The same holds true for meditation and personal affirmations. We’ll figure out what best suits your personality and create a plan that’s effective, comfortable, and authentic to who you are.

Negative thoughts affect all of us from time to time, but sometimes, we feel stuck and can’t find a way to turn things around. I have studied (and personally used) a series of scientifically proven techniques that help people attain greater happiness and inner peace. If you’re in a rut, let’s get you out of it!


Important: Coaching is not the same as psychotherapy. If you are feeling severely depressed and/or suicidal, please contact a medical professional or hotline in your area. If you aren’t sure whether coaching or therapy is best for you, I’m happy to have a quick chat to help you get on the most effective path. If I believe a client would be better served by a psychotherapist than a coach, I am always up front about that.


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