How Long Do You Coach a Client?

I have a delightful client whom I love (actually, I love all my clients) – and we’ve been coaching together for about 5 months. Her area of concern is her overdrinking. We do 1 hour sessions every few weeks or so – and I give her the tools to use. In addition, we talk about the causes, feeling her feelings, the model, etc. – along with the simple logistics of allowing urges, making drink plans, etc.

Today during our session, she said she feels bad because she’s “wasting my time” because “she hasn’t gotten this licked yet”. Her thinking is that since she’s not yet implemented the strategies or ideas I’ve given her, she’s wasting my time. I assured her my time is never wasted and that she will absolutely get the result she wants and works toward. But a little question bubbled up in my head (since I’m a newer coach): Do you coach clients who wish to be coached endlessly? Meaning – if it takes her 20 years to do the work to stop drinking but wishes to be coached by me every week for 20 years (and obviously, if I’m willing to as well) … is that what coaches do?

I don’t wish to “clip her off” or “give up on her” – because I know the process took me many months and I had no “end date” in mind. I was just absolutely committed to the end result. And often I think the value she’s getting is in having someone to talk to ABOUT issues she feels she can’t talk to with others. I just didn’t know if there was common coaching philosophy about continuing to coach clients who may take years to implement what you coach them on. (I’m not saying it’ll take her years – but that thought just bubbled up.) Thanks!