Some examples of what I can help you with:
I’m not a licensed therapist and I will ask you to seek professional help if I believe you should take that route. If it’s my impression that I likely won’t be able to assist you with the issue you’re having, or that we’re not a good fit for a coaching relationship, I will let you know.
Here is a list of other coaches and therapists around the rationality/effective altruism sphere, or ones recommended by others in the community. If I’m not a good fit for you, you might find help there.
People have quite different approaches to dealing with clients. Here are some of my guiding principles:
I’ve completed a German high school teaching degree equivalent to a bachelor & master degree. During my time as a student, I became interested in epistemic & instrumental rationality (via LessWrong), and eventually came to the community of effective altruism. I’ve worked at the Effective Altruism Foundation in Berlin as Operations Manager from mid-2016 till April 2018 and am currently working part-time as Prof. Allan Dafoe’s executive assistant.
I’ve taken part in the mainline CFAR workshop in 2014 and have stayed with their curriculum over the years, mentoring/volunteering at 3 workshops in 2014, 2016 and 2017 as well as working as a follow-up coach and taking part in mentor training in 2016 and 2018. The Berlin Rationality Dojo has been hosted at my shared rationalist apartment, The Bayesment, since mid-2016. We’re meeting there once a week for two hours to practice rationality skills – share techniques for self-improvement, solve each other’s problems and make progress on the most crucial and neglected tasks in our lives.
Besides self-improvement, the bulk of my curiosity has been directed at communication techniques, analyzing social patterns and emotions and trying to put them into words that are easy to understand by others (including acquaintances on the autism spectrum). To that end, I’ve read about and practiced tools for conflict-resolution such as non-violent communication, techniques for introspection such as mindfulness meditation and Focusing, and many more. It’s my experience that the most difficult conflicts arise from friction with family or romantic partners, both of which I’ve had my share of (I’m polyamorous). In my free time, I’ve been leading a monthly Circling group with ~5 regulars, to improve our friendships and deepen the level of connection as well as learn how to empathize with each other better.
*though I will ask you to pay for distance traveled if we meet at your place of choice.
This is mostly up to you, but I am happy to suggest some choices below. To coordinate, please send me a quick email.
I can check in with you by IM or email on any day of your choice for €10 per individual check-in. This includes reminding you of items you have committed to but not completed, encouragement where you've made progress, mentioning techniques or ideas that might be helpful and asking questions aimed at giving you a better understanding of where you're stuck.
The email format leaves most of the debugging effort on your side, so I recommend booking a session for more involved issues You can mix formats as well: For example, schedule several regular check-ins between coaching sessions.
I accept payments via PayPal, cash and via bank transfer if preferred. Unless otherwise specified, all payments need to have arrived on my side before the service (coaching, check-ins, calls) is due. If you still have an available “balance” when we stop doing coaching together, I will refund you the money.
Cancellations up to 48h in advance are free of charge, for later cancellations I charge half of the session price. This fee is to reimburse me for session preparations already made and for keeping the spot free.
If you’re not cancelling but merely moving the session to a later date (e.g. because you’re sick), it’s free. However, I reserve the right to charge a €10 fee if the spot was in a popular coaching time.
The hourly rate is based on what I need to charge in order to make enough money to cover my expenses, taxes and insurance. Generally, a self-employed worker in Germany can expect to keep roughly 55% of their income after taxes. The price includes session preparation time, administration, coaching-related learning, some email support, and more. I know this can be a large expense, but I believe that capacity building through coaching can easily be worth this price and more. If you are a member of the effective altruism community and struggle to pay the hourly price, please let me know – I may be able to arrange a reduced rate for you or refer you to someone who offers it.
The coaching session is billed as usual. In addition, I charge a distance-based fee for the way to and from your place. This will generally be 50% of my usual hourly price and is based on the Google maps direction estimate. I live close to the M2 station Prenzlauer Allee/Metzer Straße in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin.
I’m fluent in English and German, we use whatever you’re more comfortable with.
No problem, just email me with your preferred time and we’ll work something out. My Calendly is deliberately conservative and I block off slots liberally when they’re somewhat inconvenient for me. However, I can probably still make a time that works for you.
This is also currently the only way to make appointments that are further than two weeks in the future.
The Center for Applied Rationality is a non-profit developing and teaching a curriculum for applied rationality, mainly through their workshops and community events. One could say they are teaching how to find out which goals you want to have, and how to achieve them in the way that is best for you. They describe themselves:
By looking in-depth at individual case studies, advances in cogsci research, and the data and insights from our thousand-plus workshop alumni, we’re slowly building a robust set of tools for truth-seeking, introspection, self-improvement, and navigating intellectual disagreement—and we’re turning that toolkit on itself with each iteration, to try to catch our own flawed assumptions and uncover our own blindspots and mistakes.
Starting in 2012, their curriculum has changed many times over the last years, dropping, testing, adding and improving a network of techniques that together form the foundation for a robust problem-solving algorithm that deals with a broad variety of what life can throw at you.
Simply email me and I'll be happy to help.