What is Coaching?
Coaching is about the client's need for "self-fulfilment, the realisation of full potential, self-expression, accomplishment and growth" (Skiffington and Zeus, 2002).
In recent years, the term 'coaching psychology' has been developed and a definition of this is:
"[It] is for enhancing well-being and performance in personal life and work domains underpinned by models of coaching grounded in established adult and child learning or psychological approaches." (adapted from Grant and Palmer, 2002)
While counselling and therapy are primarily concerned with fixing and repairing, coaching is about increasing skills and goal-directed behaviour in line with our values. It relies on an active and collaborative relationship between the coach and the client.
What can Coaching be used for?
Any area in which a client wishes to see progress in can be brought to the coaching session. The most common topics that take up coaching sessions are; stress and time management, developing problem-solving skills and communication skills, assertiveness training, overcoming procrastination and performance anxiety, fostering resilience, and increasing productivity.
The Coaching approaches that I use
There are many different coaching models currently in use. My approach mainly relies on two frameworks which are briefly explained below.
Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC) is based on the same principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It is designed to help clients develop and apply problem-solving abilities and to remove psychological blocks that may interfere with the attainment of goals. It is an integrative approach that draws upon cognitive, imaginal, behavioural and problem-solving techniques.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is concerned with the way how we think (neuro), the language that we use (linguistics) and our patterns of behaviour (programming). It is a pragmatic approach that focuses on how to get the desired result(s) quickly through the application of models and techniques.
The Flexibility of Coaching
Coaching can be done face to face or over the telephone. Sessions can be set anywhere between 30 to 120 minutes in length. The frequency of sessions can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The length and frequency of the sessions can be decided by both coach and client together and will depend upon the goal(s) being worked towards.
Grant, A.M. and Palmer, S. (2002) Coaching psychology workshop. Annual Conference of the Division of Counselling Psychology, British Psychological Society, Torquay, UK, 18th May.
Skiffington, S. and Zeus, P. (2002) The Coaching at Work Toolkit. Roseville, Australia: McGraw-Hill.