Executive Coaching, Life Coaching & EMDR Coaching
What is coaching and when is it helpful?
If you are facing some problems that you need to overcome, if you want to improve your performance in a particular area of your life or if you need some help to work out which direction to take when faced with difficult choices (e.g. like changing roles), coaching may be the right approach for you. Unlike therapy, coaching does not focus on the past. Coaching focuses on finding ways to overcome the obstacles that are holding you back, so that you can achieve your goals. A coach can helps you discover the best options for you, based on what is important to you, your values and what you want to achieve. Your coach is there to help you move to action, or put your ideas into practice. Coaching is as much about "doing" as it is about talking; your coach will hold you accountable to the plans you make together, to maximise the chances that you will achieve your goals.
Much like sports coaches help athletes reach their full potential, coaches work hard to help their clients reach their potential, often enabling them to do more than they previously thought was possible. Coaches don't advise, but instead ask carefully constructed questions to help a person identify and overcome both internal and external barriers or obstacles and identify the first steps to take and when and how to take them.
What is helpful about seeing a clinical psychologist for coaching?
As a clinical psychologist, I am trained in a range of psychological theories and models of learning and development and I draw on these whilst delivering coaching. I have spent twenty years in the NHS, helping people with mild, moderate and severe mental health difficulties work towards their goals by overcoming their unhelpful thoughts and behaviours and finding ways to address external obstacles. The breadth of my experience means that I am likely to have worked with whatever barriers are holding you back, so I am well placed to ask the questions that will help you move you forwards. My models of therapy, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, inform my coaching approach.
I work with compassion and curiosity because I know that as humans we find it easier to learn and make changes when we feel safe, supported and understood.
Types of Coaching
Executive coaching is designed for leaders and managers and is focused on helping the coachee develop new insights to become more effective in their particular role. The aim is to help the person reach their goals through a process of becoming more aware of barriers to change and then finding ways to overcome these and take action, whilst remaining true to their values.
Some coachees choose to focus on finding ways to have a better work-life balance, develop skills to manage boundaries or feel more confident when having difficult conversations. Other people might seek help to address a dilemma or develop more confidence in a particular area.
EMDR is a type of therapy and there are specific EMDR techniques that can be helpful to use within coaching. Sometimes a person is not moving towards their goals because a "blocking belief" (for example "I am incompetent") is holding them back. EMDR can be helpful in these cases, as it can be used to address the blocking belief, so that a new, more adaptive perspective can be reached.
EMDR can also be used to enhance performance, by helping the individual prepare for future challenging situations and address any internal barriers that might prevent them from acting in a way that moves them towards their goals.
Life coaching has a broader focus than executive coaching. The person's goals may be within the work, family or personal domain. The aim is to help the coachee think about their values and find a way to move forwards and achieve the outcomes, whilst keeping their values in mind. They may feel stuck. Or they may have a clear goal, but be unsure about how to achieve it (e.g. anxiety or assumptions might be holding them back). Life coaching may be used to help someone solve a dilemma that they are facing, such as whether or not to change careers. The coach does not give advice, but instead uses a model of guided discovery to help the coachee decide which steps to take.