My Coaching Story
When I first became involved with coaching back in the early 1990’s there was very little training in the UK. Given this my coaching interventions were based on mixing and matching the skills and techniques from a variety of models and theories.
For example, as I had a Diploma in Management Studies, a number of therapeutic and psychology trainings and had worked in the corporate sector at a senior management level as well as on a number of employee assistance programmes, I found myself bringing a number of aspects together in my coaching work.
Perhaps the fact that I had been a part-time university lecturer on both Diploma and Masters Programmes helped me to think through what I was doing, what worked and why, what was appropriate for coaching rather than therapy and how to put together a rationale as well as apply the skills, strategies and techniques to meet client need.
As a CBT Therapist I came to realise that a number of the structures worked well in coaching. For example, Assessment, Case Conceptualisation and setting overall outcomes for a therapy client although renamed as behavioural contracting was pretty similar and worked well with both client groups.
Creating a coaching alliance was not dissimilar to creating a therapeutic alliance. Socratic questioning was the same and I came to realise that coaching clients were only different in that they were part of a non-clinical population whose goals were more about achieving success or overcoming challenges in everyday personal and professional life while functioning in the real world and often functioning really well being seen as successful by many.
Where Psychology and CBT came into their own was the recognition that it is often the way a person approaches situations, their approach to others and their thinking style that holds them back. When I brought all this together – the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that individuals engaged in, I soon found myself working with issues ranging from executive presence and branding to political awareness and its management, effective leadership to developing confidence.
This became the birth of what is now known as Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC). I was lucky enough to discuss my coaching work and thoughts with my colleagues Professors Stephen Palmer, Windy Dryden and Michael Neenan all of whom were also Cognitive Behavioural Therapists.
It was then that we went on to formally develop the CBC Model which Stephen, Michael and I formally started offering CBC coaching training in 2002. Since then we all continue to refine and develop our offering and there are now many more CBC coaches as well as coaches who integrate a range of CBC strategies and techniques into their coaching offerings. Many coaches have been through our programmes both in the UK and internationally and many clients have been through the CBC process. CBC is now a recognised coaching model.
The aim of Cognitive Behavioural Coaching
The aim of CBC is to develop ways of thinking and the associated behaviours that are more productive and likely to assist the individual reach their desired goals in life. The process helps clients move towards becoming the kind of person they want to be, attaining the types of outcomes desired personally and professionally.
If someone can talk themselves into being miserable or ineffective they can talk themselves out of such feelings and learn the associated behaviours that will lead to success. Whether emotional or practical, everything an individual needs to be successful can be traced back to a set of skills. CBC helps individuals develop such skills.
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