Introduction: What is coaching and how does it work?

What IS coaching?

Coaching is to take someone where they can’t take themselves. Often by creating clarity and a vision of the future, applying a focused discipline and reach for greater heights. That often requires trust and emotional connections, however, making it hard and bothersome if done in a rough subject – but everything worth having usually is quite hard to get, isn’t it?

I’ve heard a comparison where coaching is like a mix of consulting and therapy, where I really agree, so that’s how I think of coaching nowadays.

Someone who is consulting is someone who’s “engaged in the business of giving expert advice to people working in a professional or technical field”, “the business of giving expert advice to other professionals” or “the art of being able to look at analytical data and make an effective recommendation to a professional on what they should do in any given situation”. Slight varieties, but somewhere along those lines.

Therapy is to work with those who are ill in some way, according to most definitions. ”The treatment of mental or psychological disorders by psychological means.” or ”Treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder.” In psychological terms it’s often about creating behavioral change in some way.

Coaching for me and here is a mix of the two and definitely requires a focus on the future and intends to opens up a conversation about greater possibilities – and then supports the work of the coached one to achieve the goals and make the prior vision into reality. It’s a lot about teaching and often quite wide, since it’s ideally tailored to the client at hand. I mix a large variety of tools from actual therapy and consulting to philosophy where the goal is to share insight and help clients see things differently and/or learn new skills to be able to overcome obstacles. To do so there’s often a need for behavioral changes. Without change in behavior, the outcome will be the same as before, so that’s a crucial part. Behavioral changes through questioning. Plenty of it. Digging through why, how and why again to achieve new insight and ways of thinking of things. Common core themes people recognize when I implement them come from ACT or CBT, as well as physiotherapy.

The coaching seems to work great digitally when we live in different places – but some find it more personal and pleasant when they meet up locally in Uppsala.

Doing it here gives us the opportunity to get a closer relationship and thus be able to discuss troubles even deeper and better. For some it’s more personal so they can open up better to topics and discussions that might be really crucial to make the progress they might need to get forward. It might make CBT-treatment easier and some can find it more relaxed and relaxing to be outside and take a walk while taking tough discussions. That’s a way of doing it that is really comfortable and pleasant, compared to sitting in a small room in a chair and just staring at someone else when talking. Doing it the “classic” way, two people in a room, perhaps sitting in a chair each and watching each others every move might feel really uncomfortable or really, really clinical, which might not help. When taking a walk it doesn’t matter if it’s silent for a few moments when someone’s thinking about something or digesting some new input. It’s closer to a relaxed conversation between friends…

If we meet up locally it’s possible to exercise or treat manually as well. Using the body in some way is always a part of the treatment, there’s none out there who doesn’t need a good, adequate dose of physical exercise, if you don’t know what that is it could be useful to get some help. Some feel really good when they exercise really, really hard and really blow off all that steam and stress – they get nothing but positive results out of that. Some really can’t use their bodies much before they get serious trouble and decline energy-wise and get more of all their symptoms. Some have never exercised, some have no idea how to do strength training but might feel really great and benefit a ton from doing so and if that’s the case, some guiding in the gym and personal training might be really beneficial for their pain. It needs to be adequate, balanced and good enough though. That’s the hard part. If it’s too hard to find how much that is – some help might be great.

Having the freedom to get outside and doing things locally might be used to do other things than just walking and talking as well; things that bigger institutions rarely tend to. There’s a good bunch of examples that’s I’ve done with clients “out there” where people ask if “this really is a part of the program?”.

CBT to once again be able to drive a car to regain the freedom to be able to drive and do whatever you want to once more. To be in an accident or incident so you get such a stress-response when getting into a car that you really can’t be there is quite the handicap. It gives you such anxiety that you freak out entirely so you really can’t dare to or want to drive. Solving that might be easier if someone’s by your side. Someone you trust who’ve done it before.

Fear of the dark have been treated with a similar CBT-approach. Doing what’s scary or perhaps even terrifying might be impossible to do yourself, but with someone there with you it might just be possible to do – to be able to do the progress you need.

Panic attacks have been treated. They generally need to be treated where they are provoked – so we need to be in the uncomfortable environment. So we have been, we’ve treated – and regained plenty of freedom, self-esteem and normalized a big part of everyday life.

Orthorexia, bothered/strange eating-patterns or pure eating disorders are hard to tend to by just talking about them. Perspective or even tending to the reason why it’s there might work far better.

Social anxiety have been treated.
Sprints have been done.
Appetite have been found and the joy around food have been rediscovered – to actually appreciate it once more.
There’s been some heavy dead-lifts.
Death and values have been the topic at graveyards. “What’s actually worth doing, tending to and think about in this short time we’re here?”
Social aspects have been tossed around. Should one keep relationships that you suffer from? Could divorce be the best solution? “Should you talk to your mum about this?”
Technique while running have been discussed, practiced and repeated.
Mindfulness practice. Look at small things. Breathe. Pick some flowers. Feel your feet. Eat, taste, feel fruit and berries…This wide solution is why I had a client laugh loudly a couple of hours into a session once, saying “I just can’t believe this is part of the program!”
And well. I do what I can to get my people as well as possible. =)
Life is wide – and then you’ll need to be comfortable to talk about what’s actually important – your actual, true problems. My ambition is that you should be safe doing so with me.

Could this be coaching…?

Sometimes I’ll have to poke, prod, nudge or practically shove people in the direction they ought to go…!

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