Psychological coaching can help you to enhance your wellbeing and effectiveness in personal life and work domains. It can be found in ‘life’, ‘executive’ and ‘management’ coaching offered by qualified and trained psychologists. It is evidence-based. This means that practice draws upon learning from research into, for example, coaching approaches and techniques, the effectiveness of various approaches, an understanding of individual psychology such as motivation and behaviour, change, and group and organisational dynamics. To learn more please get in touch.
The terms coaching and mentoring are often used interchangeably, especially in the United Kingdom and Europe. Mentors, for example, may demonstrate coaching skills; coaches can also mentor, drawing on their particular background experience and expertise. Traditionally mentoring has included the notion of the more experienced person supporting and promoting a protégé or mentee who is new to the organisation or position. Regardless of the definition, what is important is that you are clear that the services offered are right for you.
As with mentoring and counselling, the techniques used in coaching and training or consultancy overlap to some extent, especially when one-to-one work is undertaken. Traditionally, training has been concerned with the transfer of new skills from an expert to the learner, often to a group, rather than being geared to the individual and their needs. Coaching looks to the development of potential and may focus on the development of the whole person. The coach is the development partner who will draw on areas of expertise and experience as needed, but is not primarily there as the ‘expert’. The relationship between the coach and person being coached is, therefore, likely to be more equal than when a person is receiving training or calling upon a consultant. In some instances, however, a coach might be chosen specifically for their particular area of expertise, and deliver one-to-one development programmes, that in many ways are similar to skills training.
Coaching techniques may be similar to those found in some therapeutic or counselling approaches, depending on the experience and preferences of the coach and the person being coached. However, an important distinction is that coaching is offered to people who are essentially effective, but who are motivated to enhance their personal or professional lives in some way. Solution-focused coaching is goal-focused and promotes independence, and is for people who are able to move forward even if there are deeper problems. Where these prevent movement, counselling or therapy may be more appropriate.
Here is not the place for people who want or need in-depth counselling or clinical therapy to receive this professional support. However coaching can work well alongside counselling and clinical therapy, where the focus of each is clear. If you are currently undergoing such therapy or counselling, and want to enter coaching, you are invited to talk this over first with your therapist. If the need for more in-depth work becomes apparent though coaching, I can support you in finding someone who can assess whether this may be necessary and who is able to provide this particular service.
As a registered hypnotherapist I am qualified to incorporate hypnosis within my coaching practice and will offer this where appropriate. Examples where hypnosis might offer ‘added value’ are confidence building, stress control, weight control, and smoking cessation. However I am not qualified to help someone with serious psychological disorders, where a professional such as a clinical psychologist or a specialist counsellor may be better suited. If you are interested in learning more about coaching-hypnosis/hypnotherapy or want to explore whether it might be for you, please get in touch.
Sometimes a person comes to coaching with a specific challenge or issue to be addressed. At other times the situation is more complex and might cover a number of areas. What is common to each is a solution-focused approach to psychological which means that the best use is made of time and resources available. If appropriate psychometric tests and other tools and techniques can be used as well.
Here coaching plus carefully chosen assessments, such as the Myers Briggs Type Inventory®, reporting back, and a development plan, may be just what you need. This has helped people who have wanted to explore areas such as career development or job change, or to enhance their personal or business relationships. Others have wanted to learn more about themselves, so that they can apply this understanding to various aspects of their lives. The process can be undertaken in two or three sessions. Where appropriate, this type of assessment can be integrated in ongoing coaching.

Another way of identifying personal strengths is by completing a confidential online questionnaire. You will need to register but will be helping researchers along the way. It is completely free. Once you know your particular strengths you can use this information to become the best you can in different areas of your life. The information can also be used in coaching. Please contact me for further information.

Coaching for Solutions is designed specifically for someone who is bothered by a particular problem or challenge, and wants to find ways of resolving the situation. Although there are never any magic solutions, a single session may be enough for you to feel more confident in moving forward. At the end of this session, you can decide when you would like to be coached again, if at all. First or single sessions are likely to last between 50 – 60 minutes. If coaching is already under way, clearly the techniques of Coaching for Solutions can be applied as appropriate.
Coaching is extremely flexible and can be undertaken by telephone, via e-mail, or face-to-face. Telephone coaching, for example, means that a person (or group) can be coached wherever they are, provided there is a signal! E-mail coaching can also be very flexible and effective, although coaching using this medium alone may not suit everyone. E-mail can also be used for distance learning, where a particular programme is followed.

Timing and timescales are negotiable and worked out on an individual basis. Most telephone coaching sessions are programmed for 30 – 45 minutes each, although the first session is generally longer, as are the single Coaching for Solutions sessions. Many clients opt for 3 meetings a month, but this can vary. In some circumstances, a person being coached may want to talk briefly on a daily basis, over a week or two; and some people choose to meet less frequently.

Face-to-face coaching and development sessions with individuals tend to vary in length, depending on what is required. In organisational settings, sessions may last for 3-4 hours, but occur bi-monthly, or less often. The initial assessment in these settings may take up to a day, depending on what is required. Sometimes, an organisation may request a regular coaching practice to be provided at the workplace, where staff can book themselves in over the day.

E-mail coaching is often offered as an addition to telephone or face-to-face coaching and development, enabling contact and support between sessions. In addition, specific programmes can be followed, with coach support as required.

This depends on the person, what brings them to coaching and what they want. There is no minimum contract period, as it is for each person to decide for themselves what is right for them.

Coaching is about learning and development, and sometimes about new approaches or skills, as well as concerned with gaining insights. There is considerable evidence that applying learning to real life, or embedding changes in behaviour or attitude can take time. It can also be challenging; and this is where the ongoing support of the coach comes in. The advantage of coaching over training is that the learning process is individualised, and where development takes place over several weeks or months, there is a greater likelihood of lasting success.

Generally an initial programme of 90 days is planned for, with a review after a month. It is not always possible to predict in advance how long coaching might last although this can be discussed at any stage and guidance can be given. The timeframe for Coaching for Solutions is, of course, different and a single session might be sufficient.

Organisations are invoiced with payment ‘within 30 days’.

If payment is not through an organisation a person is asked to pay by cheque or BACS transfer, sometimes in advance. If appropriate arrangements can be made for direct debit or staggered payments.

If you need to cancel, then I appreciate 24 hours notice, although I know that sometimes the urgent and the unexpected comes up. I will try to do the same for you if I need to change our arrangements. We will then re-arrange our meeting. However at times a cancellation fee might be charged – please ask me for further information.
If you have any queries or concerns, I ask that you put them to me, so that we can deal with them as we go along. However, if you no longer feel that coaching is helping you, you can either ask to be referred to another coach, or stop coaching immediately and without penalty.

As a chartered psychologist and registered hypnotherapist I commit to abide by their professional and ethical guidelines. Should you wish to know more you can contact these organisations.