Why You Need Coaching for Depression?
Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal mental health and professional potential.
Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their mental health, performance and enhance the quality of their lives and the lives of those around them.
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach's job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.
You have conversations with other people all the time, either as small talk or more meaningful and purposeful talks where you clarify thought processes, create solutions to problems, reach agreements and agree on taking action.
Coaches use conversations as well and are designed to help clients move in the right direction and to get to the root of the challenges faced by the client, such as:
• How to increase motivation to change;
• To challenge existing behaviours and habits that are reinforcing poor mental health and replace them with positive behaviours and habits;
• To discover what beliefs, or lack of them, are creating obstacles to taking the right action;
• To find out why the client acts in the way they do currently or in the past;
• To explore what options are available;
• To investigate what courses of action will get the right results.
Coaching helps the client ask the right questions for them so that this can lead to the right answers for them, not the coach, which is better than taking someone else’s answers. Coaching is not a panacea for success, happiness and fulfilment but it is a support mechanism that builds on the principle that the client already knows the answers to their questions, they just don’t know or believe it or how to take thos first few tentative steps to recovery.
What Life Coaching Isn’t?
Coaching can take many forms, have different specialisms, use different techniques and tools, but here are some of the things coaching is not:
• Coaching is not counselling, psychotherapy or counselling. These interventions assume that something is broken and needs repairing in the client. Whilst these are designed to create action the focus is on understanding what is wrong and achieving acceptance with this before the client can move forward. Coaching assumes the client is fundamentally well, healthy and can sustain progress during challenging times.
• Coaching is not mentoring. A mentor is someone with more experience, knowledge and skills than the client and are able to pass these on to the client, in a sense the client is modelling themselves on their mentor. The client is free, or not, to accept the advice and guidance from the mentor as they see fit. The process of mentoring is an informal one and usually takes place in the client’s workplace.
• Coaching is not giving advice. A coach does not give advice to clients but rather discusses options and enables the client to engage their own thought processes. When a client reaches their own conclusions and actions they are much more likely to take ownership and follow them through than if the solutions are given to them by someone else. This implies a deep level of self-accountability by the client, which the coach will monitor and challenge from time-to-time.
Coaching involves change.
‘If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got’
The results the client will get from coaching will depend to a very large extent to how much the client is willing to change and to how much they want to achieve their goals. Think about how many New Year resolutions fail and you will begin to understand that the willingness to change and the goals are not always aligned. Unless there is a commitment to change, clearly defined goals, such as recovery from depression, with real benefits for the client and an achievable action plan, change won’t happen.
The coaching journey.
Believe it or not, the client has everything they need to embark upon the journey of positive change. The skills and knowledge that are discovered on this journey were there all along but have remained either hidden or under-utilised. There are three main areas that these skills and knowledge fall into:
• Each person is unique and no-one but the client is so well equipped to make the positive change that is required. Only the client will truly know what is the best for them. By the client putting themselves at the centre of their life they will, in fact, be in a much better place to be of service to others.
• The client has all the resources they need and are capable of achieving better results than they are currently. The client has to take control of their life in order to facilitate the change required.
• Everyone has choices and personal freedom. In difficult or challenging times it can be hard to remember this but by taking responsibility for their own thoughts and actions, the client can overcome many barriers and obstacles. Self-trust and belief that recovery from depression is possible are the starting points for success.
Choose coaching for sustainable results.
By engaging with a coach, the client will generate inspiration, enthusiasm, motivation and non-judgemental options that are the cornerstone to achieving success and fulfilling potential. Coaching supports clients in finding the right solutions and eliminating negative and self-limiting beliefs about what is actually possible in the life of the client.
Steve Scott is founder of Stepping Stones Coaching and co-founder of CSP Coaching LLP. Steve provides personal development coaching, business and executive coaching, internet coaching, training and development seminars. Steve is also a published author, having written ‘Insiders:Outsiders – Personal Journeys Through Depression’.
He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.steppingstonescoaching.org.uk.
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