Life Coaching with CBT Techniques
* Make Life Changes *
*Become More Assertive *
* Deal with Difficult Emotions *
* Build a Positive Future *
* Relieve Anxiety & Stress *
* Increase Self Esteem & Confidence *
* Learn CBT Techniques for Self-Help *
I provide self-help material and life coaching sessions incorporating CBT Techniques to help people through difficulties. You can find details of my downloadable self-help ebooks and other web-based self help products in the drop down list in the top left margin of this page.
Life Coaching with CBT Techniques - Introduction
The coaching sessions that I offer involve the use of CBT (cognitive behavourial therapy) techniques as well as standard life coaching exercises and techniques. CBT techniques are especially appropriate and likely to be useful for you if you are looking for help with:
- Assertiveness and issues around voicing your needs
- Self-esteem and negative thoughts about yourself
- Anxiety and worries about what other people think of you
- Emotional difficulties such as jealousy or anger
CBT techniques can also be helpful where you are looking to make changes or decisions in other areas of your life, such as career or relationships, if you feel a change in attitude or approach or finding ways of addressing negative thinking patterns might be helpful for you.
Life Coaching with CBT Techniques
- How They Combine
The CBT techniques element of my coaching is designed to help you to think and act in a more balanced way. The life coaching element helps you to explore and compare options, decide on goals to pursue and make positive choices and action plans.
Despite the word 'therapy' being in the name 'cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT techniques are in many respects very different from traditional psychoanalytical methods of therapy or counselling - The two people usually seen as the founders of CBT, Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, both formulated their ideas because of disenchantment with aspects of the psychoanalytical approach and came up instead with practical, helpful, effective methods.
What is CBT?
CBT, otherwise known as cognitive behavioural therapy, or cognitive behavioural coaching, evolved from the ideas of Albert Ellis (the founder of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy) and Aaron Beck (the founder of Cognitive Therapy).
There is actually no one thing which constitutes CBT and practitioners of CBT may differ in their preference for individual techniques within the CBT umbrella. Usually, however, coaches or counsellors who use CBT techniques share the following basic elements in their approach which are common to most CBT practitioners:
- A recognition that the way we think influences the way we feel, the way we act and the choices we make in life, career and relationships - thus for example if your mind is continually filled with negative 'self talk' you are likely to feel bad and this in turn may impede your ability to make practical choices in life and to meet your own needs in a reasonable way
- A commitment to using practical techniques which help you to analyse and deal with thinking patterns which are causing you emotional difficulties or affecting your ability to move forward in life
- A fundamental belief in realistic approaches and actions. CBT is not about simply replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. It is about helping you to achieve a balanced and constructive approach to life and to the problems or dilemmas that you encounter in life.
What CBT Can Help With
CBT provides a set of techniques used by counsellors and life coaches which are particularly effective in helping people who are experiencing:
- Negative thoughts and emotions
- Self esteem or assertiveness difficulties.
It is also commonly recommended as a successful method for helping people suffering from depression or other low mental states and research evidence supports its use as an effective tool in helping with such issues (this can be in conjunction with medical support and you are advised to contact your GP if you think you may be experiencing depression).
At the time of writing, the National Health Service in the UK is focusing on training more practitioners of 'psychological therapies' of which the most well known is CBT which is viewed as being amongst the most effective ways of dealing with anxiety and depression. This is an example of the esteem in which CBT techniques and approaches are held amongst health and social care organisations and professionals.
Example 'CBT' Exercise - The ABC Model
My coaching sessions work by focusing on those aspects of your behaviour or thought patterns that are most problematic for you and identifying ways in which you can adjust them or deal with them to help you progress in the areas where you want change. A simple example of a technique that might be used in coaching sessions to help you is the famous ABC Model invented by Albert Elllis (one of the founders of cognitive behavioural therapy ("CBT")). Using this model you might be asked in a coaching session (or in a 'homework' exercises following a coaching session) to reflect on an issue that you find is a repeated problem for you in the following way:
A - Activating Event: Describe what the typical situation is in which the problem arises
B - Beliefs: Note down your thoughts, beliefs and feelings which the situation triggers
C - Consequences: Describe how you then typically act and how you then feel.
In coaching I will then explore with you what are your options at each stage for breaking the negative cycle. I will discuss with you:
- Actions that may help prevent the problem situation arising again
- Things you can say to yourself or do when negative thoughts arise to help put them in perspective or approach them rationally and positively
- Actions you can take to break away from negative thoughts and feelings or deal with them differently
- What you can do afterwards to help you feel better about the consequences.
I encourage you to practise any potentially helpful approaches outside of coaching sessions and then report back at the next coaching session.
Format for Coaching Sessions
I can provide my life coaching with CBT techniques sessions:
- On the telephone or
- By Skype or
- Face to face (in Bristol, UK)
There are advantages to each method. Feel free to call me if you are not sure which would be best for you in your current circumstances.
My coaching sessions usually last 1 hour.
At the end of each coaching session we agree practical actions for you to try out to help towards the outcomes you are seeking and I usually provide you with some relatively simple 'homework' exercises to help you to learn CBT techniques or to assist you in clarifying and moving towards your goals.
Coaching Topics that Can be Covered for You
I can provide coaching to cover most of the usual areas that people seek life coaching assistance for, such as career development or relationship issues. However where CBT techniques are most effective is around issues where anxieties, stresses, fears or mental blocks are inhibiting you from making effective change.
If you find yourself commonly thinking self critical thoughts, comparing yourself to others or if you think that you are sometimes your own worst enemy, it is likely that you will would benefit from the specialist life coaching service with CBT techniques that I offer.
Dealing with Negative Thoughts and Feelings
If you experience negative thoughts or anxieties you are not alone, but you may have more choice over the way that you deal with those thoughts and feelings than you recognise.
Most people have periods of their life or specific situations, circumstances or relationships in which they feel stressed or have difficulty in achieving their full potential or expressing themselves assertively.
In such situations you can find that you:
- Feel trapped by a particular situation, have a sense of going round in circles or feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall
- Lacking motivation to take the first positive step to change
- Finding it difficult to see the wood for the trees or
- Feeling nervous about things you have done or left undone
The combination of life coaching techniques with specific CBT techniques to deal with problematic thoughts processes is ideal for this kind of situation where negative thoughts are creating stumbling blocks for you in achieving your goals.
Self Esteem and Confidence
Self Esteem is part of our self image which develops during childhood and is a combination of our own natural personality features together with the messages and influences we receive from those around us about how we should act and feel about ourselves.
Coaching using CBT techniques is particularly effective in this area because it can help you in a supportive way to examing how your thought processes and negative self perceptions are impacting on the rest of your life and then give you techniques and ideas to create a more positive self image and counter negative thoughts.
Assertiveness involves communicating effectively by explaining clearly to others what your needs and wishes are in a reasonable way without being overly aggressive.
Often what gets in the way of being assertive is a worry about what the consequences will be - What will other people think of me? How will they react? Am I being selfish? are the sort of thoughts that might inhibit you from communicating in an effective assertive way.
The focus of CBT on helping you to examine and change thought processes which are making it difficult for you to communicate effectively can be extremely useful in giving you the confidence and ability to start expressing your needs and wishes in a clear and reasonable way.
Stress can be caused by a variety of factors, relating to for example:
- Your work situation
- Difficulties in relationships
- Anxieties about certain situations or about your future or yourself.
Coaching can help you to deal with stress in effective ways by:
- Providing basic stress management advice - about how to look after your body sensibly and ensure that you achieve a level of balance in your life
- Helping you to analyse your options for dealing with stressful situations
- Helping you, where appropriate, to think about stressful events in a constructive way and to deal positively with negative thoughts that may be contributing to your stress.
Everyone get anxious at some time or another, but if anxiety is dominating your life or certain aspects of it such as work or relationship, then coaching can be helpful to enable you to look at your anxieties in a calmer, more reasonable way, to improve your life balance and to help you meet your full potential.
Social anxiety is a condition in which you experience high levels of anxiety about being criticised or judged in a negative way by others which leads you to having high levels of fear about your ability to cope in social situations. Surveys have suggested that as many as 10% of people may suffer from the condition, although it was not commonly recognised as a form of anxiety disorder until the 1980s.
It is unlikely that you will find a magic bullet solution which 'cures' your social anxiety at one stroke, but CBT techniques and encouragement from a life coach such as myself who is familiar with this area can help you devise and implement strategies in a sensible step by step way which will help you to grow in confidence in your ability to deal with social situations and address underlying self esteem issues.
Performance anxiety or presentation anxiety can lead you to panic at the thought of having to take part in public speaking or give a performance or make a presentation at work or in another environment.
CBT can help you to work through the psychological fears that you are struggling with and learning relaxation techniques through coaching can provide you with additional helpful tools.
Amongst relationship issues, the one that I am most often asked to help with is jealousy. Jealousy in a relationship is one of the most destabilising of emotions and can be viewed as a form of anxiety. It usually indicates insecurity about a relationship involving suspicion and often involves a misguided attempt to reach certainty about whether the person you are in a relationship with is betraying your trust - it may not be possible to reach absolute certainty about this in a relationship, in which case the desire to know may simply lead to greater anxiety and frustration.
The cognitive behavioural techniques that I use in coaching sessions encourage you to take control of your jealousy rather than letting it take control of you. Coupled with coaching techniques to help build self esteem and confidence where relevant, this kind of practical coaching provides a useful practical way of learning how to prevent jealousy ruining your relationship or causing you anxiety.
Changing a Habit
If you are having difficulty breaking a habit, whether that is smoking or drinking too much alcohol or something more personal such as your behaviour in relationships or the way that you express anger, then motivational interviewing is a coaching model that can be particularly helpful.
Often people think that making changes is purely a matter of willpower. This is not the case. Iif you want help in beaking a habit and feel crestfallen that you have tried before and not managed it, then I can explain to you a model of change that many people find to be more practical. This can help to prevent you getting too down on yourself if you are find it hard to make changes and it can support you in sustaining motivation.
Diet and Coaching
Diet may be relevant to coaching in two ways.
Firstly, parts of your diet may be contributing to your problems - for example, caffeine or alcohol use can make mood swings and anxiety worse. Coaching can help to highlight some of these issues for you if they are relevant.
Secondly, if you have a weight problem part which you are having difficulty in dealing with because of underlying emotional, self esteem or stress related issues, CBT techniques may be relevant to helping you to manage some of the feelings and impulse eating habits that you are experiencing.Telephone coaching can help in a planned way to deal with any underlying emotional issues and support your efforts to maintain a reasonable healthy weight.
Living a Balanced, Purposeful and Satisfying Life
Where appropriate in coaching sessions, I can also teach or give information about:
- How to build up simple personal affirmations to help improve your confidence and self esteem
- Simple relaxation techniques
- Dealing with lifestyle issues and helpful stress management strategies
- Ways in which people manage to bring about successful change and break away from habits which can be harmful, such as excessive alcohol use, smoking or comfort eating.
My Coaching Expertise
I have worked successfully for many years in helping clients to learn and implement powerful personal and professional change and overcome difficulties in their life. My background prior to becoming a professional life coach was as a qualified social worker in the UK where he gained practical experience of helping people achieve changes in the most difficult of situations and received training in a numnber of techniques including those highlighted on this page, such as CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Brief Solution Focused Therapy and Transactional Analysis.
I have written specialist life coaching articles for the Association for Coaching and other sources of coaching expertise and information, on change management, stress control, relationship coaching and career issues and have been invited onto BBC radio and Sky TV to give advice on coaching issues. My books Introducing Self-Esteem - A Practical Guide and Introducing Assertiveness - A Practical Guide were first published by Icon Books in 2012 and 2013 respectively. They are available worldwide from online stores such as Amazon and from bookshops. I have also written several self-help ebook guides which can be purchased from this website.
I have helped numerous people to make effective, positive change in their lives, through learning specialist coaching and CBT techniques.
The techniques are practical and straightforward and do not involve painful analysis of your past. They are designed to be helpful, constructive and supportive.
Telephone Coaching in the UK & Worldwide
The mediums of telephone coaching and coaching by Skype enable me to provide a service for people across the UK and internationally.
I have coached clients from London, Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Brighton, Cheshire, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Hertfordshire, South Gloucestershire, Wales... all over the UK.
Internationally I have coached clients from the U.S.A., Europe, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Singapore, India, Vietnam, China and Africa.
Distance is not a barrier to telephone coaching. Sessions are confidential, professional, effective and time-efficient.
Face to Face Coaching Sessions in Bristol
If you live in or near the Bristol area and would like face to face coaching sessions then these are available as an alternative to telephone coaching sessions at your option.
What Evidence is there that Life Coaching Sessions incorporating CBT Techniques Work?
The specialist life coaching service with CBT techniques that I offer is based on research into the methods and strategies that are most helpful for people to make positive and real change. I also asks clients to evaluate their progress in terms of increased satisfaction levels after a short period of coaching compared with satisfaction levels before the coaching.
Some of the results achieved for clients in terms of increased satisfaction levels include:
- 400% increase in feeling in control of your own life
- 500% increase in feeling relaxed and in good mental health
- 200% increase in satisfaction with nature of work/daily occupation
- 150% increase in satisfaction with quality of relationship with partner
- 250% increase in satisfaction with use of leisure time
What Former Coaching Clients Say about the Coaching
Here are some comments of former clients::
"I am surprised at how calm and relaxed I am about things now..."
"I am a lot more in control of my life and have started to enjoy everyday things which I have ignored for so long. Other people have noticed a change in me and I can see that I am valued by my clients. The introduction of an action programme to help balance the work has given me a better lifestyle which is much healthier all round. Through the project plan I have been able to include leisure and health activities with decreasing feelings of guilt...
I am surprised at how calm and relaxed I am about things now... By using David's constructive exercises I have been surprised and then delighted by how much difference they have made. Ideas, thoughts and feelings which had been suppressed have gradually come back and given me confidence that I can achieve my dreams." Sylvia, Kent, UK
"It has been great to have someone to talk to. You really listened..."
"It has been great to have someone to talk to. You really listened - by this I mean that you did not just listen but took in what I said. I have the feeling that what I say is not just waffle. You are an extremely helpful objective observer and have helped me to understand what I am really trying to achieve.” Fiona, London, UK
"I have successfully implemented a fundamental change in the control of my reactions which in turn leads me to react differently..."
"I have successfully implemented a fundamental change in the control of my reactions which in turn leads me to react differently and I feel better about the situation...It was reassuring for me previously to think the worst scenario, because the payback was that I could be less likely to feel disappointed with the outcome of a situation. My new approach is a lot easier on the system." Pippa, London, UK
"David was supportive and full of practical ideas...."
For Information about fees or to Book a Coaching Session
Please Call 0775 452 4059 (UK) or contact by online form