Academic journal article Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies

A Rational-Emotive Behavior Approach in Life Coaching

Academic journal article Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies

A Rational-Emotive Behavior Approach in Life Coaching

Article excerpt

Introduction: Definitions, purpose, history, characteristics, types, process, differences from psychotherapy

Definitions. Coaching is a learning strategy that is used to build the capacity of the individual to improve existing abilities, develop new skills, and gain a deeper understanding of his/her practices for use in current and future situations (Hanft, Rush, & Shelden, 2004; Rush, Shelden, & Hanft, 2003). It refers to a conversation between a coach and a coachee, where the coach acts as a catalyst for the coachee's learning process, in relation to some issue or goal set by the coachee. Through questioning, the coach aims to facilitate a learning process that helps the coachee to formulate clear goals - either work-related or personal - to recognize obstacles that may prevent the coachee from reaching their goals, and to identify steps towards reaching their goals. The coachee reflects on his/her actions as a means to determine the effectiveness of an action or practice and develops a plan for refinement and use of the action in immediate and future situations.

According to Cope (2004) coaching is at the intersection of the mental health type-of-help continuum, as it appears in the Figure below, amidst the processes of management, teaching, mentoring, counselling, therapy and mediation. Coaching helps all types of individuals to get extrinsic as well as intrinsic solutions to their issues, to help themselves and help others in a collaborative mode while focusing on performance as well as on potential at the same time.

Purpose. The coaching process moves the individual from current thinking, behaviors, and performance, to expanded thinking and enhanced performance, toward a more integrated self, sustainable development, and success. The ultimate purpose of coaching is for the coachee to master his/her well-being, to get the most out of his/her life and flourish in the short- and the long-term.

History. Historically, coaching has been a term used primarily in sports. Yet, coaching as a process can be found in the fields of business (Coe, Zehnder, & Kinlaw, 2008; Doyle, 1999; Flaherty, 1999), education (e.g. Delany & Arredondo, 1998; Kohler, Crillery, Shearer, & Good, 1997; Tschantz & Vail, 2000) and health (e.g. Dryden, 2011a, 2011b). The use of coaching as an adult learning strategy has been described by early childhood special educators, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists as a practice to support families of children with disabilities as well as practitioners in early childhood programs. For example, Hanft & Pilkington (2000) encouraged early childhood practitioners to reconsider their role "to move to a different position alongside a parent as a coach rather than a lead player" (p. 2) since this allows for more opportunities to promote development and learning than direct intervention by the therapist or educator. Also, Rush (2000) noted that a practitioner-as-coach approach provides the necessary support to parents to improve children's skills and abilities rather than work directly with the child. Early childhood special education teachers concluded that they "should be prepared to act not simply as consultants to early childhood teachers but as coaches" (p. 42) because this offers a more structured system for jointly planning new learning and engaging in feedback as well as modeling by a coach (Dinnebeil, Mclnemey, Roth, & Ramaswamy, 2001).

Characteristics. Most coaching models and approaches generally agree that there are five generic characteristics of the coaching process (Rush & Shelden, 2005); joint planning, observation, action/practice, reflection and feedback. Joint planning refers to an agreement by both the coach and the coachee on the actions to be taken by both of them and/or the opportunities to practice between coaching visits. Observation involves thorough identification and examination, from the side of the coach, of the coachee's actions or practices to be used to develop new skills, strategies, or ideas. …

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