The way you think about events in your life profoundly influences the way you feel about them; change the way you think and this will, in turn, change the way you feel. This is the essence of a widely practised and research-based counselling approach called cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT). Understanding your view of events provides the insight into why you feel and act in the ways that you do (e.g. you are anxious about public speaking and avoid it because you fear that your performance will be less than perfect). Armed with this knowledge, you can then decide if you want to change this viewpoint in favour of one that is more likely to bring you better results in life (e.g. ‘Competence and confidence will come through actually doing it. Doing it as well as I can is far more important than doing it perfectly’). How this is achieved is the subject of this book.
The founders of CBT, Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis, have been very keen to move it out of the counselling room and into the wider society in order to reach the largest audience possible with their problem-solving or psychoeducational methods. We are particularly interested in its psychoeducational aspects in our work with non-clinical groups and call our practice in this context cognitive-behavioural coaching (CBC). Coaching has been defined as ‘the art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another’ (Downey, 1999:15). We believe that CBC fits the bill for such personal growth.
CBC does not offer any quick fixes to achieve personal change or ‘magic away’ personal difficulties; it does emphasize that sustained effort and commitment are required for a successful outcome to your life challenges or difficulties. So if you are the kind of person who wants great change for little effort, then this is not the book