Life coaching is often about pragmatism and immediate change. Many people seek out life coaches over therapists because psychotherapy, while hugely important for most people, is often more of a sit-back-and-talk approach. Focusing on the past rather than present, and talk over action, therapy helps get to the root of many issues people may develop over the course of their lives. Life coaching is less about understanding why you feel the way you do, and more about understanding that you feel the way you do, and then being active in the present to make changes now.
The expertise of a life coach, with their empathy, understanding, support, and experience, paired with actionable plans and immediate activity, can reduce the amount of time, money, and energy that is required in the process of personal growth, and transforming your circumstances/patterns when compared with clinical psychology and psychotherapy.
Out of all of the tools that reside in the arsenal of a life coach, a lot of the practices they will use with clients stem from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (or CBT).
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT is a form of therapy made up of many different methods -all of which have one core element in common: to help an individual by understanding thinking patterns (or cognitions) and behaviors, and then changing those patterns and behaviors. It is recommended for several mental health concerns, including:
- Depression and other mood disorders
- Changing bad habits such as smoking, drug or alcohol addiction
- Coping with tinnitus
- Overcoming sleep disorders
- Adjusting thoughts, attitudes or behaviors
- Anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress
- Coping with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Overcoming obsessive compulsive disorders such as nail-biting
- Overcoming eating disorders such as bulimia
- Coping with psychotic or bipolar disorders
- Overcoming anger issues
- Coping with chronic physical pain
- Overcoming traumatic events
CBT is appropriate for children, teenagers and adults alike when it is adjusted to meet the mental capacity and attitudes of an individual.
This Form of Therapy’s Important Steps
The goal of this form of therapy is designed to assess and change an individual’s thought patterns in order for them to adjust their undesirable behavior. Counselors arrange several sessions with their clients to work on their traits and action plan, and a client may have one-on-one or group sessions with a life coach or counselor for several weeks or months to resolve an issue. There are several steps involved in this variety of therapy, including:
- Identifying the undesired behaviors
- Understanding if the inappropriate behaviors are deficits or excesses
- Obtaining a baseline of the behaviors to plan a course of therapy
- Increasing deficit behaviors and decreasing excessive behaviors
Correcting Inaccurate Thinking Patterns
A therapist can helps a client to identify their inaccurate thinking patterns that include:
- Creating catastrophes
- Minimizing positives
- Magnifying negatives
Different Varieties of Therapy
There are many types of cognitive behavioral therapy, including:
- Commitment and acceptance therapy
- Relaxation training
- Processing therapy
- Stress inoculation training
- Exposure therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Self-awareness training
The Six Phases of Treatment
When beginning CBT processes, there are six phases that clients must go through. These phases are:
- Psychological assessment
- Developing a new concept
- Acquiring new skills
- Consolidating and applying the new skills
- Maintaining the new skills
- Follow-up assessments
Clients Must Commit to Following a Treatment Plan
Clients beginning cognitive behavioral therapy must commit to participating in the sessions along with completing the homework assignments that are designed to change undesirable thinking and behaviors. This form of therapy has no dangerous side effects, and in many cases, it is practiced using computerized treatment plans that clients can read on their own schedules.
Clients Are Responsible for Their Own Success
A client requesting this type of therapy is involved in a goal-orientated program that is designed to last a specific amount of time. Clients are primarily responsible for their own success by following the treatment plan’s schedule and completing the practical assignments that are meant to change unacceptable behavior.