The health coaching toolkit, part four

Part 4: health coaching expert Professor Stephen Palmer expands on cognitive behavioural health coaching. This issue: cognitive thinking skills

Thinking skills help a client develop Health Enhancing Thinking (HETs). Some health-inhibiting styles of thinking develop over many years and become ingrained and resistant to change. In specific situations, such as smelling one’s favourite fatty food, the client need only think, “That smells great. I must have it now”, and next thing, they are eating it! Or with tasks they fail at, instead of thinking, “I’ve failed to reach my health goals today, I’ll have another go tomorrow”, they have a more unhelpful ending to their Health Inhibiting Thinking (HITs): “I’ve failed to reach my health goals today; this proves I’m a total failure.”

Quality assured

Against the backdrop of sweeping changes in the NHS, clients are reporting increased ability to manage organisational change, among other benefits, according to ongoing evaluation, say Sue Mortlock and Alison Carter The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has invested significantly in its executive coach register over the past seven years, in order to quality assure the external executive coaches it uses to coach its senior leaders. The rigorous recruitment to the register has been well-documented (Coaching at Work, vol 5, issue 1). What is less well-known is the work undertaken to evaluate the impact of the coaching this register undertakes. […]

Running mate

Politicians come from all walks of life and get little training for their complex, often combative, decision-making roles. Elke Esders explains how systemic coaching can bring much-needed clarity to their work. “What are you coaching?” It’s what most people in politics ask me when I tell them I’m a coach, possibly mistaking it for some form of training. Coaching has yet to really reach the political arena. There are several reasons: lack of knowledge, constant time pressure in a job that can take over your life and lack of institutional support in encouraging and financing it. In my dual capacity […]

Keep your distance

Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? Social media platforms are such an integral part of modern lives that clients are crying out for a more flexible approach to coaching. Kate Anthony describes the benefits of online coaching. The use of technology to deliver therapeutic services has increased substantially over the past 15 years, yet coaching at a distance has had a surprisingly small uptake. Jennifer Baker of TheCoachOnline says: “The coach’s main concern is about losing the personal one-to-one interaction. Some coaches are not seeing the opportunity of how to use the Internet as a tool to enhance their business.” The rise […]

The stress professor

World-renowned counselling and coaching psychologist, founder of the Centre for Stress Management, Centre for Coaching and the Coaching Psychology Unit, Professor Stephen Palmer’s boundless energy has helped add many strings to his bow – just don’t put him in a box, he tells Liz Hall

As we talk, Stephen Palmer watches tanker ships on the horizon, waves crashing against the walls on the beach below his house in Cornwall. Other times he might see dolphins. But “always there’s the sound of the sea, which I love”.

Palmer is well-known globally for contributions to coaching psychology, stress management and Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC). He’s known for his involvement in many projects and professional bodies, and for his high energy levels. The artistic, reflective and nature-loving side is less well-known.

Palmer does have fingers in many pies. Even in Cornwall, where he comes to reflect and to write, he is very productive. He has written and edited more than 40 books and more than 225 articles. He also produces seascape-inspired semi-abstract paintings and often explores the coastline.

Mind and body
Biology is one of many recurring and long-standing interests in Palmer’s life and work. Psychology is another. He’s been interested in human behaviour since childhood.

How low can you go?

Persistent and widespread poor self-confidence is proving a major problem for one consumer goods firm. Coaching has worked before, but the problem is creeping back. What next for its HR manager? Harry is a senior-level HR practitioner in a large, fast-moving consumer goods organisation. The business has an ongoing problem of low self-confidence among staff, marked by a wide range of unproductive attitudes, feelings and behaviours. When setbacks or failures occur, staff confidence often buckles, which becomes an insidious and challenging source of interference to effective performance and wellbeing. The individuals demonstrate self-doubt, indecisiveness, isolation, disengagement and frustration, resulting in […]

Can you lead if you don’t know what you’re leading for?

Three minutes to midnight This is the second in a new series of columns on our role in tackling the complicated economic, environmental and social challenges we face. It will be a place to question, offer, share, explore, challenge, dissent, celebrate, reflect, learn and enjoy There is so much to celebrate from the recent Olympics and Paralympics. Something amazing happened and I sense it may take years for us to fully understand the impact and repercussions. But taking just one strand… Lord Coe’s interviews, particularly in the final few days, revealed a pattern: the letter P. He spoke again and […]

When hai means no

by Maren Donata Urschel Japanese culture has a bewildering array of rules, but its many gestures of respect could prove a powerful addition to coaching Japan will always hold a special place in my heart. I spent my honeymoon there this March and I’m completely and utterly fascinated by its culture and people. I’d like to share some of the stories that most intrigued me and which I found to be relevant to my coaching practice. Respect can be shown visibly and invisibly to a person. In both cases it makes a positive difference. In Japan, ticket clerks bow in […]

Spotlight on nlp

LETTER Your articles on neuroscience and NLP in the September/October issue (vol 7, issue 5) had my neural pathways lighting up and making connections! Drawing on NLP as a fundamental part of my coaching practice I found Trish Riddell’s article on research into aspects of NLP thought-provoking. First for its content, but second for making me curious as to why there is no systematic or comprehensive research into how and why NLP works. I’d be intrigued to know what other practitioners believe to be the reasons for this. Is it partly because there is just so much to it, in […]

The remotest idea

Viewpoint Dr Suzanne Edinger How can virtual teams forge relationships without ever meeting? Perhaps coaching can bridge the gap. In my current research, I am investigating the role of different types of relationships among remote members of a virtual team – who don’t meet face to face – and also with their leaders, and how these particular relationships might lead to better team performance. If there’s no chance of members meeting in a single physical location, then trust and connection between those team members becomes particularly important. Of course, building trust among members is a key issue in any team. […]