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Alliance: a unified voice for coaching?

News of the alliance of the International Coach Federation, the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Coaching, broke at the EMCC’s annual conference in Bilbao in November. But is it a key milestone or the thin end of the wedge? Liz Hall finds out what you think… The creation of the Global Coaching & Mentoring Alliance, between three of coaching’s leading professional bodies, is exciting news, although it remains to be seen exactly what impact it will have. On the whole, coaches have heralded the development as a good thing, hoping it will finally bring desperately […]

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The health coaching toolkit, part 5

Part 5: health coaching expert Professor Stephen Palmer, and Professor Cary Cooper and Kate Thomas, examine multimodal health coaching

Multimodal health coaching can be used for a wide range of health-related issues, such as undertaking and maintaining exercise programmes, weight management, stop smoking, managing stress, enhancing resilience and alcohol reduction.
It is also a useful approach to assist clients who relapse, which often occurs when they become stressed. For example, many of us will use comfort eating or drinking to help us cope with work overload, and this can increase our calorific intake, yet we are too busy to counter this by taking more exercise.
This is not very useful if you want to maintain your existing body weight, especially as our choice of comfort food, when stressed, can be of a high calorific value.
Others, when stressed, will either start smoking again or smoke more if they have not already stopped. Not surprisingly, this can have a negative impact on their health coaching programme. In these cases, it may be preferable to have a more comprehensive understanding of the different issues that may be having an impact on the client. The multimodal approach, originally developed by Arnold Lazarus, literally takes us back to basics, where the coach assesses the different factors involved.

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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.”

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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.

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The health coaching toolkit: Part 3

Health coaching expert Professor Stephen Palmer focuses on the cognitive behavioural approach to health coaching.

The cognitive behavioural approach (Ref 12) to health coaching is based on helping a client to examine Health Inhibiting Thinking and strengthen Health Enhancing Thinking so they can achieve their desired Health Enhancing Behaviours and goals. It uses an overall structure to coaching meetings to maintain a business-like approach.

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