Coaching is one of the specialties in the field of psychology, and it generally involves helping patients who are under stress. Common examples of stressors include family conflicts, financial difficulties, depression and anxiety, grief, and violence at school or home find practical solutions. A coaching session may involve a coach and a single patient or a coach and group of patients. It is important to note that coaching is not a remedy for all problems. Nevertheless, individual and family coaching has many benefits, including the following:
Enables People to Talk About Their Problems
coaching sessions typically allow patients to talk about their problems, grievances, and frustrations without reservations. Just talking to a therapist can have a huge positive impact on someone’s psychological health. According to a study carried out by Jonathan Shedler, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, people who attend coaching sessions continue to improve even after they stop attending such sessions. Shedler believes that coaching works because it helps patients identify recurring patterns, evaluate destructive behaviors, examine relationships, as well as explore their own emotions.
Group coaching sessions tend to offer people facing similar challenges/problems peer support. Such support and assurance generally motivates patients to continue attending therapy sessions. In addition, peer support can help people with low self-esteem regain self-confidence.
An important aspect of coaching is preventing relapses. In fact, figures published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that between 40% and 60% of drug addicts relapse after undergoing detoxification. This places a huge financial burden on the nation’s health sector. This is where coaching comes in handy to ensure such people do not start using drugs again or engage in destructive behaviors. Coaches evaluate their patients during every therapy sessions to determine whether they are at risk of relapsing and then take the appropriate precautionary measures.
Improve Family Cohesion
In some cases, coaches may decide to involve entire families in coaching sessions. A therapist may take this approach to ensure that other family members support a loved one to make positive life changes and regain control of his/her life. Furthermore, coaching can help re establish strained relationships and reduce stress and anxiety among family members. In cases where concerned family members seek help on behalf of a loved one, therapists consider families involved as the primary clients. The opposite is usually true for a person who seeks help and then invites his/her family to attend coaching sessions. Irrespective of who is the primary or secondary client, coaching can improve family cohesion and unity significantly. However, involving family members in therapy sessions is a tricky issue that requires careful consideration and evaluation to ensure the person with a problem does not feel pressured to make certain life changes.
In summary, coaching has come a long way from the days when patients would lie on couches and talk to their therapists. Modern coaching mainly focuses on establishing trust between coaches and patients, asking questions, and advice giving. Some of the benefits of individual and family coaching include preventing relapses, enabling people to talk about their problems, and improving family cohesion.