Coaching and OT

There’s more to coaching than solving, sorting and making plans

I know that many of you, if not most of you, are working as OTs in fairly understandable ways and the “barriers” to occupation you deal with maybe  1) physical or environmental, solved or improved with equipment, physical rehabilitation or care support 2) psychological/ cognitive/ sensory, which can be improved with a range of brilliant occupation focused interventions.  However, something which increasingly perplexes me on a personal and professional level are those “barriers” which seem somewhat intangible and lack a…

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choices

Choices

Why do we sabotage our plans…? There are not many things at which I readily admit excelling at, but self sabotage is definitely one of them.  According to Psychology Today, behavior is said to be self-sabotaging, “when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self-sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting”  I think the last one is rather contentious as other factors are often at play, but that’s the…

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Understanding our occupational selves: coaching and OT

Understanding our occupational selves: coaching and OT

I often write about how coaching helps us tackle barriers to occupation, be they lack of confidence or self-belief, the lack of a congruent, desirable action plan or the need to un-earth perhaps unconscious drives/desires which scupper our well-intentioned plans. However, I am often still asked “is this occupational therapy?” or “am I being an OT if I coach?” or “if a client figures it all out through coaching, why do they need me?” Of course, these are all complex…

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coaching

Coaching Occupational Choices: from “I” to “We”

I made this video yesterday and immediately doubted whether I should post it or not, but these are issues I feel very strongly about. Whilst we are a profession with our roots in healthcare and the medical model and a profession which values independence and personal choice, we and our clients operate in a much wider world. This world is interconnected, global, interdependent and our occupational choices impact way beyond our immediate world. Enjoy and if you hate it, feel…

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The Gap

  A short story I wrote recently following a discussion with a friend about counselling and coaching. It is meant to provoke some discussion. Please enjoy! The waiting room at the medical was exactly as she remembered it – the magnolia paint not quite covering the 1970s wood paneling – the faded pictures from St Barnabus sixth Form College photography competition 1996, had very little colour left in them.   “A bit like me” reflected Jane “a faded version of…

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Occupational Performance Coaching OPC

Occupational Performance Coaching OPC

  I don’t remember the last time I ripped open my BJOT with gusto, but last month, I really did! “Mothers experiences of engaging in Occupational Performance Coaching ” Fi Graham, Silvia Rodger and Jenny Zivani, gives a clear voice to what those of us OTs who coach, have known for sometime – coaching has a clear and effective role to play in OT practice. It can be at the heart of our intervention, not just an add on. Without…

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So What’s Coaching For?

So What’s Coaching For?

  An American researcher called George Vaillent set up a longitudinal study with a group of male students at Harvard Medical School in the 1940’s to try to review their levels of happiness as they traveled through their lives. Last year, in a Radio 4 interview he concluded that the word happiness is in itself a misleading word as it smacks of ‘getting lucky’ or just hedonistic self-gratification. But most interestingly he identified that the men in his study who…

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Noticing your own process as a coach (and an OT)

Noticing your own process as a coach (and an OT)

  I have had a growing awareness lately of the differences between my health mentor and my long standing coach. I sought a “new” approach regarding my health and well-being, not because my existing coach wasn’t sufficiently skilled to tackle this, but because I have long respected the position and stance of this particular health mentor and, as with most of my decisions, it just felt the right thing to do! What I have started to appreciate is the very…

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Positive Psychology and OT

Positive Psychology and OT

  Shifting away from a “deficit- conflict” approach can be hard for traditional therapists. Not only are we battling with our training which has often asked us to identify problems and place them at the cornerstone of our assessment, culturally our clients are all too well trained to identify what’s “wrong” them – we all are. As OT’s we are no exception, having a goodly dollop of medical model still flavouring our practice at times. Positive psychology has at its…

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“Coaching? Don’t we do that anyway?”

“Coaching? Don’t we do that anyway?”

  I uttered those words when I attended my first coach training weekend back in 2005.  I remember sitting there feeling quite “put out” as topics such as communication, listening, motivation, life skills etc. reared their head. I was seething. “we do this anyway! We’ve been doing this in OT for years! Grrr” these “coaches” need to learn a from our profession, not the other way round…what am I doing here?!”   For once I glued my mouth shut and waited.…

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