What’s out there – and what we do.
Here are some descriptions of ‘mass market’ therapies currently in use. Some work well, and others are very heavy-going and take forever. You can expect Powerchange Coaching to last 1-4 sessions and be over in about two to three months. We use some aspects of all these as long as they have a clear scientific base and work for the client.
In Powerchange we tend to favour:
1) clear explanations so you find it easy to understand and engage with your coach and your coaching.
2) A selection of carefully phrased ‘smart’ questions that you don’t have to answer out loud if you don’t want to. (If fact they work even if you don’t attempt to answer them at all.)
3) Empowering tips and tricks you can take away from the session and use whenever and with whomever you want.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is not a ‘therapy’ in the conventional sense of having something ‘done to you’. It incorporates a set of techniques and strategies to enhance communication and personal experience. We use some NLP because some of it really works well. (Some of it doesn’t.)
The core of NLP is the attempt to replicate excellence, understand how individuals organise their thinking, feeling, language and behaviour to produce results. The theory is broken down into three layers:
Neuro: the establishment of our individual mental map of the world
Linguistic: how we each assign personal meaning to the information
Programming: Our behavioural response to the latter
NLP techniques are often utilised to instigate change and enhance personal growth, development and performance in groups and organisations, and with individuals
Solution-focused brief therapy
…focuses on a particular issue and promotes positive change, rather than dwelling on the issue or past problems. Clients are encouraged to focus positively on what they do well, their strengths and resources and to set goals to achieve them. It is solution based rather than problem solving. This therapy is a short-term therapy and as few as three or four sessions may be beneficial.
…focuses on a specific problem, and involves a direct intervention by the therapist who works more pro-actively with the client. It emphasizes precise observation, the utilization of a client’s natural resources, and the temporary suspension of disbelief, to enable the consideration of new perspectives and multiple viewpoints. The primary objective is to aid the client to view present circumstances in a wider context with increased functionality. Brief therapy is seen as solution based rather than problem solving, and therapists are more concerned with current factors preventing change rather than how the issues arose, the causes.
…is based on the theory that learnt behaviour in response to past experiences can be unlearnt or reformulated, without focusing on the reasoning for the original behaviour.
Individuals with compulsive and obsessive disorders, fears, phobias and addictions may benefit from this type of therapy. The focus is on helping the client to achieve goals and modify extreme behavioural responses to stress, anxiety etc. It is based on the principles of learning, operant and respondent conditioning, and can also draw upon theories from acceptance and commitment therapy, functional analytic psychotherapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, and can be integrated with cognitive therapy.
…is psychotherapy based on cognitions, assumptions, beliefs and behaviours, which aims to influence negative emotions relating to inaccurate appraisal of events. Therapeutic techniques vary to accommodate individual clients or issues but commonly include: keeping a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviours; questioning and testing cognitions, assumptions, evaluations and beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic; gradually facing activities which may have been avoided; trying out new ways of behaving and reacting. Relaxation and distraction techniques are also commonly used.
…is centred upon supporting the client to make sense of life through the willingness to face it and its problems. The existentialist belief is that life has no essential or predetermined meaning, the individual is entirely free and ultimately responsible, so meaning has to be found or created. This can trigger feelings of meaninglessness in life, thus the therapy explores the client’s experience of the human condition and aims to clarify the individual’s understanding of values and beliefs, explicitly naming what has previously been left unspoken. The client is supported in living more authentically and purposefully, whilst accepting the limitations and contradictions of what it is to be human.
…draws on the belief that people have a natural predilection towards health, but old patterns of behaviour and fixed ideas can create blocks interrupting the natural cycle of wellness, therefore effecting communication with others.
In its purest application, Gestalt therapy addresses what is happening in the moment, bringing into awareness an individual’s representation of the self, his/her response and interaction with others. Perls believed that only by living in the present is the client capable of taking responsibility for his/her actions. The belief is that to be fully present in the here and now creates within the client the potential for more excitement, energy, and the courage to live life directly. How the individual resists contact in the here and now, or how they resist change, is the rich resource from which the skilled therapist draws upon, as are certain modes of behaviour or symptoms that the client regards as undesirable or unsatisfactory. The skilled Gestalt therapist makes effective and efficient interventions to bring the client into awareness of not only what is happening and what is being said but also body language and repressed feelings.
…is a generic term for therapy dealing with people in relationship to one another, the interactions of groups, and their patterns and dynamics. Systemic therapy has its roots in family therapy, and family systems therapy, and approaches problems practically rather than analytically. It does not seek to determine cause, nor assign diagnosis, but rather identify the stagnant patterns of behaviour within the group or family and address the patterns directly. The role of the therapist in systemic therapies is to introduce creative nudges to support the changing of the system, and address current relationship patterns, rather than analyse causes such as subconscious impulses or childhood trauma.
Transactional Analysis (TA)
also has something to offer, so we use a small selection of TA techniques from time to time. TA is ‘Analysis’ and can be very drawn out.
Timeline Therapy works for us. Timeline (or lifeline, as it is sometimes called) was developed by American psychologist Tad James about 30 years ago. It is really useful in helping people who are particularly sensitive to their feelings in their response to the people and circumstances around them, and people who lose track of time. Again, despite its name, it is only therapeutic because it helps you feel great! (Therapy means TREAT-ment. Time line is a real treat to experience.
Today the brain sciences (called neurosciences) have given us a vast new knowledge of how people ‘work’, and we use that huge and ever-growing body knowledge to coach our clients.