Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is predicated on looking at the human reactions to events rather than the events themselves. Performance Coaches are of course already doing this and in meta-coaching (Hall) this represents one set of a panoply of interventions regarding the perceptions and ‘frames’ of the coachee. CBT methodology involves ‘Socratic’ questioning to create discovery. Again we see links with best practice in coaching where questions are used for the benefit of the coachee’s self-understanding rather than the benefit of (for example) a very poor coach who is struggling (and misguided) to decide where to ‘lead’ the coachee.
CBT is not at all like Gestalt methods though where the goal is only the journey itself, not any established outcome. With CBT, as with coaching, the objective is to facilitate the coachee to deal with issues, identify goals, discover a motivated and sustainable way forward and to learn from the learning (meta-application of solutions). the goal-focus makes CBT a suitable candidate for a coaching methodology. The CBT coaching model has just seven steps and hence the coach can concentrate on what matters most, the responses (in all their guises) of the coachee – as such, a CBT approach is a worthwhile proposition, particularly in the life-coaching field.
An expert in practitioner work with CBT Coaching is David Bonham-Carter who provides a Life Coaching service with CBT techniques for dealing with stress, anxiety, self esteem & assertiveness issues. He says, ‘CBT is not about simply replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. It is about helping you to achieve a balanced and constructive approach to life and to the problems or dilemmas that you encounter in life’.