Mindfulness based Approach to Coaching
Derived from the Buddhist meditative tradition, Mindfulness has found its way increasingly into a secular context. The Mindfulness approach to personal effectiveness, emotional intelligence and stress reduction has increasingly been subject to scientific research. Mindfulness-based Coaching is derived from Mindfulness-Based Aproaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). These approaches are very similar at their core and only differ slightly in content depending on the coaching goals. Both approaches can be adapted to specific problems and tailored to each individual.
MBSR is a programme originally designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, to help people cope better with physical illness, chronic pain and stress. While mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist teachings, the program itself is not spiritually based.
MBCT has been recommended as a treatment for depression in the NICE guidelines (UK Institute of Clinical Excellence). It is a powerful way of decreasing the high risk of relapse which has been observed with Depression. Newly published research now also demonstrates that MBCT is effective in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders and Stress Reduction.
Mindfulness Based Approaches to Coaching combines a form of eastern meditation with elements of Cognitive Therapy in the case of MBCT. Mindfulness means paying attention to our experiences moment to moment, without judgement. Being fully aware of what is happening, regarding bodily sensations, emotions, impulses, thoughts and mental images and developing an accepting attitude towards “what is” because it simply “is” without the interference of the mind’s effort to explain, label and rationalise things. This process gives us opportunities and greater freedom to choose and respond as opposed to reacting automatically and going down the same old mental ruts:
- Opens up new insights so we see more clearly
- Catch ourselves before we spiral into automatic and damaging thoughts and behaviours
- Recognising the tipping points that lead into spirals
- Letting go
- “Slowing down” or “Being rather than doing”, reduces heart rate and increases brain activity. Paying attention moment to moment to whatever arises without judgements:
- Increases self-awareness, self-trust and self-acceptance
- Fosters empathy for self and others and emotional intelligence
- Increases understanding of others
- Improves concentration and creativity
- Fosters serenity in the face of adversities
- Develops a more accepting attitude towards life and its challenges
- Helps in adapting quickly to changes and life transitions
- Reduces stress and stress-related physical symptoms
- Improves immune system functioning
- Allows one to give full attention to the work at hand
- Enhance overall appreciation of life
In a nutshell, Mindfulness is “Do less, be, feel happier and achieve more”.
Mindfulness is taught and learnt through personal experiences of a range of formal and informal meditation practice. The teaching is experiential and requires a commitment to practice daily for an average of 40 minutes during the 8 weeks course and when committing to a number of individual sessions. I will support you throughout this process.
If you are new to this approach, I would strongly recommend attending an MBSR or an MBCT 8 week course in a group, to gain a good knowledge and practice with the support of a group. In my experience, participants learn as much from their experience as they do from other group member's experience.
Once, you have attended a 8-week MBCT or MBSR group, you may wish to explore how Mindfulness can help you in achieving specific goals, using the same approach, on an individual basis. These individual sessions can then be tailored to your needs and support your practice.
I offer individual Mindfulness Based Sessions at my private practice in Central London and on the telephone and Skype appointments.