Some useful background.
The most successful coaching enables the client to become his or her own coach. I regard my role to facilitate that change both through our coaching sessions but also by ensuring a client knows where to find further information. Extra reading is not obligatory but, in contrast to certain types of counselling, I want my approach to be transparent and accessible to anyone who is interested in knowing more. The following are some books which I like and have influenced some of the material on this website.
The Feeling Good Handbook, David Burns. Plume, 1999.
Life Coaching: a cognitive-behavioural approach, Michael Neenhan and Windy Dryden. Routledge, 2002.
Cognitive-Behavioural Coaching Pocketbook, Dorothy Spry. Management Pocketbooks Ltd, 2010.
Handbook of Coaching Psychology: a guide for practitioners, Stephen Palmer and Alison Whyebrow, eds. Routledge, 2007.
There is lots of other information easily available on the internet which we could discuss and which could complement our coaching sessions.
And what is the difference between coaching, mentoring and counselling?
There are many definitions of coaching and mentoring, some contradictory and some overlapping. In my view, mentoring is likely to involve a relationship where the mentor has more experience and expertise than the mentee, and in the same or a related field. A mentor may or may not be professionally trained, and if she or he is trained some of the questioning and problem-solving techniques are likely to be essentially the same as for coaching. A coach is typically someone with training of some kind, ranging from day courses to university-level qualifications such as my postgraduate Diploma. The skills of a coach and a counsellor can overlap, again depending training orientation. My cognitive behavioural therapy studies were derived from psychology and counselling, which is evidenced-based whereas some coaching and counselling courses are not, and I continue to work with psychologists in various contexts, though I am not one myself.
Whilst counselling is generally directed at people who are unhappy with their work or life and feel they are not coping, coaching can help either people who are coping, cope better or it can help people who are happy with their position excel. The latter field, usually called ‘performance coaching’ is the perhaps the predominant coaching offered in work environments.