GUIDE TO COACHING
Coaching is essentially an interactive process between two individuals – the coach and carer. Carers of people with eating disorders provide high levels of emotional and practical support to their loved one and this role can often lead the carers themselves to have high levels of distress. This distress can sometimes lead to unhelpful emotions and behaviours. Consequently, the aim of the coaching sessions is to try and instil a greater sense of mastery, empowerment and choice. I teach the same motivational principles as those you are encouraged to use yourself in the home with your loved one, i.e. open questions, affirmations, reflective listening, summarising and rolling with resistance. The fundamental aim of coaching is to set goals and action planning and during each session you’ll be encouraged to reflect on any manageable behaviours that you would like to address in an effort to help you move forward in a more positive direction with the eating disorder. You will be encouraged to use the strategies and techniques from the manual and DVD.
The very essence of the process is to examine any behaviours that you would like to see changed, either in yourself or your loved one. We work towards setting manageable goals. It’s important that you strike a balance between action plans that challenge some of the eating disorder behaviours yet aren’t so overwhelming that you are set up for possible failure. We want to keep up your motivation and instil a sense of empowerment in you, as the carer.
The New Maudsley carer coaching is designed to be used as a supplement to the skills training manual and the DVD. The DVD and the manual complement each other and it is advisable to read through the manual before turning to the DVD. The DVD describes the same techniques and strategies as those illustrated in the manual, providing a visualisation of practical examples of everyday situations through role plays.
It is hoped that these materials and the coaching process will help in reducing distress along with any behaviours that may be accommodating the symptoms. This involves contemplating and reflecting upon change. There are challenges to contemplating and instigating change: it is hoped that by experimenting with the ways you yourself react to the illness, that this will have a positive effect on encouraging change in your loved one.
The role of the coach :
- to support the carer at all times in a climate of trust, honesty and openness
- to maintain a non-judgmental attitude
- to actively listen to the carer at all times, offering constructive feedback and occasionally checking meaning through summarizing
- to encourage carers to explore options available to them
- to praise achievements, no matter how small
- to challenge and gently nudge carers out of their comfort zones
- to use effective open-ended questioning techniques to encourage reflection
- to facilitate carers to understand their own needs
- to act as a sounding board and allowing carers to brainstorm ideas and possible solutions or options
- to raise awareness and open choices
- to encourage responsibility
- to help carers explore their values and beliefs
- to keep carers on track within the session
- to help carers to set goals for themselves and defining their action plans
- to give 100% commitment within the coaching situation maintaining confidentiality within a team setting
Role of the carer:
- to determine a comfortable, realistic time-scale in which you can watch the DVD and read the manual and with the help of your coach, experiment in implementing some of the strategies in the materials
- to indicate how many times you would like to be coached in terms of intervals, e.g. weekly, fortnightly or every three weeks. It is important for the carer to be realistic when stipulating intervals taking into account other commitments. Please remember that if intervals are either too close together or, indeed, too far apart, motivation tends to fall.
- to state whether you would like your coach to make any suggestions should you run out of ideas. Whether or not you choose to accept these suggestions will be entirely up to you.
Unfortunately in the case of eating disorders, there is no magic remedy. The road to recovery can be a long and arduous one, a journey that whips up considerable emotional upheaval along its path. It is our hope that the techniques offered in the New Maudsley approach can replace the frustration, despair and anger with a renewed sense of hope, optimism and well-being that will ultimately be passed on to your loved one.
For further details of carer telephone coaching packages, contact Dr Pam Macdonald at firstname.lastname@example.org