This post is to help you understand why an OT is offering coaching and what OT coaching is: Most OTs use a coaching approach as part of their therapeutic interventions to increase occupational performance without even realising it, whether they are working with individuals, groups, organisations, and communities. There aren’t that many OTs using an OT Coaching approach specifically, however, the numbers are increasing. With the development of coaching as a skill set and an emerging profession, OT’s can see the power in the combination of the two approaches together = OT Coaching.
A bit of background for clarification:
The definition of Occupational Therapy according to the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT):
Occupational Therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement. (WFOT 2012)
The definition of Coaching according to the International Coaching Federation (ICF):
Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honour the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self-discovery
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
- Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients to dramatically improve their outlook on work and life while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential (ICF www.coachfederation.org section coaching FAQ)
Although many OT’s are using a ‘coaching approach’ when working with their clients, few are trained with coach specific skills. Coaches have a specific skill set in support clients to reach their personal and professional potential. With the two professions blended together in a session, usually through therapeutic conversation, it creates a powerful motivator and driver of positive change, more so, than OT or coaching alone. The outcomes for the client can be amazing by way of enabling them to move forward towards any of the following but not limited to the list below:
- Occupational goals,
- Dealing with a situation,
- Improving their communication,
- Improving their relationships
- And the list goes on.
The diagram below shows how OT and coaching blended together can dramatically improve occupational outcomes for clients.
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What my clients enjoy the most when OT Coaching is the focus is how they participate in all different types of activities, and the process of how they can improve these to prevent chronic health issues, injury, disease and general difficulties in their day to day lives, and master those activities to work best for them so that they can live a happy and healthy life. In essence, ‘mastering how they do their occupations’ which is essentially: ‘what they do’, ‘why they do it’ and ‘how they do it’. The flow on effect is; they can achieve more, feel less stress, have fewer health concerns and improve our overall health in terms of the physical, cognitive, emotional, psychological, and social realms of their lives.
And just another quote from a text in OT that sums up beautifully what coaching in OT looks like:
a specific conversational partnership for enabling occupational change that assists clients to clarify what is important to them, access their strengths, resources, and creativity, choose goals, and design and follow a plan of action to get what they want. (Pentland, Isaac-Young, Gash, Heinz (2016) Enabling Positive Change: Coaching Conversations in Occupational Therapy, Ch 3, Pg57 CAOT Publications, Ottawa)
If you are interested contact me on the email below or view the website via the link.
These services are extremely valuable for:
- Individuals for many reasons as stated above.
- GPs and other health professionals (Via referral) where health prevention strategies can be used from a cognitive, psychological and physical perspective to improve a person’s health and wellbeing.
- Accountants and Solicitors to assist their clients to gain clarity and forward movement in all different types of activities and situations, and to improve the person’s wellbeing.
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