Grief coaching is one of the most fulfilling ways to use psychology coaching skills to help a coaching client. There is no feeling like knowing that you made a client happy after a long or intense sad time in their life. What you might be surprised about is that grief coaching is actually much easier for a naturally empathetic and intuitive coach than you might think. If you have decent psychology coaching skills already, with a few additional understandings, you’ll save your coaching client a lot of needless pain and suffering.
The 5 Minute Grief Coaching Cure: Psychology Coaching to Change Their State of Mind
One of the first things you’ll want to do when you get a client stricken with grief is to use a 5 minute technique to massively change their state of mind. The first step is to use anything outrageous to jar them out of their current funk. For instance, do something to make them laugh, or make them angry, or get them in a more curious state of mind. Really, anything that you can do that won’t hurt your client or your relationship with your client may do at this point. The object is to get them out of the depth of despair that they are currently in.
Once you’ve knocked them out of the current ‘grief state’, you want to demonstrate how quickly they can change their emotion by putting them in a new state of mind. Use good psychology coaching skills and simply ask them to change their physiology (Have them stand up and breathe deeply with a big smile on their face. Get them to dance around like a crazy person, etc.). Get them focusing on things in their life that make them happy and excited (Have them visualize those things in their head, or put themselves back in a time when they felt great.). Get them to use positive and joyful language patterns (i.e. have them say positive things and things that make them happy).
The Linchpin to Grief Coaching: Creating a New Meaning
Once you’ve used your psychology coaching skills to change their state, and they realize that they can change how they feel regardless of their circumstances, now is the time to help them keep that change for the long term. This is the key to grief coaching: Move them out of feeling bad all the time to feeling good most of the time. All you need to do in order to create this change in how they feel for the long term is help them to find what meaning they are creating in their life (whatever the circumstances happen to be) that is causing them so much grief. Then work with them to change that meaning into a more positive or neutral one. Make them understand that they are in control of the meaning they create our of any circumstance, so they might as well get your psychology coaching on how they might create a meaning that serves them.
Good Grief Coaching Means Better Client Choices From Powerful Psychology Coaching
To be good at grief coaching, you’ve got to be good at helping people make better choices. When your psychology coaching leads to your clients making better choices about what they do in their life to make themselves happy, as well as how they get over their own grief about the not-so-happy parts of their life, you’ll be well worth your coaching fees.
Jeffrey T. Sooey
CEO, JTS Advisors
Founder, Coaches Training Blog community