How to Apply Psychology in Coaching

Very often, we see a strong parallel between life coaching and psychology and even come across the term psychology in coaching.

But before exploring how psychology and life coaching are intertwined, it is worthwhile to look at how they differ.

How to Apply Psychology in Coaching
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Qualification – A psychologist has a doctoral degree in the workings of the mind and the understanding of dynamics that develop between people. They must be licensed in order to practice as well as assess, diagnose, and treat different psychological conditions and disorders.

Life coaches are not mandated to be certified, but many complete courses and training for certification. The main task of coaches is to help the person being coached gain insight by having them deal with the appropriate questions and challenges.

Approach – A life coach goes beyond just a client–doctor relationship. A life coach is more like a guidance counselor—the coach ensures that any problem faced by the client is not only handled properly, but looked upon as a positive sign. The coach can also be an instrument of change or an “Empathetic Provocateur”—being both empathetic to people situations, while also able to provoke a response. Coaches also need to have the ability to draw out the answer without automatically giving it to the client.

Life coaching uses an approach wherein the one helping is also immersed in the situation as if he was actually part of it instead of just being a spectator. This is needed to understand the level of healing a client needs for recovery.

Rather than using direct scientific approaches administered by psychologists, a more personal and social approach of techniques are used instead by life coaches.

Support and Motivation – A life coach is a cheerleader in a way that he is there to initially place the client in a positive mood in preparation for a positive outcome. Proper communication techniques are employed wherein the life coach allows the client to speak out freely of his woes and troubles and concerns.

A life coach also becomes the client’s morale booster in the initial phase of the healing process and helps maintain the little morale that is left in the client.

This manner helps the individual feel less like a robot just waiting for repair parts to be given, and make them feel more like a human and being cared for.

The Benefits of Psychology in Coaching

Both psychology and life coaching deal with humans and prior coaching skills and understanding of psychology that a coach has can shape their coaching approach. Here are some ways psychology in coaching can help life coaches deal with their clients:

  1. Psychology can help people develop their self-management skills and self-regulation capabilities, for example increased efficiency at work.
  2. Psychology can help motivate people by developing an understanding of what motivates them.
  3. Psychology can help people identify sources of error or biases in their own thinking and develop more effective approaches to interpersonal situations.
  4. Psychology can help people recognize the effects of their own mind’s defense mechanisms on how they work and interact with others.
  5. Psychology can help people understand the psychological factors that affect how they interact with others, and how to improve their own interaction skills and interact in the ways that are best suited to each particular situation.
  6. Psychology can help people understand their potential and limits, hence helping them grow and change for the better.

There is a broad range of psychologies in coaching techniques that both personal  business coaches can incorporate into their coaching methods. Whatever the objective your client has, different approaches may be utilized. Each approach is akin to having a best friend guarding and supporting your client whenever they feel down and hopeless.

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Jeannie Cotter
Editor/Writer
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

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