Academic Coaching and Executive Coaching have something in common with psychotherapy as it is generally practiced in that both coaching and psychotherapy address self-limiting ideas that can leave a client compromised in one or more aspects of life functioning. Perhaps, it is unfortunate that mental health professionals are usually called upon to address these irrational beliefs from a mental health perspective, or what is often called the “medical model.” For an appropriate client, who does not meet the criteria for a diagnosis, the coaching perspective avoids the psychiatric scaffolding implied by a psychiatric diagnosis, a medical record, mental health claims, and the idea of a client’s being in therapy.
Coaching for under-functioning executives in the world of business and students in the world of academic performance, can help identify irrational beliefs regarding such matters as how much and what type of effort are required to achieve progress toward academic and career goals. These irrational beliefs may also entail what any given individual is capable of achieving, how and when to defer gratification in furtherance of goal attainment, and how best to identify and vector one’s own energies and capabilities toward a desired place in the academic and/or professional world.
The role of a coach in helping an athlete improve their flip-turn, their drives from the tee, and their tennis serve is straightforward and needs no explanation. On the other hand, an academic coach or an executive coach can provide similar help, and, for many clients, the medical model of the psychotherapist may not be the best way of conceptualizing what is to be accomplished in the encounter between client and what we might call the catalyst or change agent.
At Chesapeake Coaching, we would be happy to discuss whether a coaching relationship can help a frustrated student or athlete get back in the game or, perhaps, kick one’s game to the next level. Call or e-mail to request a consultation.
Amdrew J. Billups, PsyD