When you begin working with a life coach, sometimes you don’t fully know what to expect. Should I see a therapist, or a coach or both? How do I figure out the qualities and experience to look for in a professional? What will help me get the most benefit in the shortest amount of time? In my opinion, a particular kind of coaching called compassion focused therapy coaching can bring you the best of both worlds. Let me explain.
You may have a general idea of how a coach can help you. From finding motivation, setting goals, and working on what is preventing you from achieving what you want out of life. Working with a life coach can provide so many benefits in a person’s life.
Occasionally, a life coaching experience does not go exactly as planned. It’s common to wonder if what you got out of your sessions with a life coach was truly useful. The same can be said of therapy too. And there are many different types of coaching and therapies on offer which can make it all rather confusing to decipher.
The truth is, not everyone should be a life coach AND not everyone should be a therapist either. While there may be many benefits to both coaching and therapy services, the end result from either approach isn’t always as successful as it could be AND after all of the time, energy and money you are spending to receive support, you deserve to have a great AND life changing experience.
I believe a lot of the reason that people end up unhappy with the results they get in coaching or therapy is that most coaches don’t come equipped with trained and licensed experiences into our human minds. That is – most coaches aren’t also therapists! And also, most therapists aren’t trained in coaching either.
This is where CFT Coaching, or compassion focused therapy coaching, can be particularly beneficial to clients! You can get the best of both worlds, in half the time if you find the right practitioner to work with.
1. What Is Compassion Focused Therapy Life Coaching (CFT)?
Apologies for alphabet soup here – I’ll do my best to explain things in a helpful way. A lot of people have heard of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT.) but it’s okay if you haven’t too. CBT looks at the connection between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and was developed in the 1950s onwards and continues to evolve. Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), in some sense, is considered a “branch” or “evolution” of CBT.
Whereas CBT focuses on those connections between feeling, thinking and acting, Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) places an emphasis on developing the tools of empathy, grace, and kindness towards oneself based on the latest neuroscience. CFT utilizes a system of three systems to teach people how to emotionally regulate, reduce suffering and thrive. Each one of these systems can also influence one another.
- The Drive System – Used to achieve goals and accomplish
- Soothing System – Helps you to slow down, rest, and show kindness and support towards yourself.
- The Threat System – Unfortunately, where most of us spend our time. This is the system that causes us to perceive danger when there is none (anxiety) and is used to protect ourselves agains potential threats.
Some people call Compassion Focused Therapy a “Third Wave” CBT approach, while others consider CFT to be a therapy in its own right.
Having been fortunate enough to complete extensive advanced trainings in both CBT and CFT, I think the answer here is a big ‘both and’. More importantly, outside of the therapy world, in my experience, clients aren’t particularly concerned with the alphabet soup of labels, but rather want to know, can this approach and can this therapist or coach help me in my life? This is where compassion focused therapy coaching can be truly helpful.
Compassion focused therapy coaching utilizes the best that our current neuroscience has to offer on how our brains / bodies / minds work to help people learn how to manage their present lives, resolve past traumas while also looking to the future. Understanding how your brain works can help you skillfully navigate your life, based on the person you aspire to be.
2. How Does Compassion Focused Therapy Life Coaching Work?
When you think of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT(, it is highly focused on the threat and drive systems (your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.) In fact, the original CBT only focused on these two systems, which is how Compassion Focused Therapy came to be developed by Dr. Paul Gilbert, OBE, as he discovered the limitations of this approach.
He asked the questions, why doesn’t CBT always work? And, why does CBT sometimes work, but then seems to stop working over time? Out of curiosity and a true desire to help people, he developed Compassion Focused Therapy. With CFT, the focus is on all three areas in order to bring more balance to your life AND more balance to your past, present and future.
When you are working with a life coach, if one area of your inner being is out of balance, it is going to throw everything else off, as well. So as a life coach, I want to not only focus on the negatives/threats and what drives you, but what brings you peace and rest as well.
Working with a life coach entails more than just making the outward changes that you need to catapult you to success.
3. Compassion Focused Therapy Coaching Teaches You How To Truly Have Confidence In Yourself
The phrase “fake it til’ you make it,” is really an irritating one. It sends the message that if you fake being self-assured, eventually, you will be confident naturally. But unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Because outwardly you may appear as if you are confident, inside, you might not be.
So this is why in Compassion focused therapy coaching, combining CFT with life coaching can teach you how to show kindness to yourself while building up true confidence. Confidence in the decisions you make for yourself and your family. Trust in the goals and plans that you want to accomplish during your time on Earth.
Because working with a life coach involves more than just learning to set goals. It’s about setting the stage for a future that you know without a doubt you want.
With CFT Coaching, you can learn to truly love yourself. To see yourself as something that is deserving of everything you want out of life. To not feel as if you are an imposter who doesn’t deserve the things you have or want. Because you are worthy and you do deserve to get from life what you want.
Compassion focused therapy coaching focuses on helping you develop a super supportive relationship with yourself, grounded in the present while working towards the future self you hope to become. CFT Coaching is a highly effective (and fun) way to learn how to improve the relationship with yourself.
4. CFT Coaching Is Life Long!
CFT Coaching is a life long practice that is extremely rewarding. After all, no matter what happens to you, as long as you are conscious, you are going to be there in your life, right? So learning how to be there for yourself no matter what is truly a wise decision and in my professional opinion, one of the best investments you could ever make.
As a licensed counselor and life coach, I am in a really unique and strong position to help my clients accomplish their goals and to help them fully show kindness to themselves. I have received advanced specialist training in Coaching, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy. I would love to hear from you to learn more about your aspirations and goals. Contact me at my Honolulu or London office to set up an Online Coaching Test Drive or click to learn more about my life coaching and therapy services or if you have any questions about compassion focused therapy coaching.