What is 'reflective coaching'?
Just as a sports coach aims to guide an athlete into reaching their full potential, my role is to offer you professional, non-judgmental and empathic support to empower you to become the carer you aspire to be. This type of support allows you to access individual on-going guidance, offered in a safe and confidential space. With the benefit of being able to apply valuable therapeutic practices, I will help you develop a reflective approach to caring for children, always holding in mind your very unique story and circumstances. Parenting and teaching feel just as hard and challenging as they do rewarding! In our sessions, I hope to offer you a great big metaphorical hug, grounded in knowledge and experience and cradled in sensitive playfulness and compassion.
What about the 'reflective' part?
Recent scientific findings revealed that the best predictor of a child's security of attachment to a caregiver is the way that the adult has made sense of their childhood experiences. In other words, how we understand our own childhood experiences has a profound effect on how we parent or care for children. Indeed, in the absence of reflection, history has a tendency to repeat itself, which leads to a vulnerability in adults to pass on unhealthy patterns from the past. By freeing ourselves from the constraints of our past, we are more able to offer children the positive, spontaneous and connecting relationships that they need to thrive. In addition, by deepening our understanding of our own emotional experiences, we are better equipped to allow children to explore a wider range of feelings and to relate to them empathically, thus promoting their self-understanding and healthy development. Making sense of our life can be the greatest gift we offer children and also ourselves.
Who is it for?
Reflective Coaching is most helpful to parents and teachers who choose to benefit from regular one-on-one support, tailored to their individual values, circumstances, strengths and challenges. Common areas of focus at home or in the classroom are: setting appropriate boundaries, bonding/building healthy relationships, managing difficult behaviours, anxiety, sibling rivalry, difficulties with attention and hyperactivity and struggling with transitions or parental separation. Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive but hopefully gives you a sense of areas we can work with.
I also offer individual coaching support to parents at work. Recent studies indicate that the vast majority of men (86%) and women (90%) in the workforce reported they would attend a workplace parenting intervention if one were available. Employers are increasingly recognising the need to support their employees in this area. Quite naturally, when our home life pressures and challenges become too great, our work will inevitably be impacted.
Please note that Reflective Coaching is not psychotherapy. Should you or your child/pupil require further support, we can explore various other options together and I can help you find an appropriate specialist to meet those needs (psychotherapist, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, or other).
What will our sessions look like?
We will meet once a week for 1 hour, unless otherwise negotiated. We will first meet for an initial pre-assessment that will allow us to decide how to move forward and how to best meet your needs. We will then start with a minimum of 6 sessions, by which time, together, we will review and decide whether to end or to book ongoing sessions. Coaching sessions are best held in your home or in your school. If this isn't possible then we can arrange to meet at my practice in West London. If working with you as a part of your employment support package, then sessions can be held in a private room in your workplace.
Together, we will explore your strengths, challenges and also your values, weaving them into goals that we will set in order to direct our work. I will not be telling you "how to parent" or "how to teach", but instead we will take a look at your unique story and explore new insights in parenting and teaching together. I will also offer you practical strategies to try out and help you feel empowered with a deeper understanding of yourself and of your child. Our work will be informed by the latest findings in attachment and relational processes, as well as recent findings in neuroscience. At times we may turn to the creative arts to explore particular issues or dynamics further. In addition, whenever possible and if helpful, I might also meet with the child's teacher or carers in order to promote consistency in the support they receive.
To book an initial consultation to discuss whether reflective coaching might be a good choice for you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form on the 'Contacts' page and I will be happy to explore this option with you.