Courses

We provide a range of health coaching courses, each involving an immersive and ongoing training experience (see the Health Coaching Quality Framework for associated evidence) to embed and sustain the mindset and behavioural shift amongst health professionals. The following outlines a summary of our main courses, and you can find more detail on the theoretical approach and curricula below. For more details, and to enquire about designing bespoke courses for your audience, please get in touch.

Coaching for Health – core two day programme

The course has been developed and honed over the last five years and continues to receive excellent feedback. The two days are split by two weeks, providing an opportunity for practice in between. In summary, the course covers:

Coaching definitions — comparing coaching with other interventions, exploring its principles and how they can integrate with other consultative methods.

Coaching framework — with demonstration, review and practice, we cover the most popular coaching framework and break down how it can be applied in clinical settings with limited time.

Theoretical model — combining Arnstein’s Ladder and Transactional Analysis to provide: a model for balancing the expertise of patient and practitioner, and understanding of when coaching can be applied and how practitioners can move between more and less directive approaches while still keeping the patient responsible.

Questioning — exploring powerful coaching questions, along the technique of ‘non-directive to directive questioning’ to help explore ideas and beliefs while still remaining patient-centred

Challenging — with techniques for challenging health beliefs, goals, behaviour, inaction – all the time keeping the patient in ‘adult’, and responsible

Motivating — using Motivational Interviewing techniques, and a wider exploration of motivation, to look at how patient motivations can be first elicited and then built

The course creates a safe environment, to enable open discussion and emphasises the integration of the skills in varied situations with patients and clients.

Coaching for Health – two x half day programme

Recognising the increasing demand on health professional time, we have designed a compressed version of our course into two half days. These sessions are still separated by a recommended two weeks to enable participants to practice. In summary, the course covers:

Coaching definitions — comparing coaching with other interventions, exploring its principles and how they can integrate with other consultative methods.

Coaching framework — with demonstration, review and practice, we cover TRGOW, the most popular coaching framework, and break down how it can be applied in clinical settings with limited time.

Theoretical model — emphasising Transactional Analysis to the aim of using a coaching approach in health and understanding when it can be applied to support clients and patients to take responsibility.

Challenging — with techniques for challenging health beliefs, goals, behaviour, inaction – all the time keeping the patient in ‘adult’, and responsible.

Embedding Activities: Refreshers & Masterclasses

The core two day programme lays the foundation of understanding and practice, and participants often state how useful it can be to receive ongoing training to help embed of skills. We provide the following embedding activities which can be tailored to each context:

Refresher sessions – day long training to refresh the core principles and frameworks, and provide an opportunity for further practice and reflection based on their experience of applying the models to date

Masterclasses – also day-long sessions, taking some of the most challenging and common situations, such as: working with resistance, multiple agendas, motivation, limited time, non-compliance, and providing additional techniques, practice and reflection

Embedding activities

In addition to the day long refreshers and masterclasses, we run shorter webinars and action learning sets to enable participants to reflect on their experience and co-create solutions.

Bespoke & Tasters

In addition to our general courses, we also develop and run bespoke and taster courses based on specific team / practitioner needs and desired outcomes. Please get in touch for more information.

Train the Trainer
We provide Train the Trainer programmes to upskill health professionals to join our Coaching for Health trainers network and deliver the courses to colleagues in their local areas. This includes full Trainers manuals and pre-course materials, along with the Train the Trainer course and post-course supervision and support. This supervision involves Coaching for Health Lead Trainers, co-delivering the programme with new Trainers to ensure the confidence and maximise quality. Do get in touch for more details.

Theoretical Approach

Coaching is a non-directive approach which sees the client as an expert. This is a vital aspect of the shared decision making dynamic of health coaching, but the practitioner must be able to integrate their own approach into the conversation. This adds a vital layer of complexity when bringing coaching into health, which a number of health coaching programmes may not sufficiently address.

The skilled ‘health coaching practitioner’ must be able to move between the roles of facilitator and expert, multiple times, in one conversation – recognising the patients’ varying needs and contexts. This isn’t easy, as many of our participants attest to. However, the potential benefits are significant, and not only for patient experience and health outcomes, but also for the consultation process and health professional satisfaction.

To address this need, our approach integrates two theoretical models – the Communication Ladder and Transactional Analysis. We’ve been developing this approach in our delivery of health coaching over the last six years. Transactional Analysis (from Eric Berne), a psychodynamic model, describes how responsibility is distributed in relationships. The Communication Ladder describes the spectrum of directive to non-directive communication approaches (from ‘Tell’ to ‘Empower’), and their impact on the patient consultation.

Transactional analysis model, communication ladder

On their own, each model is useful but partial; when applied together, they provide a model for fostering responsibility in an ‘adult-adult’ dynamic where there can be a meeting of two experts and shared decision making.

Without this, the risk is that participants of many health coaching programmes can leave the course inspired by the coaching frameworks, but find them difficult to apply to patients they see on a daily basis. This is likely to result in resorting back to more traditional consultation practices, constantly waiting for that elusive patient who seems ready for coaching.

By contrast, with a model for understanding how to combine the clinician’s expertise with a patient’s, one can begin to apply coaching to a much wider range of patients, incrementally, and where appropriate, moving patients on the journey towards ownership and self-care.

Curriculum details

Our Coaching for Health curriculum covers a range of areas and is based on the EMCC (European Mentoring & Coaching Council) competency framework:

  • Understanding self-management and ‘making the case’ – we use a mixture of evidence (e.g. around adherence), theoretical models (including the 10 minutes consultation time versus 6,710 minutes patients spend by themselves per week), and practical experience to make the case around the importance of self-management. We also utilise behaviour change models (Prochaska and others) to demonstrate the likely stages and how health coaching can add value at each.
  • Quality of patient interaction – the training breaks down the stages of the clinical consultation and uses coaching principles (non-judgement, motivation, resourcefulness, holistic, and recipient-led) to illustrate how the quality of interaction needs to be, and can be, built.
  • Core coaching skills and model – the main model used is TGROW and it is adapted specifically for a clinical consultation, identifying how it can be used in 10 mins, 5 mins and 2 mins – vital for real life clinical settings. Coaching skills are discussed and built in a series of interactive exercises, all based around practising TGROW (for familiarity) and around complementary questioning, challenging and motivational tools.
  • Non-directive & directive skills – coaching is principally a non-directive communication mode which has real value in health settings. However, health professionals occasionally need to be directive – to challenge patient beliefs and behaviours, and to provide advice. This course covers skills at both sides of the Communication Ladder.
  • ‘Real life’ examples – participants are invited to reflect on the skills and models in the context of real life examples at each stage of the training. Practice is done based on ‘real-play’ not role-play. Participants practice the skills in between training days and bring back real life examples.
  • Practice and feedback – participants practice coaching skills with each other, with observation from peers and tutors. Two trainers are on hand in each course day to ensure there is sufficient opportunity for attention across the whole group.
  • Action planning – at the end of each day, participants are coached (and coach peers) on how they can use these skills in real life situations, with patients they are due to see. The post-course evaluation includes opportunity to record the associated plans (in TGROW format) for subsequent reflection in the follow up questionnaire.