Life Coaching and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT

life coaching, προπονητική ζωής, proponitiki zois

When talking about the relationship between life coaching and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), first of all it should be clear that life coaching is not a therapeutic intervention. However, the integration of CBT principles and approaches, in certain cases, can benefit the life coaching process. In the following, we will explore the meaning of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and its relationship to life coaching.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on how people think and act in order to help them with emotional or behavioral problems. It has been proved that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be effective with various psychological problems such as personality disorders, depression, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorders, etc.

The following equation constitutes the basis of CBT’s approach and therapeutic intervention:

A (real event) + B (beliefs and interpretation of the event) = C (emotional and behavioral consequences)

The way we interpret something that happens to us, influences our emotional responses in relation to this event. They way we interpret some negative events can lead to negative emotions such as depression or anxiety. However, the way we interpret an even is not always correct, realistic or useful. Sometimes, the way we think can lead us to extreme interpretations of the events, which can lead us to disorders.

In simple terms, it can be said that the main goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is to raise our awareness in relation to the way we interpret what happens to us and the way we feel and act, so that we discern the connections and deal with our psychological problems.

But how can we integrate CBT’s principles and approaches into life coaching and what would that serve? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and life coaching that has integrated CBT’s principles and approaches, share something in common: they both raise the clients’ awareness in relation to their beliefs, their emotions, their interpretations of things happening to them and their behavior.

This is not only useful in case of psychological problems. It is also beneficial for emotionally healthy people that want to move on with their lives, to make changes but something blocks them. And what blocks them is not necessarily something external. It can be something internal such as a belief or a negative emotion that results from an unrealistic way of seeing things. This is something that can happen to everyone and it does not mean that we suffer from a psychological problem. Life coaching is oriented towards actions and outcomes. If a client is pursuing a goal and, while being in this process, arise issues that prevent him or her to move on, these can be effectively tackled in the frame of life coaching sessions, using principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).