People often ask me what the difference is between coaching and therapy. You, yourself, may be wondering the same thing as you search for help on this site. I’m tempted to give a simple answer but in truth, there is a close boundary between therapy and coaching that can often feel a little “fuzzy”, even for those of us who work in both arenas.
The best way for me to describe how I work is that I use my energy differently depending on if we are working therapeutically or in a coaching context. As a coach, I am more focussed on what you want to achieve and how you might get there.
However, I don’t believe that this happens in a linear way and will work with you to make meaning of situations and relationships, so as to determine action in an emergent way. This means that, as well as a forward focus, we will be reflective about your life experience so as to understand how they impact you now and choices you make about your future. I do that as a trained professional and also as someone whose own developmental journey began with coaching over 20 years ago.
My philosophy is straightforward – work with people to help them uncover what’s truly important to them and act on it.
My wish for my clients is that they trust themselves, are able to find their own way of doing things in what are often complex working (and living) environments, and be courageous in their ambition and implementation.
My skill lies in being able to build real trust so that we can work on deeper matters, rather than just address the surface issues. I am gentle in style but direct and straight talking and I seek relational depth in all my work. This means my clients can expect me to be congruent, empathic and to bring unconditional positive regard to our work together.
Raising awareness is key to successful coaching. I help clients to develop inter personal and intra personal practices to develop understanding of their own experience and how they are perceived by others. Examples are:
- getting feedback from others on impact and reflecting on previous formative experiences and relationships
- taking stock of key relationships and creating action plans for investing in and developing those relationships
- using my relationship with my client as a means of giving feedback and reflecting back how others might experience them
- raising awareness of the system they work in to make sense of their own, and the organisation’s, patterns and what they might mean
- raising awareness of gender, racial, sexuality, disability and other diversity issues and how these might impact
- becoming more intentional about what they want to create
- developing regular meditative practices to create reflective space
- practising self compassion
Key Resources in my coaching practice
I use several key resources when coaching, drawn from my experience as a coach, consultant, supervisor and psychotherapist:
- Stages of Transition: to understand the importance of endings and beginnings and take steps to manage transitions (Bridges).
- Hierarchy of Needs: to develop awareness of what might be driving particular behaviours and understand the importance of meeting needs of self and others (Maslow).
- Influence model: to develop behavioural awareness and skill (Sheppard Moscow).
- Pathfinder: to help clients define future visions, limiting beliefs ad stories and create action plans (Institute of Human Development).
- Seven Eyed Process Model of Supervision: to help understand the different lenses through which issues can be addressed personally and systemically (Hawkins & Shohet).
- Stages of Change model: to inform our sense of where the client is at in terms of coachability and readiness for change (Prochaska).
- Immunity to Change: to help clients understand and overcome their limiting beliefs and assumptions (Kegan & Lahey).
- Time to Think: to generate better quality thinking in groups and teams (Nancy Kline).
- RAIN practice : to understand intense emotional experiences and to develop self-compassion (Tara Brach)
Who do I work with?
I coach a range of clients at senior levels in cross sector organisations, and people running their own businesses. I am passionate about supporting leaders to engage others in an ethical, relational and values driven way. I also work extensively with women leaders individually and in groups, to share experience and create sustainable careers and lives.
“What really sets Sandra apart is her experience from working with business leaders across the globe and her passion for her own development. She therefore brings a wonderful combination of fantastic experience, coupled with the latest thinking to her work.” (Director, leading financial institution)
“Sandra is a constructively critical listener and full of insights. Her coaching has helped me to achieve my short-term goals, and also to develop strategies to achieve my longer term goals. The whole process has let me put my values, goals, actions and the firm context into proper perspective. And her follow-up helps keep me focused on my strategy. In a word: “invaluable.” (Senior partner, City law firm)
Coaching Qualifications and Training:
I trained for 5 years with CoachU in the U.S., one of the first global coach training providers, graduating with a diploma in 2008. I then completed an internal coach training programme with leading expert, Peter Bluckert, who teaches a Gestalt approach to coaching and received a Distinction in my Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching Supervision at PB Coaching (Middlesex University) in 2014. I supervise several coaches in addition to my own coaching practice.
I comply with the Code of Ethics of the International Coach Federation’s (ICF).
Please either call or email me with coaching queries:
My coaching rates vary depending on your requirements. Please enquire for more detail.