I work in Tower Hamlets, specifically in the Bethnal Green area and my job is supporting others to reach their true potential. I find it really unique and rewarding. It’s a job that has been needed for a long time.
Coaching offers patients an introspective look into themselves so they can make decisions for themselves and help better their own life/health. This is useful because it gets patients to be active participants in their own life.
The most important thing I do is ask the people I coach to look at their lives and understand where they are currently and where they would like to be. This gives them the space and time to take ownership of their lives, which a lot of people struggle with. Overcoming that is what makes a change.
This initiates what we call ‘change talk’, which is where people start to look at making better choices to get closer to their ideal lifestyle. Other techniques that help people get in the right headspace for change include breathing exercises. They help us centre ourselves and get rid of external worries so we can focus on what matters to us.
From feedback I have received, I know coaching can make a substantial difference. It allows patients to feel understood by a health professional and also to understand themselves a lot better. This is huge in terms of feeling more confident about their own health and more in control.
How does health and wellbeing coaching work?
People can come to me via referrals from anyone at their GP practice or by referring themselves whenever this option is made available to them. So please look out for text messages from your practice inviting you to have health and wellbeing coaching.
A typical day for me consists of one to one health coaching sessions with people, each session is 45 minutes or an hour depending on what stage of coaching they are at. I also have meetings with other health professionals and send lots of emails to colleagues I work closely with, for example, social prescribers or care coordinators.
Most coaches also take time to work on their own ‘projects’. This is so we can reach more people who may benefit from health coaching, instead of the select few who come through via GP referrals. We would like to extend health coaching to as many people as possible. This goes hand in hand with promotional work that coaches sometimes have to do to ensure patients and colleagues are aware of the service and understand its benefits.
Example of someone who benefited I worked with Lindsay Friend whose story you can read here.