Life Coaching, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Neuro- Linguistic Programming (NLP) can be used to work together in any client situation. They act as tools to help improve, and change a person's life. Many practitioners specialise in one specific subject, however, the subjects can be combined to give the client a more ‘powerful and successful’ outcome and the practitioner a wider range of ‘tools and techniques’ to use.

As with Life Coaching, CBT aims to improve an individual's state of mind, focusing on the here and now, and providing ways to move past issues, and challenges, on the way to a brighter future. CBT focuses on aiding emotional change, and can be very useful in helping a client who is presenting with issues such as anxiety, depression, phobias, fears, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

NLP too can focus on issues, and aid a client to improve the way they think about themselves, and the issues they are facing. The difference with NLP, however, is that it can (but doesn't have to) look at the past, for reasons why a client is going through their current experience.
Many life coaches do not take a client into the past - leaving this to the realms of psychotherapy. When combining Life Coaching, CBT and NLP, we do not have to probe into a client's past, but it may just give us an understanding of why a phobia or fear is presenting as an issue.

Take a client who is experiencing ‘anxiety and panic attacks’ after having surgery. NLP can be used to immediately improve how they are feeling, as you begin a coaching session. NLP can also soften the memory of the experience, so that it doesn't hold as much power for the client. Life coaching techniques can be used to help the client plan to move away from their bad experience, and towards a better future. Planning for change helps the client to take back control of their lives, and to break out of the rut they find themselves in.

NLP can aid a client to have a clear picture of who they want to be. It utilises our representational systems to make our positive thoughts brighter and clearer, while diminishing negative thoughts. Techniques like the ‘new behaviour generator’ and the ‘superhero visualisation’ benefit a client's imaginings of their future.

However, sometimes extra support is needed, and that's where CBT can aid a life coach in their work. Someone who has phobias or fears will not forget them immediately after one session. They need help when they leave the session to cope in their everyday world.

CBT can not only provide skills and coping strategies, for a client to use while they are dealing with their current issue, but also coping techniques that might aid them in the future. Techniques like balancing statements, the FEAR mnemonic, distraction methods, looking at the pros and cons, affirmations and activity scheduling, can all be given to the client as 'homework'. This will actually build up a ‘skill base’ that a client can use at any time in their lives.

Put together, Life Coaching, NLP and CBT, make a powerful mixture for helping people to effect change in their lives. Change that will really make a difference!

Author's Bio: 

Sarah-Beth Watkins is a published Author, Web Writer, Feature Writer, Life Coach and NLP Practitioner.

SNHS Dip. (Life Coaching), SNHS Dip. (Advanced Life Coaching), SNHS Dip. (CBT), SNHS Dip. (NLP), SNHS Dip. (Hypnotherapy) and SNHS Higher International Diploma Holistic Therapies

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