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Health-Based Coaching: The Many Dimensions

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Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. We have found that many health-related issues (especially those involving trauma and sustained negative stress) are best addressed jointly by a health-based coach and an experienced psychotherapist. As professional coaches, some of our best work is done when we help our client recognize that they need work with a therapist, while also working with us.

Biofeedback is a technique you can use to learn to control your body’s functions, such as your heart rate. With biofeedback, you’re connected to electrical sensors that help you receive information (feedback) about your body (bio). Biofeedback is an effective technique for training people to change the variability and dominant rhythms of their heart activity.  Once again, an alliance between health-based coach and bio-feedback technician is often of great value—especially in the reduction of negative stress.

Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that measures brain waves to produce a signal that can be used as feedback to teach self-regulation of brain function. Neurofeedback- is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. We observe the brain in action from moment to moment. We show that information back to the person. And we reward the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. A health-based coach will find it of great value to become knowledgeable about this new technology and to partner with a technician (or psychotherapist) who is using neurofeedback in their work. There are several “over-the-counter” devices being marketed as neurofeedback devices that can be self-applied. We urge caution in the use of these devices by yourself or your client. Someone with training is needed – especially because these devices will often activate the HPA Axis in response to re-emergence of traumatic memories.

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