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Alanna O’Broin & Stephen Palmer

A version of this paper was presented at the SGCP 1st European Coaching Psychology Conference in December 2008, as part of a symposium on Cognitive Behaviour Coaching: Research, Theory and Practice.

This paper reviews the coaching relationship from a Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC) perspective. Using empathy as one example of a key relationship component it identifies how building, establishing and maintaining an optimal coaching alliance for the specific coachee, through an explicit process of negotiation and renegotiation epitomises ‘the collaborative relationship’ a central tenet of the Cognitive Behavioural framework. It also highlights how extending to the relationship itself an emphasis on the cognitive-behavioural dynamics of the coachee and the coach, individually and in interaction can potentially assist in fostering, maintaining, and where necessary managing disruptions in, the coaching alliance. Power dynamics and time constraints are highlighted as themes possibly differentiating the coaching alliance from the therapeutic alliance. The broader-based explicit stance of the coach resulting in a reciprocal requirement for greater adaptability to the coachee’s needs are tentatively proposed as further differentiators of the coaching alliance from a CBC perspective.

Keywords: Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC), coaching relationship, coaching alliance, collaborative relationship, empathy, coach stance.

Full article: Volume 4, Issue 2 pages 184 - 194


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