After many years of tennis coaching and working as a sport psychologist the one thing that has become clear is that winning athletes have the ability to think positively whilst under pressure. Tennis, in particular, is a hugely demanding sport where mental toughness is needed in abundance, as there is no place to hide or no one else to blame. The raw emotion I have encountered from athletes who had just lost or failed to reach their goal is immense. I labelled this the “Hurt Zone”. Supporting athletes who had been injured before a final, or had not been selected for an Olympic Games forcing them into early retirement was about about trying to put these events into perspective and helping them move on.
In counselling, I encounter many people whose lives are troubled and their emotional pain is clear to see. Approaches such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) empower individuals to rationalise and seek evidence regarding their current situation rather then deal with irrational beliefs driven perhaps driven by emotional turmoil they perceive surrounds them. Dealing with thoughts, behaviours, emotions and physical feelings CBT can provide a clearer picture and a route forward. A short number of sessions with goals agreed by the client and myself focusing on a immediate problem can be a very successful way of dealing with issues of anxiety or low self-esteem. CBT is recommended by NICE (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) for a number of conditions which include depression, obsessive compulsive disorder chronic fatigue, behavioural difficulties in children, anxiety disorders in children, chronic pain, sleep difficulties and anger management
With CBT in particular, I believe that there is a great opportunity to reframe to a more positive experience where the client and counsellor engage towards agreed solutions and timeframes. The latest statistics show that only around 20% of men seek counselling, the common reason often given as “do not have the time”. In this frantic world where time management and life / work balance may be one of the key issues, Skype or Face Time can be the solution providing counselling when and where you are available. BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) list the advantages as convenience, cost-effectiveness and particularly for those who find the idea of sitting in a clinic as daunting. The BACP do recommend that the therapist should be trained, supervised and accountable with qualifications that can be checked against a list held by a mainstream organisation such as the BACP.
If you are interested, or even just thinking about how counselling or performance coaching may help you, do not hesitate to contact me – I will be more than willing to discuss your requirements.