Today, through the wonder that it is Zoom, Dr Tim Williams delivered an excellent session on health coaching. For many, it was our first time utilising the zoom technology for video conferencing and it was the first time to explore this topic.
The technology worked extremely well- it was clear and crisp and uninterrupted. The format enabled slides to be presented, large group working and working in pairs in “breakout rooms” to practice the techniques of health coaching which was great to reinforce the theory presented.
In the session we explored what coaching is and made the distinction between coaching and counselling. We discussed important factors required to be a good coach.
Dr Williams introduced the “S.T.OP.I.T” and “ D.O.I.T” models which can be utilised as a coach to help our patients work out what it is they wish to change, discover the true motivation for this to act as meaningful tools to fuel that change and also to devise realistic outcomes and a plan of attack to make the changes they wish to see in their lives.
We were introduced to the concept of patient activation measures to gage how motivated or engaged a patient is with the process of change or improvement. An excellent example from the practice of Dr Hart- also a Director in Peak Health Coaching, illustrated how by finding out a patient’s activation measure, apt resources can be directed towards them to help them manage their health needs and goals. Some patients with a low activation score but complex health needs may have a more effective outcome if social prescribing is utilised first to increase their activation levels before having more intensive health education for example with a practice nurse for example.
I found this session to be extremely useful. It was a great introduction to this fascinating topic and I can see how the models shared can be utilised for life coaching as well as life coaching. I can appreciate how useful it could be to adopt a coaching mindset with all patients and I think that with practice, skill and care, a clinician could apply some or all of the model within a routine consultation depending on the patient, the topic and the rapport one has with a patient. It was also great to have the time and opportunity to practice these concepts on each other- I think it takes great skill as a coach to give people the space to think and to think well without feeling the need to interject, fill silences or to offer advice. It is quite rewarding assisting someone to arrive at an answer which they had within themselves all along.
Thank you Dr Tim Williams for all your efforts to adapt your session to be compatible with the technology and for your determination to deliver it as scheduled albeit in a virtual capacity. It worked extremely well and it was informative and helpful and something which will hopefully improve our clinical practice.