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Modern Living Room

           Case study:
Group Therapeutic Coaching

This case study anonymises client details to protect individual and organisational confidentiality.

Executive Summary

Over a six month period, a series of six group therapeutic coaching cohorts were facilitated for a large public sector organisation. The goal was to encourage more senior practitioners to apply for Director roles. Participants were still processing their experiences during the Covid pandemic, and struggling to operate with insufficient resources. Following the programme, practitioners reported multiple benefits including increased confidence in leadership ability, compassion for self and others, and had strategies for achieving a healthier work-life balance. The outcomes led to a 25% increase in applications to Director roles for the organisation. 

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Problems group experiencing:

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  • Participants were committed to the leadership programme and aware of its goals, but almost all were experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety, no work-life balance, and feeling disempowered and isolated in their current roles. 

  • Surviving the hardship of insufficient staff numbers, under funding, and the continuing impact of the pandemic, meant most practitioners had back to back meetings all day, without breaks or time to think. The risk of 'burnout' was high.

  • Being fully present and committed to the group coaching was initially challenging for participants due to lack of experience of psychological safety and how to 'own the space'. 

  • Themes strongly emerged including 'imposter syndrome', low confidence, fatigue, vicarious trauma and moral injury

  • The group felt they had not had any professional opportunity to reflect, and expressed a desire to better understand the impact of their recent experiences on their sense of self. 

  • The therapeutic coach recognised the importance of building a therapeutic alliance based on Rogers (1960) six conditions,  to hold what the coachees brought with full confidentially.

Recommended solutions:

Type of intervention: 

Group coaching cohorts x 6

Client title(s): 

Ranging from Senior Practitioners and Managers to Deputy Directors

Industry:  

Public sector

Length of coaching contract: 

6 months

Number of sessions: 

4 x 2 hour sessions for each group

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   Outcome for Clients:

  • Participants reported they felt the group coaching sessions were their first formal opportunity to feel seen, heard, and have due attention and respect. They found this deeply restorative, inspiring, and over the course of the coaching, re-energising.

  •  The group reported strongly benefitting from the psychological safety that was facilitated for them, which enhanced their feelings of trust and connection with colleagues and their workplace.

  • Participants were enable to identify and celebrate their existing strengths, while also creating space to explore new goals and priorities for life and work.

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  • Group work and exercises enhanced the self awareness of participants, and gave them strategies for self care.  As sessions progressed they began to develop boundaries around their work-life balance (e.g. maintaining stricter out of office hours, managing workload) and gained confidence in communicating these to others. This enabled them to feel more empowered and in control of their working environment and personal lives.

  • By exploring boundaries and developing closer connections with one another they began to see their power in working collectively and collaboratively, reducing feelings of isolation and empowering them to address the very real challenges they faced with positivity and strategic focus.

  • To reduce stress, participants gained an understanding of neuroscience, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, activation of the vagus nerve and polyvagal theory. The group learnt emotional regulation and relaxation techniques including mindfulness, yoga practices, and moving and stretching away from screens.

  • As their own self compassion increased, participants felt more confident in their leadership ability, and able to be compassionate leaders and supporters of their teams. 

  • Experiencing the power of psychological safety within the group encouraged them to recreate conditions for their own teams. They felt confident to approach 'difficult' conversations with empathy and positivity.

  • The group committed to stay connected beyond the coaching for peer support. With this sense of community and and renewed energy, participants were able to identify new professional goals, and focus on techniques for executive role selection and interviews.

  • The outcome of the coaching and leadership programme led to an immediate 25% increase in applications to Director roles, achieving the original goal for the public sector organisation.   

  • The programme was recommissioned several times with continued positive outcomes for the individual wellbeing of participants, and for the leadership teams within the organisation, and and is now on its fourth round. 

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Outcome for organisation:

  • Participants gained enhanced self awareness, emotional insight, and practical tools and techniques, empowering them to approach the interviews feeling confident, well prepared, and ready to take on the new challenge. The organisation gained many motivated, supported, and energised new leaders.

  • The coaching had outcomes beyond the sessions, promoting a culture of positive challenge and shared goals to try to embed compassionate leadership in the senior teams.

  • Many participants adapted their approaches within their teams (e.g introducing team supervision and measure to support greater work-life balance), with a culture of psychological safety benefitting a much wider group of employees.

  • With more leaders feeling confident to having previously perceived 'difficult' conversations, conflict will be avoided or resolved and solutions will be arrived at more swiftly and accurately, benefitting all involved.

Testimonials for              Group Therapeutic Coaching:

"“Karen uses her coaching and counselling skills to great effect, in helping you recognise your strengths, your goals and priorities for life and work. She can work fluently as either therapist or coach, depending on the circumstances.""  

Senior Practitioner, Public sector

“Karen is very empathetic, but also able to point out hard truths or asks difficult questions that can help you move through and confront an issue. She would also call out when she thought I was pulling away or being triggered by a topic area and we would explore in more detail. She really seemed to understand when to push and when to leave something.”

Senior Practitioner, Public sector

Testimonial for              Group Therapeutic Coaching:

 

I would highly recommend Karen as a coach for her ability to provide tailored advice, deep health industry knowledge, and a supportive approach that fosters both personal and professional development. She has helped me to expand my horizons and focussed my techniques for executive role selection and interviews.”  

Senior Practitioner, Public sector

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Case Study:
Conflict Resolution Coaching

To find out how TCC's approach to resolving conflict helps individuals, HR, leaders and teams, please click here:

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