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Modern Living Room

           Case study:
Individual Therapeutic Coaching

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

Executive Summary

High achieving senior executive with no previous mental health difficulties or current life difficulties. Reports symptoms of burnout, loss of confidence in leadership ability, and overwhelming issues of avoidance and conflict within his relationships both at work and at home. Therapeutic coaching identified sources of distress, enhanced self-awareness, rebuilt self-confidence, and facilitated the necessary shifts in perspective to enable development of practical, rewarding, and sustainable solutions. 

Psychology Session

Client's problems:

  • Client reports feeling uncharacteristically "out of control"            at work emotionally (frustrated, anxious, irritable, overwhelmed)

  • Low confidence about ability to lead and influence colleagues

  • Low motivation/self-belief for future career promotion prospects

  • Behaviour: disengaged with new projects, in conflict with certain colleagues, and uncharacteristically avoiding challenges and meetings; trying to go "under the radar" (presenteeism)

  • Stress at work is now causing conflict at home with his partner, exacerbating his feelings of low self-worth and anxiety 

  • Client has begun taking sick days (absenteeism)

Recommended solutions:

Type of intervention: 

1:1 Therapeutic Coaching, with line manager stakeholder involvement

Client title: 

Head of Department


Public sector/Government

Length of coaching contract: 

8 months

Number of sessions: 

18 x 50 mins sessions

   Outcome for Client:

   Improved self-confidence, self-awareness, leadership and motivation;     reduction in burnout symptoms, presenteeism and absenteeism. 

  • Client identified triggers for stress, and learned strategies and techniques to achieve greater emotional regulation. 

  • Client gained deep self-awareness of his strengths, qualities, and values, which rebuilt his confidence and self-belief. 

  • Client identified optimal work-life balance and took practical steps to improve time management, prioritisation, and energy levels.

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  • Client challenged unconscious self-limiting beliefs about his leadership style and abilities, reinstating his motivation to engage with team members and lead meetings and projects with authenticity and energy

  • Client identified and addressed 'damaging' patterns of relating to others, and developed a more open and trusting way communication, which improved the quality of his relationships at work and at home.

  • Client is now skilled in drawing on CBT tools to create with a more balanced, pragmatic, realistic and self-compassionate perspective, enabling him to make more strategic and discerning decisions. 

  • Client's personal strategies to create optimal work-life                      balance had a positive ripple effect on team's prioritisation, productivity, performance, with lower stress around deadlines.

  • Client's improved confidence in leadership style, combined with his new, less controlling, and more open communication style, enhanced bonds in relationships with team members.

  • Client identified strategic opportunity for TCC to support a new team coaching exercise to enhance psychological safety within team


Outcome for organisation:

  • Client and line manager had individual 'conflict resolution coaching' sessions to help understand and resolve the difficulties between them: each reported greater trust, empathy, and a strengthened relationship

  How executive coaching and psychotherapy techniques combine

  • Empathic, non-judgemental person-centred counselling way of being enabled the client's unknown "conditions of worth" and "core beliefs" about himself and the world to emerge, enabling us to compassionately challenge their validity and helpfulness in the current day. In the absence of this process, the same things can become "self limiting" beliefs, rather than learned behaviours than can be evolved into more accurate self-narratives.

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  • We drew on executive coaching strengths tests (e.g. Strengthscope, Myers-Briggs) to develop a SWOT analysis of the client's qualities and communication style. At TCC we hold psychometric tests lightly - they can be valuable and insightful, but can also be a manifestation of a client's inaccurate core beliefs, and/or the result of someone's original strength become distorted into unconscious barrier to progression (e.g. an ability to be directive and influence others can be perceived by others as overcontrolling or manipulative).

  • We used Attachment Theory from psychodynamic psychotherapy to understand how our early life experiences influence our relationships in the 'here and now'. Practiced developing new ways of communicating, particularly around uncertainty, trust, and perceived conflict and rejection.

  • Neuroscience - emotional regulation tools and techniques for managing stress and anger triggers (the Fight, Flight of Freeze), including healthy activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (e.g. mindfulness)

  • Executive coaching tools (Circles of Control, Action Priority/Urgent Important matrix, Fishbone model) boosted the client's ability to use time and energy wisely, and communicate strategically and influentially.

  • The client found the psychotherapeutic models Transactional Analysis and the Drama Triangle useful for understanding how particular habits manifested in himself, enabling him to develop new behavioural habits.

  • Finally, CBT tools and techniques empowered the client with evidence-based strategies to support him to think, react and respond differently during challenging moments, enhancing his self-belief and self-esteem.

Testimonials for              1:1 Therapeutic Coaching:

"The mix of therapy and coaching really shifted things for me in a way working with other coaches hadn't. Sarah's supportive but pragmatic approach helped me confront and think about things differently, making it possible for me to make the change I needed and wanted. I couldn't recommend this highly enough."  

Director - Finance industry

"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."

Chief Technology Officer 

Testimonial for              1:1 Therapeutic Coaching:

Lucy's ability to skilfully play back what she was hearing, to explain the 'science', and to recognise patterns and links in my experience has been hugely beneficial to me as someone who likes to understand. I understand more about my triggers and responses, and learnt new techniques for better self-management.

Together with her ability to ask questions that challenged me to think and feel more deeply,  we explored more breadth than what I originally sought help for, making the experience more comprehensive and helpful from a whole-life perspective. ”


Head of Department, Public sector

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Individual Therapeutic Coaching Case Study please click here:


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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