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CBT Coaching Techniques


Rabbi Joshua Ritchie MD   •   November 16, 2014

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CBT Coaching Techniques

Ritchie: Professor Joshua Ritchie, Refuah Institute and thank you for joining us. Before we actually get started, I’ll be happy to have a few people say hello. I’ll start in just a few minutes, but meanwhile while we’re letting other people join us, give a few minutes. We’re starting actually even a few minutes before time. Would anybody like to say hello? Just speak up, if you would. You know how to unmute yourself. If you’re speaking on the telephone, you speak up by doing *7 on your touchtone phone and to re-mute yourself, you do *6. And to unmute yourself on the WebEx, you by your name, do the mute and unmute button. Ok.

Woman 1: Good morning.

Ritchie: Yes! Good morning. Who’s speaking?

Woman 1: This is Dana Reuben. I’m in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ritchie: Oh, very nice. Thank you for joining us.

Reuben: Sure, I have heard wonderful things about this organization, so I’m interested to find out more.

Ritchie: Oh great. What do you do, Dana?

Reuben: I’m a social worker.

Ritchie: Very nice.

Reuben: Alright, I think I’ll let someone else speak.

Ritchie: Thank you and we’ll be open to questions as we go along in a bit and especially at the end, we’ll have a whole question and answer period as well.

Reuben: Great. Thanks so much.

Ritchie: Thank you.

Woman 2: Hello? Hi, I’m Sayla Neuman and I’m from Muncy, New York. I’m real excited to be doing this. I heard about this from some friends, and I’ve had some really nice conversations with Dan. I’m really excited to be doing this.

Ritchie: Great and what do you do?

Neuman: I teach.

Ritchie: Great. Thanks for joining us.
Man 1: Good morning.

Ritchie: Yes, good morning and who’s this?

Man 1: Aaron from Florida.

Ritchie: Oh, thank you and what do you do, Aaron?

Aaron: I’m a rabbi at a congregation.

Ritchie: Oh very nice.

Aaron: I thought this course might come in handy as far as helping congregants, etc.

Ritchie: I’m sure you’re called on a lot to counsel and coach people, and these skills that you’d be learning here are very, very useful. A lot of leaders of communities and congregations have taken our program and have found it very, very useful. Very nice. Very good. What kind of congregation do you have?

Aaron: A swarthy congregation.

Ritchie: Ah, very nice.

Aaron: Plantation, Florida.

Ritchie: I don’t even know exactly where that is? That’s north of Miami?

Aaron: It’s north of Miami, north of Fort. Lauderdale – 5, 6 miles north of Fort Lauderdale.

Ritchie: Very nice. Lovely. Thank you for joining us.

Aaron: Thank you for having me.

Ritchie: Ok, who else? Anybody else want to say hello? Happy to hear from you. Nice to know who I’m talking to….talking with.

Woman 3: Professor Ritchie, it’s Sharon Casteranew, how are you?

Ritchie: Great, thank you. How are you doing?

Sharon: Very good. Looking forward to this lesson, this lecture.

Ritchie: Good, a lot of this will be familiar to you but nice to…

Sharon: Exactly. Love to be refreshed.

Ritchie: Yeah, I’m going to do a little overview of some of it and then a demo, I think. OK, great, thank you.

We’ll actually be looking for someone to play a client and you might think about it. I’m probably going to ask somebody to play a client who’s depressed so if anybody is brave enough to role paly a depressed client, we’ll be looking to do that in, maybe, a little bit later. I’ll do, first, an introduction for at least half an hour, and then maybe a little demonstration and at the end, we’ll have time for questions and so on. OK, thank you, Sharon.

Woman 4: Good morning…

Ritchie: Where are you located?.....OK, I think I should get started now.

Man 2: This is Zig Spiro.

Ritchie: Yeah, thank you, Zig. Did you have any comments or questions?

Zig: No, just wanted to do a little introduction as well. I’m from Amsterdam.

Ritchie: Oh! From Amsterdam, that’s great. Thank you.

Zig: I’m a rabbi in Amsterdam. I do some coaching now and then and wanted to know…

Ritchie: That’s beautiful. Great. OK, that’s nice. Yeah, we have some people in Europe, I don’t think we have people who are trained in Amsterdam yet. So greetings.

Zig: Yeah, we’ll find out.

Ritchie: When you finish, you should re-mute yourself so it saves a little bit of an echo on your line.

Man 3: Hi, professor. It’s Schlomo, how are you?

Ritchie: Great, how are you?

Schlomo: Great to get a little refresher. I’m happy I’m getting a neighbor. You have the rabbi from Amsterdam, right?

Ritchie: Yes.

Schlomo: Great, it’s not too far from me.

Ritchie: Yes, it’s closer than New York or Israel, that’s true.

Schlomo: Yes, it’s only about an hour away.

Ritchie: Is that all it is?

Schlomo:  By plane. By plane.

Ritchie: Oh ok. Yeah, we have some graduates in Belgium and in England and there’s some others too. I forget his name right now, but years ago. Yeah, ok.

Woman 5: Professor, Elana Goldeisman.

Ritchie:  Oh hi, thank you for joining us.

Elana: Thank you.

Woman 6: Hi, it’s Esther Poe.

Ritchie: Hi Esther. Nice to have you join us.

Esther: Thank you.

Man 4: Hi, it’s Devin.

Ritchie: Oh, Devin. It’s nice all of our old friends are here. Students and graduates. Thank you.

Woman 7: Good morning, I’m not sure if I’m being heard.

Ritchie: You are being heard. Who are you?

Woman 7: I’m Peggy Horowitz.

Ritchie: Thank you, Peggy. How are you?

Peggy: Barak Hashem. Looking forward to enjoying a bonus.

Ritchie: Oh great, nice I’m glad.

Woman 8:  Hi, my name is Calsman. My husband is a graduate so I joined too.

Ritchie: Ah lovely. Wonderful. What’s your husband’s first name?

Calsman: Halman Calsman.

Ritchie: Halman, very nice. Ok.

Woman 9: Hi, Dr. Ritchie. It’s Sarah Brockman, just saying hello.

Ritchie: Ah Sarah! It’s nice to hear from you! How are you doing?

Brockman: It’s really nice to be on! I was excited to get the email and be able to join.

Ritchie: That’s very sweet. Very nice.

Brockman: Thank you.

Ritchie: Thank you. We have quite a nice group of people this evening. Lots of people on the phone and lots of people on the WebEx. Great…Who just spoke up? Who was that?

Man 5: My name is Craig Con.

Ritchie: Craig, thank you and where are you located?

Con: I just moved to Jerusalem.

Ritchie: Ah beautiful. Which neighborhood are you in?

Con: I’m in the Old City.

Ritchie: Ah how nice. Lucky you.

Con: I’m working with people who have Asperger’s or high functioning autism right now. I think it can really help me if I can afford it.

Ritchie: Yeah, very nice. Yeah, I think it would certainly be a big help. Yeah, we get into, in the course, a fair amount of communication skills and NLP tricks and methods and techniques that would be very helpful to be able to communicate with these people and CBT for helping them develop behavioral skills – CBT is very useful.

Woman 10: Hi.

Ritchie: Yeah, hi.

Woman 10: I’m Lakal Schwartz.

Ritchie: Ah thank you.

Man 6: Hi, it’s Yonkie.

Ritchie: Oh Yonkie! Wow! Nice to hear from you?

Yonkie: How are you?

Ritchie: I’m very good, but I’m not sure if I’m supposed to let out secrets but I just had surgery over a week ago. Not too big of a deal although I’m kind of happy and proud that I can still carry on. A week ago I had a hernia repaired, but I’m doing fine, thank you.

Man 7: Hi Rabbi.

Ritchie: Yes.

Man 7: I’m Heusaiman. How are you?

Ritchie: Good, thank you. Where are you located Noching?

Noching: I’m in Jerusalem now. I couldn’t make it to the institute.

Ritchie: Very nice. Thank you for joining.

Woman 11: Hi Dr. Ritchie, I’m Schechter and I live in Silver Springs, Maryland. I’m a teacher and my husband is Rabbi Reuben Schechter and he was in your home with Schlomo many, many years ago in California.

Ritchie: Ah in Los Angeles, that’s beautiful.

Schechter: Yes. He has fond, fond memories.

Ritchie: Yes, we used to live at 613 North Las Palmas. It was a lovely period of time. Yeah…Very nice.

Schechter: Very nice. It was a pleasure being with you this morning.

Ritchie: Yeah, thank you. Thank you for joining.

Schechter: Thank you.

Ritchie: Ok, I’m going to get started now. What we’re going to be talking about is a little bit of overview of what is coaching? What do we mean by CBT coaching and counseling? Then, I would like to, as I said, do a little demonstration, of why we’re emphasizing a little bit now where to bring in CBT to coaching and how those fit and what that means. First of all, coaching is, as you probably know, a new terminology, and it’s in the sector world, a new concept; although, I think in our Torah-world, that’s how we’ve been guiding people as a modern science, coaching has only evolved in the last forty or fifty years, and it did start in the sports field, although, in a somewhat radical way, the way they’re using coaching today, and brought it over to the corporate world and then over to one-to-one work with people for all sorts of improved performance. It has evolved over the last few decades, and so, the approach of coaching is what we’re going to be teaching here this evening and in our program, but I want to talk about how we got there, and what do we mean by CBT coaching.

The big revelation from our viewpoint from modern therapy and modern counseling and modern coaching and helping people to improve themselves and heal themselves, came in the 30s and 40s and 50s and 60s, with the development of what was called humanistic psychology, people like Carl Rogers and Maslow and their approach was a much sounder, healthier approach to respectfully helping people, helping them to deal with their issues and to grow and to bring out their, given the courage and ability to solve their problems.

That was done by the foundations of what Carl Rogers was teaching which was instead of treating people, as so they were things, patients to be fixed, he was treating them as human beings and as clients and was talking about how you have to treat them with respect, with compassion, and empathetic understanding and with a warmth, a loving, a care, and concern, and if you successfully communicate it, your respect, your empathetic, compassion, understanding and your love and care, your warmth, that that in itself is a powerful healing force, and if you’re listening to the client and allowing the client to really hear themselves and impart to help them hear themselves, you drew him out to express what he needed to express and allowed him to express it and then echoed it back to him, mirrored it back, paraphrased it back, summarized it for him, in a way that helped him become more self-aware, more cognizant and helped him discover what he needed to do to grow, improve, grow better, become healthier, so his contribution was a major transformation and shift. They said that his impact, he started in the 40s, 50s and 60s, had a very major impact.

Out of that, what eventually developed is what is now called positive psychology.  Positive psychology is the further development of what Carl Rogers and Maslow started, and there again, is a very much more healthy, positive approach in helping people realize their full potential, not only helping people overcome their difficulties and maybe their disturbances and illnesses but also helping people achieve their full potential and not only come to the average or the mediocre or “normal,” but to how people achieve even better and even excel and produce quality work and achieve preferred futures and more of their potential. That’s been a major development. What also happened in the 60s, there was the development called cognitive therapy, what is now being called cognitive, behavioral therapy, developed mostly by Beck, Aaron Beck, who is one of the greats in the field. He was a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania, and there were others who were given credit like Ellis and in reality therapy named William Glasser and quite a number of people and that’s become a major, well-documented form of counseling and therapy that the cognitive therapy and techniques carries on further in helping people who need to sometimes straighten out some of their Burns, who is one of the disciples of Beck, as Burns would sometimes say distorted or twisted thinking.

So there are ways of doing that in a respectful way. One of the beautiful things that Beck and Burns and these other people adapted from Carl Rogers were they were being very respectful, as Rogers had taught them, indeed it’s very important to build that trust, that report, that therapeutic relationship with your client, that it shouldn’t be an authoritarian, distant, detached relationship but the relationship should be an empathetic, understanding, respectful, caring, and the cognitive approach of people like Beck and Burns carried on with that same approach that that was the foundation of their approach and  then on top of that, they would use talk therapy, if you will, cognitive discussions with the client to help straighten out sometimes, their thinking and their issues. There’s another branch of cognitive behavioral therapy, that I’m a very strong advocate of and very impressed with the tools and the methods and the continued development and advancement from what we can get from the cognitive approach which is solution-focused therapy.

Interestingly enough, that was developed in the late 70s and 80s, up through today, where they’re actively continuing to grow and develop. Actually someone mentioned they’re from Amsterdam, some of the strong people, some of the best people of solution-focused started in the United States but some of the best teachers, the developers of it, are in Holland. There’s a woman by the name of Banack and there’s Kurt Disser, who have done some beautiful work teaching, explaining and developing solution-focused, it’s an off shoot, it’s a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, which does incorporate and involve a little bit of what’s called Eric Sonian therapy or neurolinguistic programming, which is another methodology which has some cognitive behavioral features to it and it is another powerful tool for helping people see things in a different way and helping to communicate with people and helping to influence and guide people. All of these techniques and methods have continued to evolve and develop in the past few decades, and coaching that started as helping athletes perform better, then was brought in about the 70s, started to be used in the corporate world by executives.

Some of the people who had been coaching top world-class athletes were now beginning to coach world-class entrepreneurs and world-class leaders of huge corporations. Their approach was not treating people as they were incompetent, they were treating them as superb, outstanding performers, and even the best of performers are always striving to improve their skills and their abilities and their performance. Just as in the athletes found that with their coaching, they could increase their running time or whatever they were doing, that the business people could find that with a good coach, they could improve their performance. They had a better bottom line – a better return on investment – more profit. More business and it was measurable. They were so impressed that not only were the top executives getting coaching, but they also decided that they wanted their middle-class executives and it became working its way down to where they thought everybody should be coached.

Indeed, today, that’s what life coaching has become, and there’s’ all sorts of coaching today – executive coaching, organizational coaching, life coaching, career coaching, you name it, there is coaching for it because coaching is an approach of instead of treating the client as somebody we’re trying to fix, you’re treating the client respectfully, looking for their skills and strengths, and helping them discover their skills and strengths and helping them discover their best solutions. Helping them realize that they have a lot more choices and helping them sort through their choices, and one they choose the best choice for their solutions, whatever issue or problem they’re trying to solve, then helping them develop the plan and carrying them out and coaching them in the process – helping holding them accountable, helping them do a smart plan where they are measuring their performance etc., etc., etc. Can’t give you the whole year’s training in an hour session but coaching is a phenomenal way of helping people – all the way from the world’s most outstanding performance in business or any field and as well can be successful to use with people who have all sorts of problems and issues. Just the issues of daily living or have some real challenges.

behavioral therapy methods can be used by a coach when they have issues that need a little bit more help than, if they do have a bit of problems, like depression today is a very common problem. As a matter of fact, one of our lecturers that we had, is a professor at Harvard, who returned to Israel, who talks about depression as one of the things, he’s very big on positive psychology but he was talking about depression. He was saying that he did survey and 85% of Harvard students, at some time in their Harvard career, experienced significant depression so it’s a very common problem. Various estimates say at least 20% of the population experience depression and it could be even higher than that, so being able to help someone with depression is an important issue. Coaching can do that, especially if you use some of the cognitive approaches that are used by Beck and Burns and solution-focused and various ways to help people and the reality therapy approach, which are all very similar which help the client, sort of speak, get a better perspective, sort out some of their distortion of thinking and that can be done in a coaching conversation.

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