We caught up with our passionate coach and therapist, Lorna Devine for a quick Q&A session in this week’s Coach in The Spotlight column, where she shared how coaching enhanced her career and her life. We hope you enjoy and find her coaching top tips helpful…

What inspired you to enrol with The Coaching Academy?

I attended TCA's 2-Day event in London as I wanted to find out more about life coaching to see whether coaching was either something that I could do to gain additional skills or whether it was something I could do part time alongside my current role as a therapist. I really enjoyed the two-day event; I found the coaching content extremely fascinating and I felt so inspired at the end of the weekend. After learning some basic coaching skills, I began to see how beneficial it would be if I could integrate coaching into my role as a therapist (adding another ‘string to my bow’!). 

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

I completed a BSc in Psychology and a MSc in Clinical Psychology and Mental Health before coming a coach and worked as a therapist with children, young people and adults in a range of sectors including the NHS, independent, charitable, education and research sectors. 

What was the most rewarding part of your training?

The most rewarding part of my training was helping my clients to develop, overcome their difficulties and conquer various challenges. It felt so worthwhile when my clients achieved their goals, especially when clients came to me feeling hopeless about their future or a bit ‘stuck’ with what they really wanted to achieve. Additionally, when I reviewed my client’s ‘wheel of life’, the majority of my clients were more satisfied with the other areas of their lives that they initially stated were important to them (which came as a surprise to them!).

How did you fit coach training into your busy life?

Ever since I finished my undergraduate degree in Psychology, I continued to study so I have always been used to juggling the demands of different courses alongside a full-time job (and still do so now!). I found that good time management and organisational skills helped me to ensure that I fitted the coach training into my life. I made sure that I kept a good work-life balance and practiced mindfulness everyday which helped me to stay motivated.

Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?

I currently have my own private practice where I take a positive, holistic approach to the mental health and well-being of children and their families. I use coaching as my main model, whilst drawing on solution-focused, systemic, cognitive-behavioural and mindfulness-based approaches. 

Alongside my private practice, I work as a Schools Outreach Therapist for a children’s mental health charity and I provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for children and young people with anxiety and depression for a young people’s service. I use my coaching skills on a daily basis. For example, I motivate and facilitate my clients (children, parents and teachers) to achieve their potential through helping them set and achieve their goals. 

What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

In my private practice, I work as a Child and Family Well-Being Specialist. The services that I offer include individual work for children, parents and teachers, group work and consultation for schools. I decided to work in this area as I have been working therapeutically with children, parents and schools for the past eight years. However, as I was completing my coaching qualification, I began to see how I could integrate coaching into my current practice and coach children and families who do not need or want therapy, but would benefit from coaching for other difficulties such as worries, exam stress, low self-esteem, low mood and family/friendship difficulties. I absolutely love what I do and really do believe that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life!

What are your top tips for:

People who are looking to become qualified as a professional coach

For any individuals who are looking to become qualified as a professional coach, my top tip would be to attend the Free 2-Days to see whether coaching is for you! This really helped me to gain a better understanding of what coaching was and was not (e.g. it is not therapy!) and how I could integrate coaching into my existing role.

Those currently in training with TCA

For those currently in training with TCA, a couple of my top tips would be to start practicing the coaching skills that you learn with anyone who will let you. I started out practicing what I learned on the Accelerator Days with my family and friends, and then started coaching other coaches, work colleagues and then friends of family/friends. Another tip would be to always write up your key learnings and development points as soon as you can after attending the Accelerator Days, completing modules and coaching clients. This helped me to remember what I had learned for my Professional Development Journal (PDJ) and is much easier than trying to go back and remember later down the line.   

Coaches, that are about to qualify

For coaches that are about to qualify, my top tip would be to set a day and time each week that you can dedicate to finishing the final assessment paper and completing your PDJ. I also made sure that I scheduled in ‘me time’ as this helped me focus to get through the final stretch without stressing out too much about getting everything done.


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