I have been a therapist for 30 years and I moved to write my first book review because this is by far the most helpful book for therapists I have ever read. Lynn Grodzki has already written several great books and has coached countless individual therapists (me, briefly, among them).
In this book, she distills her brilliant coaching strategies so that we therapists can keep our clients focused, encouraged, and self-motivated through a process that is equally rewarding for us.
The book is highly structured: Lynn tells us what she’s going to teach us, then she teaches us, then she tells us what she taught us. First, she explains the difference between therapy and coaching and how to discern which therapy clients are appropriate for “therapy with a coaching edge.”
Then, she delineates the separate coaching skills that can inform our work: moving the locus of change to the client (the therapist is a facilitator); motivating the client through a more collaborative stance; nudging the client into action by the use of her brilliant questions, and offering consistent optimism to further the client’s action and motivation.
Lynn is careful to discuss our professional ethics and boundaries in terms of adding coaching with an edge to our therapeutic toolkit. Obviously, there are many clients who may not be suitable, or may not prefer, this style.
The specific questions and interventions Lynn offers are crafted for highly specific purposes. Each chapter contains examples of Lynn’s own clinical case studies and explicit questions to ask and tips on when and how to ask them.
There is a goldmine of worksheets and questionnaires at the end of the book. Like all excellent coaches, Lynn builds one skill onto the next in a logical and thorough process, delivered in a warm and confident tone. The predictably consistent structure of each chapter is one of those confidence-building characteristics I expect from a great coach.
For the young therapists looking for a mentor to teach nuts-and-bolts skills, and for us old warhorses looking for revitalization, this is the one book you need to up your game, no matter what therapeutic models you prefer.
To use Lynn’s kitchen metaphor in her summary, I feel like this master coach and therapist has opened her entire pantry of hard-earned wisdom to us and then taught us her best recipes over a bottle of wine.”