A sport psychologist might use a number of different methods to help athletes who need to overcome certain problems. For instance, they will often lend a non-judgmental ear to frustrated and overwhelmed athletes; sometimes, just the act of talking about certain negative situations can be all that's necessary to overcome them. Most times, however, a sport psychologist will offer advice and guidance on how to overcome these problems. He may recommend a little rest and relaxation for the burnt out athlete, or he might teach an overly anxious athlete several different relaxation exercises to perform before each game or match. He might teach an athlete visualization techniques or how to tune out distractions.
The issue is threefold. First, many executive coaches, especially those who draw their inspiration from sports, sell themselves as purveyors of simple answers and quick results. Second, even coaches who accept that an executive’s problems may require time to address still tend to rely solely on behavioral solutions. Finally, executive coaches unschooled in the dynamics of psychotherapy often exploit the powerful hold they develop over their clients. Sadly, misguided coaching ignores—and even creates—deep-rooted psychological problems that often only psychotherapy can fix.
Executive coaches are at their most dangerous when they win the CEO’s ear. This puts them in a position to wield great power over an entire organization, a scenario that occurs with disturbing frequency. Since many executive coaches were corporate types in prior lives, they connect with CEOs far more readily than most psychotherapists do. They are fluent in business patois, and they move easily from discussions of improving an individual’s performance to conducting interventions that can help entire business units capture or retain market share. Unless these executive coaches have been trained in the dynamics of interpersonal relations, however, they may abuse their power—often without meaning to. Indeed, many coaches gain a Svengali-like hold over both the executives they train and the CEOs they report to, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
Food journaling may not sound sexy, but time and time again research proves that it works. In fact, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research, keeping a food diary can double a person's weight loss. “Without this tool, many people forget the snacks and bites taken while standing, preparing food for others or munching in the car. Over time these unrecognized snacks can lead to several extra pounds gained per year,” says Gueron. If you’re not the pad and paper type, Ansel recommends keeping a running journal on your smartphone or trying an app like MyFitness Pal or Lose It.
The link between exercise and psychology has long been recognized. In 1899, William James discussed the importance of exercise, writing it was needed to "furnish the background of sanity, serenity...and make us good-humored and easy of approach."[68] Other researchers noted the connection between exercise and depression, concluding a moderate amount of exercise was more helpful than no exercise in symptom improvement.[69] Additionally, meeting exercise requirements can also aid in alleviating symptoms of avoidance disorders and anxiety, while also providing a higher quality of life for the patient in terms of physical health. [70]
Many of the clucking chicken images are the result of hypnosis’s forefather, Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). Mesmer believed that there was an invisible force, a cosmic energy, that could be harnessed by one person to influence another person’s behavior. While his theory was wrong, the techniques he used were effective. These techniques were picked up on and developed over the coming years for therapeutic and medical purposes. Sigmund Freud, for instance, used hypnosis techniques. In the mid-1900s, hypnotherapy as we know it evolved. Milton Erickson (1901-1980) pioneered “indirect hypnosis,” during which therapists work with individual patients to shift their perceptions of themselves and their issues.
How well hypnosis works to help people stop smoking depends on who you ask. Study results have been mixed. In 2010, a systematic review of published studies found that there wasn't enough evidence to support the use of hypnosis. Another review published in 2012 said that studies do support a possible benefit from the use of hypnosis. In discussing alternative methods for quitting smoking on its web site, the American Cancer Society says that while controlled studies have not supported the effectiveness of hypnosis, there is anecdotal evidence that some people have been helped.
The How to Quit Smoking Hypnosis has taught me the psychological and physical addiction side to smoking and has helped me understand why my body craved nicotine. I smoked for 20 years. Now I don't even want a cigarette. I don't even want to be around people that smell like smoke. That makes me almost sick to my stomach. When my body does crave nicotine it doesn't crave a cigarette, just the nicotine and I let that feeling pass through me. It goes away within a couple minutes. Cigarettes no longer dictate my life. I love letting my hair down and it still smells like shampoo.
I work with athletes and performers at every level, from novice and recreational to elite and professional, so the situations that I address are constantly evolving, bringing different challenges each day. I may give training to an entire team, meet with an individual client at my office, or observe a client at practice or at a competition. I may speak with their coaches or families; it just depends on what we are trying to accomplish. We work on developing the mental side of their game and performance. This involves building skills in areas such as focus, concentration, motivation, goal-setting, managing intensity, overcoming performance obstacles, stress management, and learning how to perform optimally even under pressure. We also address issues such as performance anxiety, burnout, lack of confidence, recovering from an injury, and handling performance pressures that come when new levels of achievement are attained.
In the 2000s, hypnotherapists began to combine aspects of solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) with Ericksonian hypnotherapy to produce therapy that was goal focused (what the client wanted to achieve) rather than the more traditional problem focused approach (spending time discussing the issues that brought the client to seek help). A solution-focused hypnotherapy session may include techniques from NLP.[13]
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