Empowerment in Health & Wellness

Empowerment in Health & Wellness

Empowerment in Health and Wellness

Editors: Andrew Parsons, Sue Jackson and Jackie Arnold
Review by: Isabel Sanchez and Joanna Carnie

The book aims to share a distillation of professional and practical coaching skills, experiences, approaches, resources and their own learning in supporting people to develop and thrive during challenging situations. It takes a holistic approach to empowerment, and provides both practical techniques and qualitative applications. Objective is to share skills and learning and improve community health.

The ideal audience would be for anybody coaching through transitions or significant change, coaches, particularly those moving into wellness coaching and beginning to work with clients with serious health conditions, health workers, wellbeing practitioners, people looking to improve their own wellbeing.

My favourite part was the embodied coaching techniques. I will be using these with my clients (and myself!): Chapter 3: Grounding Self in Times of Chaos and Chapter 7: Coaching for Personal Leadership.

I liked the case studies, in particular the one about the benefits of being mindful in Switzerland to prevent expectations from preventing you from seeing what is truly happening around you. The chapter on breathing.

What made me curious were the coaching in nature techniques. When I first heard about it two years ago, I was sceptical. However, after the year we had, along with the chapter’s explanation – I want to try it with clients who are willing. Also I am very interested now in finding out more about clean language and trying it out.

The content is extremely relevant for today’s world. We have all, in one way or another, experienced significant change during the last year. Easy to read, didn’t feel scientific, Contained a mix of reflections, learning and case studies to highlight the various ways in which coaching and mindful wellbeing techniques can support the coach and coachee during challenging times.

The book used a mixture of resources – tools, guides, references to previous models. I enjoyed the book, particularly how it was structured. I thought it was helpful for reflection/my learning. It is also easy to refer back to particular topics when appropriate. The aims and objectives were clearly laid out at the start, along with the 3 pillars that the book was then based around. It has clear sections and signposting.

I would have enjoyed deeper dives into the topics. I appreciate this was a collection written by different authors, but I felt that the chapters were introductions. I would be interested in learning more.

It didn’t have the scientific rigour that I am more familiar with in most of the books and articles I read. This was clearly explained at the start, but still it felt different to most of the other reference books I use. It felt very current, the Covid 19 pandemic was mentioned throughout as were all of the stressors clients have been bringing to coaching over the course of the last year.

The book provided me with a different perspective on having a holistic approach to coaching. Rather than just looking at the coach through an organisational lens – this will help me think of the coachee by helping them connect through with their body/mind/and when relevant, spiritual.

Information is accurate and current. The nutrition section didn’t feel credible to me, there was no scientific weight to it and I was uncomfortable with the references to autoimmune diseases without any facts or references to back this up. There was just a note to say the reader could do a deep dive into Google Scholar.

Insight into the benefits of taking a mindful approach as a coach before the start of a session and also as a way of grounding yourself during the session. This was a helpful insight for me.

It felt like a flowing and easy read, I felt mindful as I read it, which was a great experience. It made me feel excited and positive in places as I was putting some of the suggestions into practice whilst still reading the book which was great.

It was a refreshing read. Easy to understand, well- structured and had a multi-disciplinary approach. This book is a reminder of how I want to coach (more embodied, particularly about making connections between mind and body).

As a result of reading the book, I have been introduced to some new techniques and been given more information about things I had heard of but hadn’t read up on before. I will be adopting some of the techniques in the book into my coaching practice. It is a toolbox of ideas which I will dip into in the future.

Isabel Sanchez
Joanna Carnie