Hr manager asking questions to female candidate

How neuropsychotherapy informs best practice in solution-focused executive coaching


Introduction

Executive coaching might be best described as a helping relationship between a client (typically an individual with leadership, managerial or other supervisory responsibility) and a coach who may access a variety of behavioural and cognitive techniques in order to support the client in identifying and achieving one or more goals that directly relate to increased leadership proficiency, professional success and personal well-being (1). Conceptually, solution-focused coaching is derived from and has much in common with solution-focused therapy (2-4).

Neuropsychotherapy is an approach to therapy that involves leveraging the brain’s ability to change itself (neuroplasticity) in physical form (neurobiology) and processes (neurochemistry and electrical activity) in order to foster desirable long-term changes to thoughts, behaviours and capacity (5, 6).

In identifying fundamental shortcomings of solution-focused executive coaching that are addressed in neuropsychotherapy, this article describes the benefits of an integrated approach that combines the strengths of both in the new field of executive neurocoaching.

The role of executive coaching in modern organisations

The demand for executive coaching has arisen in response to factors including the trend for downsizing and flattening of corporate structures, entailing a loss in executive roles of older, more experienced individuals with a substantial store of knowledge and capable of providing mentorship, leaving heavier burdens of knowledge, decision-making and responsibility on those who remain (7).  At the same time, demands on the capacity of executives have continued to increase (8) in conjunction with ongoing organisational turbulence (9) triggered by events such as mergers, restructuring, economic unpredictability and generally increased rates of change.

The ability to build and manage teams and achieve required performance outcomes in times of turbulence and change is considered to be of high importance for those in senior roles (10), but those who work in unstable and dynamic environments can find it difficult to maintain focus on work goals while struggling to develop (if not access) their own capacity for managing their own thoughts, feelings and behavioural patterns when faced with uncertainty and change (11).

Executive coaches use a range of models and techniques when supporting managers in developing their skills and improving their performance  (12), of which solution-focused coaching (3, 4) is a leading approach. Effective executive coaching requires a client who is motivated to make changes, a supportive environment, a well-conceived approach, a qualified coach and a strong working alliance (7).

As an intervention and facilitation of change rather than a permanent role, the efficacy of any coaching methodology must be measured not only in progress achieved during the coaching period, but in outcomes that extend well beyond its completion. To this end, post-coaching self-efficacy has been found to have a positive and significant relationship with the commitment of the person to change (13), the commitment of the organisation toward the coaching process and the development of the executive, the support inherent within the workplace environment and the number of coaching sessions (14). In other words: motivation, a supportive environment and consolidation of new beliefs and habits.

Coaching as therapy

In seeking to initiate and/or facilitate and support helpful change in clients for the benefit of their own well-being (2, 15), coaching shares, at the very least, intentions with psychotherapy and counselling. In valuing the therapeutic alliance (in goals, tasks and affect) highly (13, 16), executive coaching has much in common with most approaches to counselling and psychotherapy (15).

Specifically, in being solely solution-oriented and drawing on the experiences, knowledge, skills and resources of clients in pursuit of their own goals and at a pace determined by their willingness and capacity to change, solution-focused coaching (2) shares its orientation with solution-focused therapy (17-19). In this way, the largest practical distinctions between solution-focused executive coaching and solution-focused therapy may be that coaching is designed for highly functioning people, whereas therapy is for people with some level of dysfunction (20, 21), as well as a difference between a focus on professional performance versus a focus on psychological healing and recovery (22).

In this way the difference in intent might be best described as the specialisation of coaching toward a cognitive approach to helping mentally healthy clients achieve workplace goals and overcome workplace challenges in comparison to the more emotionally-aware and trauma-focused approach of solution-focused therapy. However, in practice this distinction is, at best optimistic and at worst naïve and dangerous, as it is impossible to separate underlying pathologies, emotions and moods (and the neural structures and processes that shape them) from behaviours and decision making (6). Indeed, executive coaching that does not include some form of psychological assessment and does not take into account the broader gamut of psychological health risks being more harmful for the client, those around them and organisational performance than no intervention at all (23). With less than 5% of coaches trained in psychology (24), this risk is very real.

Coaching goals of personal attitude perspective change have been identified as increasing patience, more confidence in presenting to superiors and an improved ability to deal with performance issues (25). The top two measured outcomes from effective executive coaching have been identified by clients as changes in behaviour and increased understanding of self (13). There is no getting away from these being related more to psychological states and capacity rather than specific workplace skills, blurring the distinction between effective coaching and effective therapy to being one mostly of context (26) and extent.

Further, 76% of executive coaches who responded to a 2009 survey reported that they assisted executives with personal issues, despite only 3% stating that addressing personal issues was a part of their scope of engagement (27). It has also been found that between 25% and 50% of those seeking executive coaching have significant levels of stress, anxiety and/or depression (28), making arbitrary distinctions between coaching and therapy around the matter of mental health irrelevant (unless, when faced with symptoms of mental distress, coaches in every case understand their boundaries and step back from their role in order to refer clients to therapists for treatment – an unlikely eventuality due to the financial penalty for doing so).

Coaching attempts to distinguish itself from therapy in ways that are not entirely accurate. For example, coaching claims to being different to therapy by focusing on the future whereas therapy focuses on the past (28, 29), which, specifically in the case of solution-focused therapy, is incorrect (15, 18, 19, 30, 31). More than that, the premise is fundamentally wrong – by definition, by striving to facilitate change all approaches to therapy are future-focused, whether or not they involve analysis.

Like solution-focused coaching, solution-focused therapy is goal and change-oriented, client-led, non-judgemental, non-expert, constructionist, collaborative, and competency-based and places a high value on incremental improvements (32). However, unlike solution-focused therapy, solution-focused coaching exists in a professional context in order to facilitate positive change only within the demands and resources of those environments. It also claims to deal only with individuals who are “functional” (2) and in so doing excuses itself, theoretically at least, from dealing with dysfunction (without defining either), despite the evidence to the contrary.

Indeed the danger of coaching performed by those unskilled in therapy presents a strong case for more rigorous training and accreditation of those claiming to be professional coaches, further closing the gap between therapy and coaching. However, discrepancies in methodology (2, 33) along with substantial contextual and scope variations dictate that, despite similarities and crossovers, significant differences exist between the practices of solution-focused therapy and solution-focused executive coaching.

Notwithstanding contextual and practical differences, due to overlapping boundaries, solution-focused executive coaching and solution-focused therapy are both addressed in this paper in relation to their likely efficacy when compared with and/or integrated with neuropsychotherapy.

The principles of neuropsychotherapy

The brain as a changing physical construct

All human thoughts, emotions and decisions originate from the brain, and all movement, conscious or otherwise, is coordinated by the biological processes of the brain (34, 35). The human mind is a self-aware and conscious expression of the brain (36, 37), itself shaped, controlled and limited by its physical properties and processes. The brain itself is a product of its age, genetics, nutrition, health, environments and experiences (5, 6). (Perhaps as a philosophical rather than practical matter, as a result of the pervasiveness of these hereditary and external influences on the physical brain that mandatorily dictate its structure, capability and operation, the existence of freedom of choice in decision making, and therefore personal responsibility, is unclear (6). However, if freedom of choice were to be an illusion, our cultures and laws are not equipped to cope with this concept on more than a limited extenuating basis. Further, such discussion is contentious as, if true, it violates one of the basic motivations that underpin neuropsychotherapy, being the need for control).

This direct link between the form, function and operation of the brain and its capacity to consciously and subconsciously control all thoughts, feelings and behaviours forms the basis of neuroscience, neuropsychology and neuropsychotherapy (5, 6, 38). Specifically, neuropsychotherapy is focused on the neural structures and processes that shape perceptions and responses through memory, emotions, thoughts and sensations, expressed as decisions, behaviours and interactions (5). In doing so, neuropsychotherapy provides insights into how dysfunctions can be addressed and wellness achieved (6) effectively and sustainably. Moreover, particularly in the context of organisational leadership, it points the way to increasing resilience (39), being one’s capacity to deal effectively with daily challenges.

Neuropsychotherapy acknowledges the role of neuroscience in understanding the physical structure of the brain itself, most specifically in understanding the functions of various brain regions and the eighty six billion neurons, trillions of connections between those neurons (synapses), and hundreds of billions of glial cells which service and strengthen synapses (5, 6). Through a myriad of neural connections the brain stores information as memory (40), sending and receiving messages and changing itself (neuroplasticity) according to its environments, health and experiences using an intricate web of connections to transmit and receive neurochemicals and electrical signals (38). Due this ability to change through the educative influence of experiences (including the addition of new knowledge and skills) in forming conscious and subconscious memories and by thinking and doing things differently in order to create and strengthen synaptic connections (41) and weaken or prune unused ones (42), in turn creating changes in the brain’s conscious and unconscious activities and capabilities.

 As a therapy, neuropsychotherapy leverages brain design, functionality and neuroplasticity in seeking to create positive change in the life of clients by facilitating the physical brain changes that underlie beliefs, emotions, decisions and behaviours (6). As a consequence, the effectiveness of any therapeutic (or coaching) interventions that seek to facilitate change in thinking and behaviour are entirely dependent on their influence in physical changes within the brains of clients, for without change to the brain, there is no change at all. For these reason, the application of neuroscience has received recognition as representing a significant step forward in diagnosis and counselling (43).  

The triune brain

In seeking to facilitate change effectively and in ways that can be understood by clients (one of the principles of neuropsychotherapy is client neuroeducation (44)), a biological premise of neuropsychotherapy is that the brain grows and matures from the“bottom” up, and, in line with its development and in terms of fundamental operations, can be identified in three main parts (45). They are, in order:

1) Sitting below the rest of the brain and atop the brain stem and spinal cord, the oldest part of the brain (evolutionarily and in foetal development) is perhaps slightly inaccurately known as the reptilian complex, which we will refer to as the survival brain. Operating subconsciously, it includes parts that create arousal, sensation and reactions to many different stimuli, coordinating movement while sending and receiving signals between the brain and the body via the central nervous system (34). In enabling us to survive, it not only manages and coordinates many essential bodily functions but also responds within milliseconds to signals of danger, triggering physiological action-oriented responses faster than they can be perceived through conscious awareness.

2) The next oldest part is the paleomammalian complex (or limbic system), also referred to as the emotional brain (46). It is primarily responsible for emotions, coordination of memories (the most powerful of which are emotionally experiential) and arousal (stimulation), as well as basic survival functions like body regulation, sensing of hunger and thirst (34). It is from here that our deepest, fastest, longest lasting lessons become embedded and translated situationally into reactions. The “knowledge” (complex memories) stored here arises from genetics and experience (47), shaping our intuition and guiding our “gut feel” (itself a result of interactions between neurons in the brain and digestive tract).

Our emotional brain drives our survival in often hostile and complex environments, reacting instantly without differentiating between physical and psychological threat (Grawe, 2007). Capable of limited rationality, our emotional brain is unable to communicate through written or spoken language, connecting with the outside world through direct sensory input and/or through the mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are the enabler of empathy, vital in creating relationships and learning by helping us to mimic and learn from watching as well as to feel what others are feeling (48, 49). In this way, mirror neurons allow for learning and connecting not only through personal experience and words, but through the experiences and emotions of others, a finding that carries implications for the therapeutic relationship (49) through the style, authenticity, demeanour and behaviours of the therapist or coach.

In its quest to protect us in a direct relationship with stress (stimulation), our emotional brain dominates reactive, subconscious and intuitive decision making (50). For the purposes of understanding how the emotional brain influences neuropsychotherapy, the parts of the emotional brain we are most interested in are:

  • The amygdala (technically amygdalae) – the highly influential gatekeeper of safety, recipient of all major sensory information, reacting in milliseconds to perceived physical or psychological threat (Grawe, 2007). The amygdala constantly scans the environment for emotional content, guiding and triggering primitive survival reactions that dominate our behaviours in times of stress.
  • The hippocampus (technically hippocampi) – the part of the brain responsible for, amongst other things, short-term (working) memory, spatial memory, memory retrieval interaction with emotional and behavioural management, the nervous system, the rational brain, neuroplasticity and more (51-53).

While the amygdala and the hippocampus are both a part of the emotional brain, overactivity in one results in under-activity of the other (44). For example, when the amygdala is highly stimulated (eg under stress), it takes a leading role in directing the reptilian brain to act to preserve self or others (physically and/or psychologically). In doing so, it deprives the hippocampus of the resources and ability to adequately access working memory, emotional management and rational thought. Additionally, the overactive amygdala instructs the reptilian brain to take a fight, flight or freeze approach to directing blood flow away from the rational parts of the brain in order to maximise available energy for major muscle groups in preparation for physical action, best exemplified in times of panic where people may shake with fear or rage and feel unable to think clearly.

Where overactivity of the amygdala is chronic and its host is in a compromised environment (being one that does not satisfy basic needs) rather than an enriched (supportive, safe and stimulating) one, in serving its threat-detection and action-preparation role, the amygdala reacts by physically growing in size and influence (44), along with a reduction in the voltage (action potential) required to activate it, leading to increased sensitivity and a dominantly anxious (and at times debilitating) disposition, potentially as a precursor to depression (54).

At the same time, chronic anxiety and depression inhibits the growth of the hippocampus in children, and in adults leads to cell death and shrinkage (55, 56) reducing its capabilities and influence. In this way the brain, along with its synaptic connections, develops in the same way as muscles on the “use it or lose it” principle (42).

3) As its name suggests, the newest region of the triune brain is the neomammalian complex (45), in which the pre-frontal cortex is the part in which the basic principles of neuropsychotherapy are most concerned. Also referred to as the “rational” brain, this is the part that most significantly separates humans from other species, granting unique abilities in higher order thinking, including conceptualisation, analysis and planning, as well as the potential for complex written and spoken language and maintaining a high number of interpersonal relationships (34) (57-59). In conjunction with the coordination of short and long term memories this part of the brain, in concert with size, focal structure (60, 61)  and development (62), and assisted by neural path network strength, length and efficiency, exhibited through attributes like versatility, resourcefulness and speed, has been linked to intellectual capability, or IQ (63).

A basic guide to the interplay between the three parts of the triune brain might be best described as a sequenced response to a stimulus. For example, a person hears a sound and sees its cause. Within milliseconds, the amygdala is aware of the stimulus and makes a snap judgement on the perceived potential danger associated with the source. If no threat is estimated to exist, the amygdala takes no action, allowing the hippocampus to coordinate its own activities in managing working memory, accessing stored memories, consolidating new memories, spatial memory, sequencing behaviour and integrating motor and speech with stimuli, along with its highly significant role in accessing the social and spatial cognitive capacity of the right pre-frontal cortex and the critical thinking capacity of the left pre-frontal cortex (53). In this “thriving” state, people are well-placed to manage their emotions, interact successfully with others, access their intellect and maintain a positive frame of mind. When thriving individuals are faced with a physical, psychological or social challenge that they do not perceive as a threat, they experience a release (to the extent appropriate for the context) of serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine for positive energy, supported by dopamine for feelings of well-being and reward. Accordingly, their brain is capable of operating to its potential, in so doing forming and reinforcing positive neural connections that lead to future similarly positive thoughts and behavioural habits. When thriving in this way, the brain is effective, learning, growing and highly capable of fast, positive change, including exhibiting increased resilience when facing future challenges (39).

Alternatively, as perceptions of danger from an environment or stimulus increases, the more the amygdala becomes interested, instructing the senses to pay more attention to that source (general or specific), often through a widening of the eyes and selective listening (physically expressed in many other mammals by reorienting ears toward the stimulus). If the amygdala decides that a serious and immediate threat is present, it reacts by activating the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, in turn triggering the release of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine for energy and recovery, and instructing the survival brain to trigger the physiological fight or flight survival responses as described earlier. In this condition the hippocampus and the rational brain have a very limited capacity to operate or influence, allowing the brain and body to attend to survival in the moment. Whilst perfectly adapted to life fifty thousand years ago in physically hostile environments, this reactive process is not useful in dealing with modern psychological “dangers”. In this anxious state the brain builds and reinforces reactive survival responses which most commonly decrease personal capacity for relationship building, cognitive processing, emotional management and physical wellness (64).

Due to the pervasiveness and of the survival response in times of vulnerability, and these physical barriers to brain change (learning) created by stress, the first step in therapy, and indeed coaching, must be to ensure that clients feel safe, both in the therapeutic relationship (16) and the immediate environment, in order to not engage or downregulate their protective, defensive, resistant survival response so as to in turn comfortably adopt an optimistic, open, change-ready thriving response (49). In this way, by addressing the needs of the older parts of the brain first, neuropsychotherapy is unique in taking an overtly bottom-up approach (5) to facilitating positive change.

Basic motivational needs

As a part of anthropological survival, human genes carry basic instinctual overlapping priorities (needs) in addition to immediate physical safety  (5, 6). They are:

  • Attachment, being the maintenance of satisfying and emotionally safe relationships. This need arises from our need to belong to, be accepted by, contribute to and be protected by others from birth until death. In evolutionary terms, individuals who did not maintain relationships were unlikely to survive in hostile environments, leaving those genetically disposed to form and maintain them to pass their genes on to us.
  • Orientation and Control, being the understanding and familiarity we have of the world around us, physically, behaviourally and emotionally, as well as the influence we have over it. This need gives rise to our desire for a level of autonomy and independence (and interdependence) and the very human need for sense-making, along with the distress created when people are treated unfairly or subjected to things that are out of their control.
  • Pleasure-seeking and pain avoidance. Our brains are preprogramed to seek things that it feels will create pleasurable feelings either through imagination, experience or genetic programming (eg sex drive), and to preserve life.

There is also another need, albeit of a higher order (5), that influences behaviours in conjunction with the first three, but also relies on the fulfilment of the first three for its own stability, being the need for self-esteem enhancement and/or protection. Developing from around the age of three, and based on the feedback they receive from others, people develop a sense of themselves and of social place, balancing, moderating and driving internally and socially competitive or compliant behaviours. This is a driver of ambition and achievement, working closely with the other three basic needs to motivate behaviours that are perceived to increase, or protect, social recognition, identity, status and power, according to the type and level required by each individual.

Congruence and incongruence in the satisfaction of needs

Where these basic needs are under-satisfied or over-satisfied (for example, too little or too much interaction with others in relation to the attachment need), incongruence exists which individuals will seek to redress by reacting in a positive or negative manner. Where there is a perception that the incongruence is insignificant or can be controlled or eliminated (controlled incongruence), therefore not representing a stress-inducing threat, individuals typically adopt a positively-focused “approach” schema whereby the emotional brain is not triggered and the hippocampus and rational brain are empowered to make considered, healthy choices in order to redress the imbalance and, in turn, support healthy neural functioning and development (thriving) (6).

Where the dominant perception is one where the incongruence is significant and cannot be controlled, individuals typically adopt a negatively-focused avoidance schema, being one dominated by reactivity from the emotional and survival brains and where there is little capacity to take positive cognitive steps toward achieving a positive and permanent solution (surviving). In this condition, clients get stuck in, and due to neuroplasticity reinforce, unhelpful thought patterns and behavioural loops (5, 6).

In seeking to assist clients through coaching or therapy it is therefore essential that individuals, in addition to feeling safe in the therapeutic relationship and the therapeutic environment, are assisted in understanding their needs and recognising incongruences so as to support their need for orientation and control over their own condition, in turn empowering to grant themselves a sense of control over how deal with them, with an immediate improvement in the satisfaction of the dominant need for control. In this way, clients can feel some immediate improvement and be in a better position to facilitate the cognitively-driven neuroplasticity that will help them to create new thinking and behavioural habits and to let go of old, unhelpful ones.

Neuropsychotherapy underpins change in therapy, coaching and the blurred boundaries in-between

Key indicators of successful coaching have been identified as behaviour change and learning (13), both of which require neuroplasticity. Therefore, coaching and therapy that does not support neuroplasticity cannot claim to be more than superficially effective, as it will not have changed the neural processes that dictate thoughts and behaviours. In line with the Hebbian principle (41) of neuroplasticity mandating that doing nothing is doing something (ie, if new neural pathways are not being formed, old ones are being reinforced), coaching and therapy that does not support change instead supports inertia.

In not concerning themselves with analysing past problems, solution-focused therapy and solution-focused executive coaching share the dangerous similarity of not exploring deeper causes and meanings that may inform effective understandings and goal-setting. In the case of neuropsychotherapy, the past is referenced in order to understand the underlying biological dysfunction that leads to “default” thought and behavioural patterns so that dysfunction can be addressed and a healthier and more satisfying future pursued (6). For this reason, it is ineffective to not acknowledge the role of neuropsychotherapy in understanding underlying (unspoken) challenges and facilitating sustainable and significant change in both therapy and coaching.

In basing themselves purely on goals with an overt aversion to understanding or any analysis of the events and influences of the past (2, 29) solution-focused coaching and solution-focused therapy attempt to deal with isolated and non-permanent problems with a purely future-oriented focus. This is a double-edged sword, on the one hand supporting change by avoiding existing problem-laden pathways that are likely to be accompanied by a level of stress response and negative neural reinforcement, instead favouring a more optimistic and cognitively engaged, future-focused attitude that supports change-creating new neural connections. However, in not acknowledging deeper sources of problems, solutions risk being superficial, narrow and temporary. In this way, solution-focused therapy and coaching makes an error in distinguishing between being past or future focused, as surely all therapy is future-focused (in intent at least) whereas its accompanying component, analysis, is past and current-focused. To this end, neuropsychotherapy concerns itself with the past only in order to better understand its impact on the present so as to be able to most effectively collaborate with clients on envisioning and moving toward a healthier, more rewarding and sustainable future.

Neuropsychotherapy predicts that in order to facilitate neural change in clients, it is necessary that the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are adequately engaged, which requires an environment of safety, both physically and in the therapeutic alliance (44). This mandates the necessity for coaching and therapy to be held within a trusted and safe space and relationship. Neuropsychotherapy also predicts that, due to the repetition of neural rewiring required in order to facilitate lasting change, new positive habits are unlikely to be formed quickly and will require commitment and persistence on the part of the client within a safe and supportive social and physical environment. All of these requirements are supported by the research on coaching efficacy which linked successful change to commitment, organisational environment, client/coach relationship and length of treatment (7).

Additionally, through its focus on moving “default” neural pathways away from fear-based survival mode toward a cognitively led, engaged and resourceful thriving mode, neuropsychotherapy naturally enhances resilience, the predictor of coping and thriving capability in a wide variety of potentially stressful contexts (39) linked with personal and organisational performance (65). The basic neurobiological and neurochemical principles that underpin neuropsychotherapy are also inherent in emotional intelligence, a skillset that is linked more closely with career success than IQ but is learned rather than genetic (66), therefore relying on neuroplasticity to become a natural, highly effective personal attribute.

The only substantial difference in these predictors of success in achieving change lies with solution-focused therapy and short courses of coaching, which, as “brief” interventions, aim to deal solely with presented problems and/or specific goals in a short amount of time. In this way, neuroplasticity and the research findings for coaching indicate this predisposition for brevity is an inherent weakness in the ability of brief courses of therapy and coaching to achieve lasting and significant change. Unfortunately, this represents a major weakness with solution-focused therapy (44) and short-term coaching, but to the extent that they don’t recognise the need for neural rewiring in facilitating change they are accompanied by almost all other approaches to therapy and coaching (15). There is no escaping that new neural pathways are fragile and prone to relapse unless new neural patterns of thinking, feeling, doing and being are effectively facilitated in therapy (or coaching) (49) and reinforced (through committed, determined, deliberate practice), and that relative success in doing so is the sole determinant of whether change has occurred and is likely to be sustainable.

Finally, in ethically delivering value to clients, the efficacy for coaching and therapy must be measured in success in terms of improved capacity to deal with immediate and urgent issues and/or in longer term client wellness and self-development, subject to the scope of engagement. While brief (short-engagement) solution-focused approaches can be effective in quickly identifying and achieving immediate goals, and so deliver client value for that scope, because longer term change relies on creating conditions and employing methodologies that support healthy neural change and well-being, therapists and coaches can create superior outcomes and value for their clients if their techniques are tailored accordingly.

Conclusion

Due to the shared goal of facilitating helpful, client-led and goal oriented change supported by a strong, safe and trusting interpersonal alliance solution-focused therapy and solution-focused coaching have much in common. However in theory and practice they do not acknowledge that their effectiveness in achieving sustainable change, resilience and wellness relies on their effectiveness in facilitating the creation of new neural pathways that support a thriving brain that is low on emotional reactivity and high on wellness, cognitive capacity and resilience. For that reason, it is important that neuropsychotherapeutic principles guide, and be incorporated into, best practice for solution-focused therapy and executive coaching.

The efficacy of integrating solution-focused therapy and neuropsychotherapy has been established (44), if not yet widely adopted. There is also a developing school of therapy known as neurocounseling (67-69), itself integrating counselling approaches with neuropsychotherapy. Following from that, in order to achieve superior, longer lasting and more significant outcomes, along with more consistent delivery of client value and safety in the field of executive coaching, it is proposed that an integrated neuropsychotherapeutic-solution-focused framework for executive coaching (executive neurocoaching) be adopted by appropriately trained and certified practitioners.

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