Unlikely Bedfellows?

By Gemma Frankland, Be Healthy Coaching

On first inspection, Health Coaching and Theatre may not seem likely bedfellows. Yet look closer and a powerful synergy materialises. And by bringing these two elements together in our collaborations, Be Healthy Coaching and Bounce Theatre hope to generate more than the sum of the parts.

Health Coaching is a blend of behaviour change psychology, neuroscience and emerging research into just why we find it hard to live healthier lives despite having all the knowledge of how to do this a Google’s search away.

By blending this knowledge, the Health Coach allies with the Client to navigate the gap between being told how to live healthily – and actually doing it. During this journey, the Client examines their character and their motivations, their hopes and fears, their sources of support and sabotage. And here we start to use language that hints at a synergy with Theatre and the performing arts.

Done effectively, the Client is the protagonist as the Coach helps them examine their very own drama, take control of the plot development, and decide who plays the supporting roles. In essence, Health Coaching and Theatre are both about examining the very nature of being human.

To see this shared (and fertile) ground at its most obvious, we need only look at two key, and crucial elements of both Health Coaching & Theatre; Exploration and Experimentation.

One of the key roles of the Health Coach, is to help create a safe and nourishing space for the Client to work in. Without this atmosphere of security, trust, and true support from the Coach, it is unlikely the Client will feel able to look deeply within themselves, take the risk of making changes, or take ‘failures’ along with successes.

In this established space of non-judgement and support, the Client can explore and experiment. They can see themselves in new roles – for example the smoker who can picture themselves as a healthy, exercising non-smoker, or the obese fast-food eater who can see themselves preparing and enjoying healthy food.

This re-imagining and ‘possibility thinking’ helps them to rewrite the chapters ahead of them in their own book of Life. By daring to see what might be possible, the Client is often galvanised into action – into making their unreality, reality. A healthier reality.

And is this not one of the key draws of the Theatre and other creative Arts? Creative experience allows us to escape our everyday, to see what is possible and see the world as a place to adventure and explore. We can experiment because is permissibly aligned with creative pursuits. We can let go and surrender to what comes. And this organic space with no constraints is where creativity thrives.

It is also, psychologists and neuroscientists will verify, where the ability to make lasting lifestyle change thrives.

By bringing Health Coaching and Theatre together, we can potentially stimulate change that only occurs when we feel free to know, express and transform ourselves beyond all our hopes.

And this is why at Be Healthy Coaching and Bounce Theatre, we hope that by blending our areas of expertise, we can help our participants become healthily and expressively the best they can be.

12 October 2019.

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