Friday, December 28, 2007

Handbook of Clinical Psychology, Brief Therapy, and Coaching

I just received my copy of the 2008 Handbook of Clinical Psychology, a two volume reference set that covers the major topics in adult and child psychology, respectively. The first volume, covering adult psychology, consists of 33 chapters that tackle such topics as psychological assessment, research on temperament and personality, studies of psychological change processes, health psychology, and various approaches to therapy. While the reference volume is hardly light reading, it effectively summarizes a wide range of research and practice within psychology. I'll be referring to a few of the chapters in upcoming posts, as I apply the material to trading and human performance.

My own chapter in the Handbook covers the topic of "brief therapy". One of the topics I cover in the chapter is the thorny issue of who can benefit from short-term change approaches. It turns out that the effectiveness of brief interventions is partly a function of the person receiving help (their motivation and readiness for change, their lack of severe and chronic problems) and partly a function of the methods used to promote change (active, experiential, focused). The chapter is relevant to the trading arena because much of what goes under the rubric of "coaching" is actually efforts at short-term emotional and behavioral change.

That means that the issue of who can benefit from brief therapy is not so different from the question of who can benefit from performance coaching, including the coaching of traders. In an upcoming post, I'll draw upon my chapter to offer some guidelines for effective coaching.


A Consumer's Guide to the Coaching of Traders