Therapy with a Coaching Edge: Partnership, Action and Possibility in Every Session

By Lynn Grodzki

(W.W. Norton, published April – May 2018)

From the publisher: Have you been interested in what coaching techniques might have to offer your therapy clients but unsure how to proceed, or curious as to whether a coaching approach is a “fit” for them… or you? If so, Therapy with a Coaching Edge is the book for you. Here, professional practice guru Lynn Grodzki offers a new, paradigm-changing therapy model—adding the leverage and action of a coaching approach to the wisdom and goals of psychotherapy.

Grodzki presents a set of powerful coaching strategies, learned over time from many coaching experiences, which she adapted and designed specifically for therapy, to provide more reach and range for therapists and counselors. Using this model, therapists at all levels of experience can promote behavioral change without insisting on homework or rigid protocols. Clients can spot results in each and every therapy session. Resistance to treatment often softens and client retention improves.

The book gives new and veteran clinicians –counselors and therapists– the skills to not only improve client outcomes, but also energize themselves as practitioners. Therapists feel empowered as they learn to ask compelling questions that generate “ah-ha” moments. They help clients go beyond a discussion of symptoms to explore topics of core values. They show clients how to make decisions based on both necessity and a vision of a better future.

The model provides readers with just-in-time learning, to identify a skill when it is needed and then immediately apply the steps in a session.

Grodzki, an expert psychotherapist and master certified coach, has proven herself to be a trusted voice for therapists through her writing and workshops; she makes the steps to using a coaching approach understandable by offering lively case examples, “your turn” exercises, and sample scripts to give her readers the confidence and context to move forward.



PART 1: The Foundation

1) Therapy with Something Extra
Get better results in therapy by implementing a new model based on a coaching approach.

2) Where Therapy and Coaching Meet
Clarify the common ground and obvious differences between therapy and coaching.

3) Who’s Coachable within Therapy?
Identify those clients who can benefit from a proactive model.

4) Creating Therapist– Client Collaboration
Apply a partnership position to promote behavioral change.

5) Results in Every Session
Improve client satisfaction and retention, session by session.

PART 2: Skills for Partnership

6) Skill #1: Ask Effective Questions
Expand therapy sessions with more “ah- ha” moments by asking the right question.

7) Skill #2: Be a Strategist with a Twist
Help clients resolve big decisions by advancing client- based control.

8) Skill #3: Add Humor and Lightness
Encourage the therapeutic alliance by being authentic and flexible.

PART 3: Skills for Action

9) Skill #4: Call a Client into Action
Assist client readiness for forward movement.

10) Skill #5: Add Shared Accountability
Support clients in accomplishing their desired goals.

11) Skill #6: Deliver a Coaching Edge
Practice the art of giving direct, concise feedback to boost motivation.

PART 4: Skills for Possibility

12) Skill #7: Align with Core Values
Show clients how to make decisions based on meaning and purpose.

13) Skill #8: Find the Metaphors that Matter
Elicit client- driven symbols and stories that strengthen change.

14) Skill #9: Design a Plan for Life
Invite clients to define the future they desire.


The Best Blend
How to integrate Therapy with a Coaching Edge with existing methods of therapy and counseling.


A quick review of checklists, exercises, and action steps for easier application

Guidepost for Client Suitability

Strategies for Collaboration

The “Getting to Yes” Session Plan

List of Effective Questions

Stages of Strategic Partnership

Therapeutic Alliance

Client Readiness

How to Lend a (Limited) Hand

Steps to a Coaching Edge

List of Core Values

Client- Based Metaphors

The Five- Year Life Plan

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“Over the years I’ve heard numerous complaints about well-meaning therapists who nod, listen and empathize with their clients, but fail to provide any plan-of-action to help their clients change. Offering a remedy to this epidemic, Lynn Grodzki’s book is a brilliant and well-timed resource for the fields of psychotherapy and counseling. For too long, the techniques and strategies of coaching have been dismissed by many mental health professionals. Therapy with a Coaching Edge, will no doubt alter this trend and prove to be a valuable resource for clinicians wanting to improve the efficacy of the services they provide.” –Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, and Founder


“This model deftly balances the strengths-based, action and goal oriented mindset of coaching with the necessary boundaries, ethics, integrity, and emotional processing of psychotherapeutic practice. The writing is warm and engaging. Grodzki provides an abundance of clinical scenarios that beautifully illustrate the application and efficacy of concrete skills and creative strategies designed to promote empowerment and growth in both clients and clinicians. A great addition to any clinical practice!”—Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, author of Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapist’s Couch


“Bravo Lynn Grodzki for having the courage, knowledge and skill to articulate what many therapists already do – combine coaching tools along with those from traditional psychotherapy. Intuitively we knew this was the best way to help many clients. Now, Lynn Grodzki has defined and legitimized this therapeutic process with a detailed explanation, while underscoring both its rewards and pitfalls. With Therapy with a Coaching Edge, both new and seasoned therapists will have a mentor/coach constantly by their side.”—Carol Kurtz Walsh, LCSW-C, author of Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma


“When your clients want to take action, you can be ready to help them! In this must-read volume, Lynn Grodzki models her coaching style, offering pragmatic, clearly defined steps for therapists who want to work more effectively at helping clients to achieve their goals. Starting with how to discern when therapy with a coaching edge is the right choice and going on to demonstrate specific therapist skills, such as useful questioning, strategic listening and developing shared accountability, Grodzki show us how to call clients to action and promote not only insight but real and lasting change. She draws on her extensive experience in business, coaching and therapy to provide typical therapeutic situations and how these skills can be put into use. Her writing is crisp, vivid and witty. Any therapist who wants to do better work immediately will want to read this work and put it into practice.”—Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD, author of The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques