How Coaching Works

Our Research-Based Approach to Teaching Executive Function Skills



The Right Tools for Each Student

At Beyond BookSmart, we have researched hundreds of tools and strategies and have created a database with over 375 of the best methods for improving Executive Function skills, allowing us to be both systematic and highly personalized with our coaching services. Our coaches have each tool at their fingertips in our extensive library.

A Proven Approach to Changing Behavior

Unlike typical tutors or even other Executive Function organizations, our approach to Executive Function coaching is based on the Transtheoretical Model, also known as the Stages of Change (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983; Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992). This model, with over 30 years of proven efficacy across a variety of applications, emphasizes that behavior change occurs on a continuum and that people pass through the following stages as they work to change a habit: 

Precontemplation: No, I am not interested in discussing this. It’s not anything I need to change.

Contemplation: I will think about changing my behavior. 

Preparation: I wonder what I have to do to plan for making this change?

Action: I’m trying; I am changing my behavior now. 

Maintenance: I have a new habit that takes the place of the old behavior.

Generalization: What can I learn from this change and how I can possibly change in other ways?

We were very impressed when Beyond Book Smart came to the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Rhode Island and Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. to share with us how Michael Delman and the Beyond BookSmart staff apply the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change to coaching youth with executive functioning difficulties. How good it is to see the Model being used effectively to help youth wherever they are at in their readiness to change--not ready, getting ready, or ready to learn new coping behaviors."

Janice Prochaska, Ph.D.

Science tells us there are no quick fixes, and our coaches respect that process of change and are trained to identify which stage a student is currently in, in order to coach most effectively. Moreover, our coaches know that students may flow between stages depending on their circumstances and adjust accordingly.

Why Does the Stages of Change Model Work With Our Students?

Sometimes our students may be unwilling to change at the moment they begin coaching. Others may want to change their work habits but may be unprepared for the challenges they may face. Still others may think that a new habit will magically "stick" after a couple tries and be surprised how easy it can be to fall back into old habits. Dr. Prochaska and his research colleagues developed guidelines for each stage, designed to help an individual move along the continuum toward meaningful and lasting change.

Beyond BookSmart's Research and Development team adapted Prochaska's approaches to apply to the unique needs of our students. We are honored that Drs. James Prochaska and Janice Prochaska have endorsed our adaptation of the model for working with students on their Executive Function challenges and their academic challenges.

Our coaches' deep understanding of the science behind behavior change allows us to help students with Executive Function challenges shift their perspective and transform themselves. We teach them new tools and strategies and help them to develop habits that will allow them to be successful in school and beyond.

Upon completing coaching, students feel more confident, more capable, more aware of their ability to influence outcomes, and more responsible for their decisions.

Find out more about how Executive Function coaching can benefit your child.

Learn more > Request Free Consultation ›