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Coaching with Science (Dr. Irena O’Brien)

  • Episode #45

Dr. Irena O’Brien breaks down helpful neuroscientific principles and techniques to help coaches and their clients. Her uncomplicated approach will get your creative juices flowing with ways to employ evidence-based strategies to help your own clients.

Dr. Irena O’Brien founded The Neuroscience School to uncomplicate neuroscience and teach practical, science-based tools and strategies that coaches and helping professionals can use in their practice. She offers a free resource of 10 strategies coaches can begin using right away (linked below).  

In this episode we discuss:

  • What is neuroscience and how can understanding it help coaches?
  • What are the common misconceptions about neuroscience?
  • How can visualization be more effective?
  • Techniques to help clients with low self esteem.
  •  What is the Pomodoro Technique, and how can it help your brain?
  • What are the two networks of the brain that we use for behavior change?
  • Why is it important to set up your environment for success?
  • The importance of a healthy mind-body system.
“When you have success on a task, you get a hit of dopamine. And the dopamine hit lasts long enough and also predicts success on the next task that you’re gonna do.”

Dr. Irena O’Brien

Dr. Irena O’Brien, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist and has been studying psychology and neuroscience for over 25 years. She founded The Neuroscience School to uncomplicate neuroscience and teach practical evidence-based tools and strategies that coaches and helping professionals can use in their practice. 

Dr. Irena O’Brien is a Meta-Coach, Neurosemantic Trainer, and a cognitive neuroscientist. She has been studying psychology and neuroscience for over 20 years. After working as a chartered accountant for 15 years, she went back to university and obtained her PhD in Psychology from the Université du Quebec à Montréal. While there, she conducted brain imaging and electrophysiological studies and went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Language, Mind and Brain at McGill University. Dr. Irena is passionate about neuroscience. She reads and writes about the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, which offer us practical tools and strategies that we can use with our clients and in our own daily lives.

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:
Coaches Console
Dr. Irena’s website
Dr. Irena’s LinkedIn
Dr. Irena’s FREE ebooklet

Guest: Dr. Irena O’Brien
Host: Melinda Cohan
Producer: Cynthia Lamb 
Executive producer: Danny Iny
Scripted and assembled  by: Michi Lantz 
Audio Post Supervisor: Evan Miles, Christopher Martin
Audio Post Production: Post Office Sound
Music soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely

If you don’t want to miss future episodes of Just Between Coaches, please subscribe to Apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever you’re listening right now. And if you liked the show, please leave us a starred review. It’s the best way to help us get these ideas to more people.

Music and SFX credits:
Track Title: Clouds
Artist Name(s): Acreage
Writer Name: Marshall Usinger

Track Title: Coastline Dream
Artist Name(s): Wild Sky
Writer Name: Adam Simons

Track Title: Coo Coos
Artist Name(s): Dresden, The Flamingo
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Track Title: Stars & Trees
Artist Name(s): Outside The Sky
Writer Name: Dustin Ransom


Just Between Coaches

This show is like Oprah’s couch, where conversations cut straight to the heart of the topic, but... it’s only for coaches! Melinda Cohan of the Coaches Console explores the tough questions coaches face on a regular basis. With a new guest host each episode, Melinda provides tactical advice and strategies to address issues like “How do I deal with price resistance?” and “Should I fire my client?”