#85 How Relationships Drive Behavioral Change with Simon Matthews

Simon Matthews is a board-certified lifestyle medicine professional and the CEO of Wellcoaches Australia and Wellcoaches Singapore, the premier school of evidence-based health coaching. Simon is committed to helping people achieve their goals of living healthier, purposeful lives. As a psychologist and fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine, Simon writes and consults widely in the areas of health coaching, behavior change, positive psychology, and lifestyle medicine. In addition to his work at Wellcoaches, Simon serves as an adjunct lecturer at Avondale University College.


Simon joins me today to discuss how relationships impact behavioral change. He explores the fundamental principles of health coaching and describes why it’s important to approach people’s values, motivation, and beliefs with openness and curiosity. He outlines the main barriers to behavior change and explains why fear and shame are not good external motivators of change. Simon also highlights the power of sleep and underscores how building relationships is central to a resilient mind and effective coaching.


“Relationships are the essence of coaching—it’s a deeply, deeply human pursuit. Tech can enhance and support behavioral change, but at the bottom of it all sits the relationship between one human being and another.” – Simon Matthews


This week on In the Doctor’s Chair:


  • The definition of health coaching
  • The essential tenets of effective coaching
  • How humans value autonomy
  • Bringing lifestyle medicine and positive psychology into a medical consultation
  • Why health coaching isn’t about getting people to do something
  • The relationship between values, identity, and behavior change
  • The wheel of change and how people’s perceptions of health behaviors change in different moments of time
  • Heraclitus’s wisdom and what makes health coaching interventions likely to succeed
  • Why relationships are the essence of coaching
  • How technology can support behavioral change
  • Emotional agility and the main barriers to success for change
  • Why external motivation based on fear and shame doesn’t create lasting behavioral change
  • The importance of feedback in coaching
  • Diet as a way of life and sleep as an elixir to vitality
  • Simon’s advice for a resilient mind

Connect with Simon Matthews:


In the Doctor’s Chair

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