Supporting Clients Through Coronavirus-related Stress - International Coaching Federation
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Supporting Clients Through Coronavirus-related Stress

Posted by Shiri Ben-Arzi, PCC | March 9, 2020 | Comments (10)

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is gradually becoming a part of our daily reality, for some more than others. In addition to its effect on our external reality, it is also affecting our internal one by inviting additional stress and anxiety into our personal space.

This new internal reality enters the coaching space with our client. If we want to help our clients achieve sustainable results, we need to know how to support them through this.

The RAIN (recognize, acknowledge and accept, invite, and non-attachment) model offers a road map to create clarity, increase resilience and build an action plan to move on. We can use it with our clients and for ourselves.


Recognize the thoughts and emotions associated with the stress. Notice them without judgment and name them. Naming our thoughts and emotions helps us to resize them into a manageable size and separate them from other thoughts and feelings.

Remember that anxiety is an unbalanced state of fear. In the context of this crisis it is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.

Acknowledge and Accept

Acknowledge what you are experiencing, feeling and thinking. Accept it as the present reality and allow yourself to be with it in a compassionate way. Accepting our current sensations, thoughts and emotions does not mean we are passively accepting the things we do not like; it merely means that we are embracing our humanity and how we are at this specific moment.


Invite coaching curiosity into the process and ask yourself:

  • What do I need now?
  • What can I trust?
  • What resources (internal and external) are available to me now?
  • What are some actions I could take to help myself?

Once you feel ready, shift into a META View and ask these questions again.


Our thoughts and emotions, not who we are; they are part of an experience we are having. By releasing our attachment to the content and nature of our thoughts and emotions, we stop identifying with them. Once there is no identification, we can reconnect with our values and redirect our focus and energy to an action plan.

When I am coaching a client on a stress issue, I tend to add an S and turn the RAIN into RAINS. The S stands for self-care.


True self-care is not about having a massage or drinking champagne with your chocolate cake; it is an act of self-preservation. Self-care means making a conscious choice to take intentional actions that increase mental, emotional and physical health.
When we start practicing true self-care a lot, negative inner talk and limiting belief will come to meet us. Therefore, we need to practice self-love and self-compassion so we can self-care.

RAINS is not a “quick fix” technique. It is an approach and a way of holding the space for others and ourselves.

This crisis will end at some point. Just like any other crisis, it can bring out the best as well the worst in people. Let’s make sure that we, as coaches, use our knowledge, tools and calling to promote goodness and make this world a better place.

Shiri Ben-Arzi, PCC

Shiri is a Medical Coach, Coaching Supervisor, workshop facilitator and international lecturer. Over the past 15 years, Shiri has worked with leading pharmaceutical companies and medial organizations, including GSK, Pfizer, Sanofi and the Israeli ministry of health. She is a volunteer co-leader of ICF’s Health and Wellness Coaching Community of Practice and a past winner of Ireland’s Medical Coach Award and Coach Supervisor Award. Learn more about Shiri and her work here.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

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Comments (10)

  1. excellent post Shiri – thank you for the balanced perspective and advice!

  2. Yorde Leelawejabootr says:

    Dear Shiri Ben-Arzi,

    First, thank you for your evocative post, introducing the R.A.I.N. approach to ICF audiences. I did some more researches about it; where it comes from and, in which situation we can apply this model, and I found this has the alignment with coaching.

    Second, I thoughts what a creative mind!, linking this mindfulness R.A.I.N. approach with the latest outbreak situation.

    Really enjoy reading your post.

  3. Dr. Coach SmartKid says:

    Thank you very much for sharing R.A.I.N model. It is very useful in the nowadays situation.

  4. Dr. Coach SmartKid says:

    Thank you very much for sharing R.A.I.N.(S) model. It is very useful in the nowadays situation.

  5. Nisha says:

    Thank you for this! It is exactly what I needed to help me Coach my clients in this crisis time.

  6. says:

    Dear Shiri
    Thank you for this timely and value adding contribution.
    Let us work to achieve a safe and confidence building practice for our clients.
    Warm regards
    Dubai; UAE

    • Linda Reddin says:

      I love the acronym RAINS, and I will use it myself, as well as, for my clients. The invitational questions are good also.

      Thanks for encouraging self compassion during these stressful times.

      All the best.

  7. says:

    Thank you for this beautiful technique Shiri! I love the easiness in remembering it and applying it and definitely I’ll go for the RAINS, as I believe self-care is so important during this challenging time.
    Take care and be healthy,

  8. says:

    Thank you for this and for such an easy acronym to remember! I will definitely use it in my practice 🙂 Best wishes.

  9. Rohan Sharma says:

    The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is gradually becoming a part of our daily reality, If we want to help our clients achieve sustainable results, we need to know how to support them through this. this blog is specially for supportive format. so read out this.

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