The time I was first conscious of wanting a coaching qualification was shortly before Lockdown, when I was telling a client what coaching was not.
This is a pretty common experience partly because coaching, like mental health or creative writing, is a young enough profession that the benefits and vocabulary aren’t as familiar or established in most people’s minds as other professional areas. But it’s also because the lines between coaching, mentoring (at one end) and psychotherapy (at the other) aren’t always immediately clear.
A key definition of coaching is “witnessing and supporting a client’s thinking process: challenging limiting beliefs, identifying goals and supporting development in life and work.” The coach does not need to be more experienced than the client in their line of work, or in their life (that would be impossible!). Nor does the client need to come with a problem requiring “treatment” as such (if a coach thinks a new or existing client would be better served by a psychotherapist, we’re bound by ICF regulations to refer them and not to take the work). As a coach, my job is to explore what the client wants, how their thinking process plays out and – in life, work or art – any blocks that might be holding them back.
At the end of March, I’ll be completing Barefoot Coaching’s accredited training course in Business and Personal Coaching. Studying to become a coach means receiving as well as giving a lot of coaching from tutors and peers, and I can’t begin to do justice to how much respect I have for how well they understand how people think, feel and learn. It’s truly been both the safest and most exhilarating educational experience of my life.
Until I reach my 100 hours that allow me to qualify as a PCC (Professionally Certified Coach), I’ll be offering half-price chemistry sessions where coach and client explore whether they want to work with each other. If you or someone you know would like to explore their goals, blocks and dreams for work, art or life, just quote “newsletter discount”.