Reflections: Counselling, Teaching, Healing and Coaching

March 20, 2013


I have trained in a various disciplines and in a number of different methods. I enjoy the challenge of continually learning and experiencing, and in the process sharing that and knowledge with those I work with. If we wish to be practitioners in the arts of counselling, teaching, healing and coaching, we need to be clear on where our values and beliefs stand.

As I have considered that, meeting and being taught by experts, exponents and influential thinkers, it has become apparent to me that any attempt to isolate mind, body and spirit into component parts or to insist that there are clear boundaries between counselling, teaching, healing and coaching, is normally done to suit the needs of the practitioner and not the client.

I often hear such statements as Business Coaches don’t do therapy!” or “The Executive Coach fee needs to be very high otherwise they are no good!” and Spiritual stuff is fluffy mumbo jumbo” (by the way the Vatican is the most effective, resourceful and business like organisation in the world!) and I am advised to behave to the norm to sell myself; that is to be clinical, business minded and charge a large fee, whilst denying my core understanding that all individuals need an individual and personal approach. What they believe, think, feel and what to say is vital.

I have been and can be the hard-nosed business coach (and person), especially if that is what my client needs, I will match them. I understand that people often have hurts and anguish from the past or about the future, and I will stand there with them and offer comfort, reassurance and timely observations on how to move on; some call that healing, which they think that coaches should never do it (or worse that it is invalid). That’s not my experience.

Of course healing approaches vary; some peers need simple first aid, a sticking plaster approach others need or wish for something more and deeper. Consider how frequently the news is full of the costs to the work place of stress or how emotional and mental health issues adversely affect us in society. It wont take much to link the different needs.

The research also shows that those who have some form of faith, tend to be more mentally and emotionally resilient. My understanding is that when we have a belief in something bigger than we are, it keeps us psychologically healthy. That often is a religion, but need not be. Some people wish to explore their spirituality and I have enjoyed working with all faiths and beliefs – they have a tremendous amount of similarity and often are best explained in simple terms – those practitioners wishing to support their clients need to have explored, concluded and yet remain open minded and open hearted in supporting their clients.

For me, Spirit is about direction, growth and energy, whilst Soul is about our depth of self knowing, meaning and the mysteries of what we do not yet know.

My core approach is to teach personal democracy, that the client is responsible for themselves and for how they use their resources (which are many and varied). I also understand that all of us need help sometimes; to feel cared for, supported, to experience healing , to be taught and shown and sometimes to be encouraged and challenged by a counsellor, teacher, healer and coach. Why do we not deserve that? We all have different issues, different needs at different times in different situations – yes we deserve it!

What should the price be? A fair rate that reflects my training, experience and willingness to keep doing so, treading the paths before my clients have and adding value to the help they need. It’s a price that enables me to meet my living costs and keeps me fresh and available for my clients. It’s not a marketing ploy to flatter egos of those spending other people money (normally shareholders). It reflects the value that my clients receive and in that way it is win-win.

That done, it’s a living that provides sufficiently allow me keep doing the work for as long as it is of use.