I’ve found myself asking this question a lot lately. Perhaps it’s the current political and global uncertainty, or the transition to a new decade. Maybe I’m just having my own private identity crisis? But if there’s one thing that editing this journal has taught me over the years, it’s that the role of coach can be fluid and changeable, and what we mean when we call ourselves a ‘coach’ can depend on context, client and our own training, background and approaches.
I know myself, and from having had the privilege of reading your myriad contributions, that the role of coach can run the gamut from counsellor and therapist to mentor, facilitator, trainer and educator, depending on who we are working with, where and why. I know many practitioners who have come to coaching from counselling and psychotherapy, but I know others who have come from a teaching or education background, others from a leadership training and facilitation background, and still others (particularly within the creative and cultural leadership sector I came from), who offered themselves up as mentors within the industry and subsequently developed coaching skills through forward-thinking proactive programmes such as the Clore Leadership Programme,1 developing leaders specifically for and from within the sector and equipping them with the skills they will need for great leadership – which also happen to be effective coaching skills.
I wonder if, over the past 10 years, you have found your role as coach changing? Perhaps you have moved sectors or changed careers, gone from working in organisations to private practice, or vice versa, or have created your own unique portfolio practice? Perhaps you have recently retrained as a coach, or added coaching to your existing practice? Perhaps you have found your practice changing as a result of your own changing personal ethics, interests or passions? What has resourced you? What training or professional development has served you? What do you feel you need more of as you continue to develop as a practitioner of coaching in 2020? Please get in touch if you have a story to share, if you feel called to contribute in some way, or respond to any of the articles we are publishing here.
Finally, I want to pay a quick tribute to my colleague Sally Brown, the new editor of Therapy Today. Sally has been an invaluable contributor to this journal over the past few years, managing our news and research pages with aplomb, along with a number of our regular columns and features, including Meet the Member and Ask the Executive. Our loss is Therapy Today’s gain, and I couldn’t be happier that her editorial talent is staying within the BACP family. Please join me in wishing her well and congratulating her in her new role.