In this issue
‘Who am I and why am I here?’: spirituality in coaching
Practical yet profound: a third way for existential coaching
Power through the people: coaching and international development
Message from the chair
A day in the life
Relationship coach and family therapist Sue Sutcliffe
On the coach
Director of the Coaching Supervision Academy Edna Murdoch in conversation with Linda Aspey
What place do spiritual beliefs – either our own or those of our clients – have in our practice as coach-therapists? Is there ever a place for something so personal or is it inevitable that our own spirituality or religious beliefs will colour our relationships with our clients? Can, in fact, our ability to work with the fundamental existential questions such as ‘Who am I?’, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What is my purpose?’ give our work an added richness and depth?
As Nick Wright explains in our cover feature in this edition, the questions that emerge in coaching conversations can reveal deeper struggles of a philosophical or existential nature, and it is in our willingness to enter into this struggle with our clients and wrestle with these essential questions that our work can prove to be profoundly transformational. Though Nick is transparent in his piece about his specific religious beliefs as a Christian, the approach he describes is a universal one, regardless of any particular faith or spiritual belief.
Also in this edition, Nick Bolton explores the subject of existentialism and its practical application in coaching. Like Nick Wright, he argues that many of the questions that our clients grapple with relate to the core issues of our existence and he clearly demonstrates how an existential approach to coaching can support people in finding a way to live their lives with joy, meaning and purpose.
The question ‘Who am I?’ is one that our Chair Jo Birch also raises in relation to our existence as a division. As we go through a period of growth and change, which she details in her regular column, the question ‘Who am I?’ or, more specifically, ‘Who are we?’ is of increasing pertinence. And, as the two authors of our key feature articles each describe in their own ways, a spiritual or existential approach to coaching that deals with such questions can engender a transformational change that enables people to alter the way they relate to the very fact of their existence. To paraphrase Nick Bolton, existential conditions can burst through the surface of everyday life like a volcanic eruption and, in asking the deep, philosophical questions such as ‘What is the point of all this?’, ‘How can that have happened?’ and ‘What kind of person do I want to be?’, in the same way that a volcano reshapes the earth’s crust, the results can be life-changing.
As we continue asking the questions as they relate to our own lives, to those of our clients and to our identity as a group of professionals, we not only embrace but create change from within.
You, our readers, are part of this change. Come join the conversation, contribute your ideas – and co-create our changing profession from the inside out.