In this issue
Mapping the territory: navigating the journey into coaching (free article)
It’s always gratifying for me to see a theme emerging as I am gathering together the content of an issue of this journal. Sometimes the overarching theme is obvious – and conscious; at other times, the connection between the articles reveals itself slowly to me, like a fine shimmering thread that grows brighter and stronger as I read. At times, I come to this editorial column feeling at a loss, all at sea among these wonderfully diverse pieces of writing, unable to find a compass point or a clear route through. In this issue, the theme jumped out at me almost immediately, and it seems appropriate to devote this summer issue of Coaching Today to the theme of maps and journeys, when so many of us are preparing for holidays and travels, at home or abroad.
In our cover feature for this issue, Carolyn Mumby, BACP Coaching’s new Executive Specialist for Training, explores how maps and journeys are a useful metaphor for what happens in the coaching relationship. When we work with our clients, we are embarking on a journey alongside them, and we offer our presence to them as a guide as they navigate their routes and pathways through to their own self-defined destination of ‘change’. However, the metaphor of a map is also appropriate for our own journeys as practitioners, as we navigate the territory into coaching and identify our place on the map. As coach-therapists, integrated practitioners, or therapists who coach, we are navigating relatively uncharted territory, and Carolyn’s article beautifully opens up a whole arena for exploration: what is this new territory? Where are we going? Who are our guides, and how can they help us? How do we navigate this journey safely and ethically, with integrity, courage and a spirit of adventure? I would love to read your thoughts on this and hope to publish further articles in the future on this subject, so please get in touch with your responses.
The tools that we use as practitioners are one example of a map or guiding framework for our work with clients, and Jenny Rogers offers a detailed investigation into one such tool. To coincide with publication of her new book on the subject, Jenny writes about the use of psychometric tools in coaching, focusing specifically on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). As she demonstrates, working with personality type and preferences has the potential to provide a guiding light in the complex area of human emotion and interaction: as Jung described his own typology as a ‘compass point’ in the wilderness of human personality, knowing our own typology and preferences can be enlightening, informative and inspirational. I would love to hear your experiences with the MBTI or other psychometric tools, as either client or practitioner – again, please do get in touch with your thoughts.
Finally, in this issue I offer up a story of my own, describing my own journey into integrated practice and how I am currently using my knowledge, training and experience as an embodiment practitioner and group facilitator to create something of value for women who experience complex mental health issues, utilising aspects of coaching, dance movement psychotherapy and mentalisation-based treatment. Here, I share a fictionalised account of a client in my weekly long-term women’s group in community mental health, and demonstrate how her journey into wholeness and integration – and those of her fellow group participants – reflects my own journey as my practice evolves. It’s a journey I am honoured to take alongside these women, and I am grateful to be able to share their stories – and my own – here.
Your thoughts, feedback and comments on our journal are incredibly valuable, and I am always happy to receive messages from readers offering an article in response to a story or feature in a previous issue. This is the kind of conversation that feeds the connection, and it’s satisfying to see that fine, shimmering thread of a theme growing beyond the lifetime of a single issue, and emerging repeatedly as our profession evolves and we continue on our collective journey as pioneering practitioners.
Wherever you are spending your summer, whether your journeys are out there in the world or of a more internal nature, have many good adventures – and travel well!