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Gold Rush Coaching Supervision

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Gold Rush Coaching Supervision
Professional coaching and the dangers of coaching supervision

Professional coaching burst onto the world stage in the early 1990s, though a form of coaching had been practiced since the 1930s. Much has been written about coaching in research, articles, books and papers since, and coaching supervision has been touted as the next extremely lucrative revenue stream for coaches. There is a paradox between coaching and mentoring which has roots in person centred humanism and the control by professional coaching bodies as highlighted by Bob Garvey in Part 1 of this special issue of e-O&P focusing on the future of   coaching and mentoring.

This article explores the potential for detrimental consequences and inappropriateness of imposing mandatory ‘supervision’ on coaching practitioners, versus the established mentor coach approach.
Developments in the International Coach Federation (ICF) towards mandatory imposition of practice supervision framed on models applied in psychotherapy, counselling and clinical psychology are used to highlight key developments in America, which could herald a significant culture shift within the profession if they are to be accepted by the wider, global ICF community of practice. With the ICF being a leading coaching professional body, where the ICF goes other organizations may follow.


Let’s face it, I am an American coach writing from the perspective of coach mentoring and supervision in the United States of America (USA) and as prescribed by the International Coach Federation (ICF). This perspective can be in sharp contrast to the European and UK perspectives where the major professional body appears to be the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) followed by the Association of Coaches (AC).

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