Home Research Coaching Surveys Development of Coaches: IX. Summary Report for Phase One

Development of Coaches: IX. Summary Report for Phase One

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While these multiple points regarding the unique and invaluable perspectives brought to the coaching engagement by psychologists are valid, it is also important to acknowledge the unique and invaluable perspectives brought by those with a background in other fields such as business and education. There are also many valuable insights to be offered by coaches with expertise in the disciplines of economics, sociology, and philosophy, or extensive knowledge of diverse religious traditions (both western and eastern). Much of the value inherent in moving to a new frontier of knowledge is to be found in the intermingling of disciplines and perspectives. This is the “gold” to be discovered in the new frontier. To mix my metaphors, “all hands are on deck” when a new kind of human service is being invented. There is no place for disciplinary or theological privilege in a newly-discovered or newly-created wilderness such as professional coaching—so maybe it is better than some of the recalcitrant psychologists never leave home.

We might include other human service professionals in the fifth category. These recalcitrants view professional coaching as a threat to and intrusion on their own space. Some human service professionals are inclined to assert their own unique and indispensable privilege. We are likely to hear such comments as: “why do we need anything more than we already have in our existing human service fields.” These recalcitrants are often among those calling for the licensing of all professional coaches by one or more of the established agencies and associations in disciplines and fields (such as their own) that now license human service professionals. While on the surface, the calls for licensing are based on a legitimate concern for retention of high quality and ethical human services (consumer protection), these calls may lead to an underlying (and usually unacknowledged) restraint of trade.

There is another group of recalcitrant. They are found in countries where human services of any kind that smack of “psychology” and “psychotherapy” are considered unnecessary or even a source of malpractice. There is also the matter of professional coaching being considered sacrilegious by members of some conservative religious groups: “Don’t do work of the devil by trying to address spiritual matters from a secular perspective.” In sum, these diverse recalcitrant believe that matters of the human heart and spirit, as well as interpersonal relationships, can best be handled by physicians, teachers or religious leaders. The passionate advice they offer to professional coaches is: “go back from where you came and leave us to our own proven services and solutions!”

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