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  • Writer's pictureElfreda Manahan-Vaughan

Some things we can control.

Why Coaching is needed now more than ever.

‘Coaching is particularly suited to now, because there are no answers’ Christian van Nieuwerburgh

I had the pleasure of attending an online discussion with two leading experts in the field of Positive Psychology Coaching, Christian van Nieuwerburgh and Robert Biswas-Diener, on 19th of May 2020, hosted by the University of East London. Much of the talk explored the meaning of Positive Psychology in coaching and how to be a PP Coach. The discussion moved on to the topic of how to handle the current global pandemic and what role coaches have during these unprecedented times. This was fascinating, as much of what they said resonated with my beliefs, which is what I quoted above by Christin van Nieuwerburgh. It is now more than ever that we need coaches and I am hoping I can explain why.

The first thing is to distinguish coaching from therapy. The simplest way to do that is to say that therapy is used for clinical concerns, to quote Robert Biswas-Diener, such as having a diagnosis of depression or some other diagnosis re challenge to functioning. Coaching is for everyone else, this I have highlighted previously when I shared the mental health continuum previously. What we mean by everyone else is, that most people are struggling with something in their life, but the majority are still functioning; getting up every day, caring for their loved ones, going to work, studying, maintaining their relationships and generally getting on with things. This doesn’t mean that they don’t need help though. I myself attend coaching regularly. It has helped me to develop self-awareness, get to know myself and my thinking better, learn my values and more practical things like decide to return to study, take on new work and figure out aspects of my business.

One of my key coaching areas is helping people to figure out what matters to them and how-to live-in alignment with those values. Many of us spend time doing things because we think we should, living up other people’s expectations, staying in jobs because we feel we can’t leave or having the same arguments with the same people and can’t figure out how to change that. Coaching helps with all of those things. Right now, it also can help with much more.

For a lot of people, the current changes in the world has forced them to reflect on what is important. We know we cannot predict the future, and no one seems to know what is going to happen, will the virus go away, will we have immunity, will there be a vaccine? These questions force us to reflect on how we can, should, or want to live our lives now and in the future. One thing coaching can help with is to define how to live your life with the uncertainty, how to have good coping strategies, allowing for things to change, and how to have goals that can adapt to things being different. Having a safe, non-judgemental space to explore things can help us to at least decide what we can do and what we are in control of, when everything else seems so uncertain.

So, yes, coaching is more important than ever, and because it is for anyone with non-clinical concerns then the only thing that stands in your way is finding the right coach and committing to seeing them online, for now, and face to face at some point in the future.

Thank you for reading. If you want to get in touch or have any questions email, phone 00353868373582 or PM.

I hope our paths cross again in the future,


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