The Unitive Approach To Personal And Professional Coaching
The unitive approach to coaching is not based on any pre-conceived theory or set of beliefs. It has evolved organically over a period of years as a result of my own long experience in the field of personal and professional development. In 1971 I began working with Dr Jay Stattman, the director of the Institute of Unitive Psychology at Utrecht, The Netherlands, where I subsequently became an associate staff member, setting up human potential courses, seminars and training facilities all over Europe. The unitive coaching process represents a comprehensive tutorial framework within which a valid individual authenticity can be built. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of personal and professional self-empowerment and the development of insight, true awareness and authentic interpersonal communication. Basic principles of Unitive coaching The unitive approach to the process of self-discovery is not only eminently practical but also covers every aspect of the whole person.
– At the rational level, it works experientially to bring to awareness obsolete and redundant patterns of acquired behaviour – At the emotional level it seeks to reconcile spontaneous feelings with intellectual insight – At a psychological level, it aims to empower individuals with self-knowledge and the strength of their unique authenticity – At the higher, integrated level of intuition, its goal is to facilitate personal development on issues of imagination, spirit and creativity Unitive coaching in practice The first requirement for those who intend to communicate effectively in an honest and open dialogue with other people is that they are up to speed with their own developmental homework. To act authentically as an effective resource to others on their individual pathways through life, you first need to be thoroughly conversant with your own home territory. You can’t take anyone further than you’ve travelled yourself. There’s an old saying that goes, “We don’t see the world as it is; we see it as we are”. You’ll never be able to see what’s really going on in the present if your attitudes and patterns of behaviour remain stuck in the past, with your eyes staring at an unchanging inner landscape.
If you want to become aware of who you really are – to start feeling comfortable in your own skin – you’ll need to examine your own habitual outlook on life; discover its hidden and negative function, and work to bring it up to date and relevant to present reality. It’s a demanding and often difficult task, but you’ll find the rewards are enormous. Personal authenticity is all about experiencing each event in life in the light of present reality, instead of through the distorting mirrors of the past. This will necessarily involve you in what might at first appear to be a frightening thing to do. In order to access your innate sources of personal wisdom, you’ll need first to let go of those bits of your previously acquired stuff that’s now become useless – to cast off your old protective clothing and immerse yourself completely in whatever new experience life may come up with. Once you’ve become part of that experience, your entire being – mind, body and spirit – will become an instrument for opening up receptive channels of communication between your own true responses and those of the people who share your present environment. Instead of trying to influence events from the outside, you’ll find you’ve become an integral part of them. It’s a magical process: experiencing the power of the present instead of just observing it. Within yourself you have the potential to integrate your internalised conflicts into a unitive whole, greater than the sum of its separate parts. Unitive coaching provides a level playing field where coach and client face each other as equals.
Instead of assuming a directive role, it identifies the true nature of the personal authenticity and power habitually surrendered to ‘experts’ and authority figures and brings it back home where it belongs. The ultimate goal of unitive coaching is to facilitate this liberating insight. The true purpose of human existence is to accept and to commit to present reality and the inevitable imperfections of life and all who live it. …and in that very imperfection, each individual can experience the truth and beauty of authentic being and the possibility of spontaneous change.