Existential theory in its original conceit in dense, extensive, and open to interpretation; simply put, it concerns itself with our ways of being, and the way in which we respond to the conditions of our lives. Central to theory are fundamental themes such as Agency, Death, Meaning, Freedom, Isolation, Absurdity, Responsibility, Finiteness, Truth, Choice; these are critical dilemmas of our existence, and in my mind are as much about positive navigation in living and our very encounter with the human condition, as they are about boundaries, tension and stressors.
The individual is deemed the protagonist, and is autonomous. He solely discerns his function in life, and finds meaning within it. The power, responsibility and accountability lie with him ultimately. As the coach I am the facilitator, and we embark with a philosophical line of enquiry, rather than a clinical or formulaic one. We simply start and continue a dialogue. The experience of coaching can be both challenging and therapeutic, and a natural rapport between the coach and client is essential to flow and success outcomes in this relationship. In practise, sessions can feel conversational, non-linear and open-ended. I rarely use tools or devices, preferring to trust the flow, we go where the current takes us.
The great appeal of coaching is that it is present-focussed, and forward-looking. Many individuals are simply not interested in retrospective approaches, delving into a better-forgotten past. It is an opportunity to address the pressing query of the moment. The benefit of presence enables clients to depart from historic narratives, speeding recovery.
The advantage to some degree lies with the coach but there is essentially balance between the parties, hence a joint passage in practise. It is not transactional in terms of power, and is a collaborative exchange of energies, a sharing of ideas and new stimuli. Interactions are laden with learning and are generally speaking a growth experience, though can be purely exploratory without goals in mind.
Style reflects my own process and that which is ideal for me as a creative, accommodating and delivering my needs. Sessions are bespoke, reflecting individual requirement, but in truth I feel much of our experiences is universal.
In practise, my style is unconventional and essentially, to a large extent, determined by the act of the meeting of minds and the way they interact (where the magic lies) and all that is Me, my ‘self’ in entirety and all that is You and your ‘self’ in commune. My world view, framework of understanding and process inform my unique style.
Content can span the entire spectrum from daily, domestic dilemma to abstract concept. It’s a no holds barred approach to self-enquiry.
Clients determine the purpose and direction of sessions and they can be go goal-orientated, pure exploration, or more inclined towards seeking a feeling vision e.g. ‘I want to feel more fulfilled throughout the creative process, and not just enjoy the reward once the job is done’…, ‘I don’t want to feel the threat of the unknown. The idea that the Universe is infinite is unfathomable to me, and causes distress’..., ‘I experience constant decisional dilemma, how can I come to make confident choices?’.... ‘After a recent trauma I have lost my motivation, and need help to recover it’…, ‘I can’t cope with Life, conditions are not sustainable, I just want to feel differently about that’. It is simply a committed and continuous exploration. I feel that attending mental wellbeing is a prime endeavour, and is central to how we can become more aware of ourselves, more adept at both living and being, developing and enjoying better connection with others.