The themes of existential coaching
With the recent launch of our new Certificate in Existential Coaching, or “Being and Meaning” as it’s called, I thought it’d be a good time to explore the core themes of existential coaching.
What is existential coaching?
Well, there’s no simple answer but fundamentally it’s coaching around how we deal with the central and unchanging conditions of human existence – at least, as seen through the existential filter.
Like many recent coaching developments, it has emerged from psychotherapy but like all coaching its works with essentially well-functioning people who want handle their challenges more effectively and even grasp the opportunities afforded by confronting these questions.
You see, challenges don’t always come bundled up neatly in goal-shaped packages or even with relatively clear erroneous cognitive patterns. Sometimes challenges come in misty shapes of unknowing, waves of doubt, the rumbling sense of emptiness.
And that’s what existential coaching concerns itself with.
It asks “How are you coping with the conditions of human existence?”
With meaninglessness. The uncertainty and elusiveness of meaning. The seeming futility of action and achievement in a world that is so ephemeral.
With isolation. The reality of our fundamental separation from every other life form. No-one can every truly know you or be you no matter how we might hold and be held in life.
With anxiety and guilt. The twins who look to the future and past often with crushing weight on our choices.
And, of course, with death. The final end for all. The ultimate context for life.
Faith and belief in greater meaning and purpose can help transcend these conditions but for those who look these conditions in the eye, shudder and choose to work through them, there is existential coaching.From the Director's Chair
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