Three Frequently Asked Questions

What is the coaching process like and how much time does it take?

After you read Couple's Play and contact me to inquire if I can more specifically help you with your relationship issue(s), our first conversation together is an exploratory one, getting to know each other and our level of compatibility.  We talk about your expectations and answer your questions.  We look at the nature of the transition you are in and what seems to want your immediate attention.  If we decide to move ahead together, then we agree on a coaching program, which typically contains the following elements:

•  A duration that ranges from a single coaching conversation and written guidance to a series of spaced conversations and guidance reports up to six months.

•  Personal coaching conversations of 60-90 minutes in person or by internet video.

•  Guidance involves exercises with reflective writing (about 15 minutes daily) between conversations.

•  My coaching programs are designed for busy people: they do not require a big time commitment, though they do require an energetic commitment.  To be effective, you will need to be personally invested in your coaching program, which really is your investment in yourself.

How does your Integral Coaching® differ from therapy?

Like psychotherapy, Integral Coaching® is a method for developing emotional health and resourceful behavior.  From my perspective, coaching approaches personal change from a different angle and it shows up in some of these ways:

•  Primarily a present-future orientation rather than a present-past orientation.

•  More focused around a specific issue (coaching topic) rather than general well-being.

•  Duration of the coaching program is usually shorter and agreed on in advance.

•  Uses Integral Assessment Lenses rather than psychological diagnostic categories for guidance in program design.

•  Addresses emotional and behavioral patterns and also these additional dimensions (the Lenses): moral, emotional, interpersonal, spiritual, cognitive and somatic lines of intelligence, high and low energetic states, personality type and path of integration, masculine/feminine gender spectrum, and developmental levels of consciousness.

•  New insights (those a-ha moments) are considered necessary but not sufficient for change.  Sustainable change is achieved through specific practices designed to bring new capability online; that is, insight becomes integrated.

•  Psychotherapy and coaching can work powerfully together and I can refer you to a qualified therapist when appropriate.  Some life issues are not appropriate to be addressed through coaching alone.

What is Integral Theory and how do you apply it?

Integral Theory as developed by Ken Wilber and others is not so much an original theory as an elegant synthesis of the work of numerous ground-breaking researchers in diverse areas from human psychological and cultural development to astrophysics.  Research results that initially appear to conflict actually compliment each other when placed accurately on the Integral Map (or the AQAL Map, which stands for All Quadrants, All Levels, All Lines,  All States, All Types).  All phenomena, including internal experiences, observed data, empirical evidence, social constructs, beliefs, pathologies, and on and on, can be located in this AQAL Map which integrates and makes sense of it all. 

Integral Coaching® recognizes that each of us has a unique AQAL Constellation, a complex and dynamic personal map that honors who we are and brings into focus who we want to become.  It remains in the background of a coaching program and is intuitively applied in assessment, conversations, program design and measuring success.  You do not need to know anything about Integral Theory, AQAL, maps, or any of that stuff to make big leaps forward in your Integral Coaching® program.  I don’t teach it and we don’t talk about it unless you want to.  Just know that Integral Coaching® is thoroughly grounded in extensive research.

How important is personality in your coaching?

One of the Integral Assessment Lenses is Type, which refers to a stable and enduring character trait. Personality is an important type to work with because it tends to dominate our view of the world, our relationships, and ourselves. Our personality is like a box we have put ourselves in that limits our ability to think, feel, and act freely in our lives. Bringing awareness to our personality and that of our parter or other significant people helps to free us of its unconscious reactionary patterns of behavior, moods, motivations, and habits.

I used to use personality type in the background of my coaching work, but I realized how central it is to keeping us stuck. So, I got further training in the Enneagram, the most advanced, intricate, and accurate personality model available. As an Enneagram Practitioner, I begin all new coaching work with personality typing interviews, and clients become proficient in the Enneagram (meaning a symbol of nine). A major part of my coaching work is helping get individuals and couples out of the personality box they realize they've been in without knowing it.