What’s so different about Unitive coaching?

My unitive coaching approach uses an entirely non-directive one-to-one tutorial format to establish a creative co-operation between client and coach. It works by encouraging the development of each client’s innate self-awareness and uniquely personal mode of expression. Instead of asking leading questions aimed at some pre-conceived ‘solution’ or imagined goal, the unitive approach acts as a mirror, reflecting the potential power and innate authenticity of each individual back to its source. In this way, clients are enabled to provide solutions to their own problems. By realizing new and lasting insights into their own internal process, they make the necessary changes they will need to transform their lives.

The unitive approach is fundamentally different from ‘directive’, that is, cognitively-based coaching, which sets out to influence and re-train people by the application of prescribed and goal-oriented programs of varying quality, made up of boxed sets of hard-and-fast techniques. It’s also very different to that of psychotherapy and counsellings. What the unitive coaching tutorial programs does, and does most effectively, is to facilitate the self-liberating insight that all our personal problems have no actual existence in real life but stem from the acquired and illusory ways in which we have learned to perceive it.

It’s fashionable these days to talk about self-awareness. But the word ‘self’ can refer to two entirely different entities. First, there is the self with a small ‘s’ – in other words, the Ego, the Great Pretender, which tries to deny its basic feeling of insecurity by setting itself lifestyle goals that are way beyond its power to attain. At the other end of the spectrum, shining in all its transcendent glory, is the ideal self – the Self with a capital S – the symbol of perfect being. Although we instinctively yearn for those aspects of perfect acceptance we need in order to become whole, we fail to realise that the perfect love, the unconditional acceptance we crave is not out there in the physical world, but within. Oscar Wilde said that we are all lying in the gutter but looking up at the stars. Up there, high above us and out of reach, are the Angels that we strive so hard to emulate. It’s easy for the Angels to be angelic. Because they have no problems, no desires, no temptations, no life-or-death issues, they therefore don’t experience any conflict. But we poor mortals are down here among the Beasts, who rut and consume and slaughter in their imperative need to survive. We alone among the beasts are conscious of our mortality, but still we aspire to join the angels. And like it or not, that is the situation in which we find ourselves. In other words,the human condition.

This brings me to the essential aim of the unitive approach to personal coaching. The first thing the unitive coach needs to do, is to dis-engage his work from the attachments of his egotistical needs. To be really effective, anyone who assumes the role of coach needs to realise that what clients are seeking is not the person of the coach as such, but what the coaching role represents to them. The coach is in fact nothing but a screen on which they can, and do, project the missing entities that although they exist subjectively as perfect images in their internal yearning, can only be seen in their full glory when projected on to the physical actuality of another human being in the real world. It’s a process of falling in love, certainly, but the object of adoration is nothing else than a projection of that aspect of the Self with a capital S which they imagine has rejected them in the past because of their own inevitable failure to achieve perfection. It’s only if and when the realization dawns that the Self is not a hanging judge who weighs us in the balance and finds us wanting, but a redeeming vision of perfect truth that understands every aspect of our human – and therefore, by definition, imperfect – nature and accepts us totally, as we really are – that we can at last begin to live comfortably in our own skin.

The unitive coaching process is a de-structuring of negative conditioning acquired in the past. All our problems – all our negative, guilty feelings about own supposed inadequacies – are self-inflicted. When we stop giving ourselves a bad time, we’ll find that others will take the hint and follow suit. The loving compassion that we crave is part of our human inheritance: has always been within ourselves. How else could we recognize it? We can do ourselves a favour and stop trying to change ourselves for the better – for a change! There’s no need to get better. We’re OK as we are. There’s nobody out there with the power to tell us otherwise.