When a client comes to you, as a coach, healer, therapist, you have a decision to make. What are you going to focus on in the session? What will work best for this client, with their unique expression of challenges and desires?
If you have any coaching, therapy, or healing training, you have been given a process to do this. But no matter the process, YOU are the decision maker. Even if you are someone who works intuitively.
So it is essential to develop a way of discerning the quality of that decision making process. It sets the stage for what can happen.
The coach always decides.
Yes, we do it on behalf of the client. Based on our professional guidelines. And in the optimum case, with the client’s permission. But how much permission can they give when you are the expert, and they don’t actually know what is possible outside of what their mind is familiar with?
Coaches often make these decisions based on what has worked well for others. Which can be a great place to start. It is what modern evidence-based medicine uses at its guidelines.
But also, quite a lot of people receive medication they don’t really need. (Oprah sharing last week how she got heart medication for menopause symptoms that were easily treated with oestrogen was a great example.) Or the core issue is not being addressed. Unintended side-effects happen. And often this results in some form of the client making themselves wrong when the approach doesn’t work. “It must be me. Something about me must be broken.”
So, the approach of ‘what has worked well for others’, while having benefits of utilising generic experience, also comes at a cost.
Now what if there is a different way?
A more precise way to decide how you will work with each individual client?
In Soul-based Coaching, you learn to let the client’s system guide the way. And we have a Swiss-army-knife kind of toolkit that can follow and support them where they need to go. We take the cues for what needs to happen directly from the client’s body, mind & soul.
We ask our clients what they would like to have happen and use that as the way into their embodied knowing. The client’s body, mind & soul know. Every step of the way.
Here are some of the things that can happen:
Family constellations and Internal Family Constellations
Yesterday I was in a coaching session where my client ended up in a metaphor landscape where everything was dying and she confronted male relatives (a lot of them deceased), who had been giving her their mess to clean since she was 4 yrs old.
Part of the process that unfolded involved the client’s father being held and comforted by his mother who told my client:
‘This is my job’
And we saw that reorganisation of energetic patterns, and that information settling something deep inside my client’s nervous system.
This is a typical example of a client who has energetically taken on a role in the family system that isn’t hers to have. We often see it come up in Soul-based Coaching sessions. And this reorganising is the kind of thing that typically happens in a family constellations session.
In any Soul-based Coaching sessions, we encounter inner parts that have opposing or widely varying interests, or wildly varying ways of achieving what the clients wants.
A great example is a metaphorical helmet that has been on the client’s head for over 30 years, to protect the client from harm in certain situations. Without the client consciously being aware of this.
And in the session, they come to see that a) the helmet has been there and b) its intention is great, but it’s now blocking the client’s view and mobility, and it’s become a source of stuckness and pressure – literally, with headaches to match.
This means that the client and the helmet need to renegotiate how to organise and align themselves.
And often the helmet-like inner part will calmly seize to exist once it realises that it’s function in no longer needed. Or there may be more that may need to happen. But the client’s system, with the client at the helm, can always find a way to realign the parts.
Energetic healing work & spiritual initiation
In a way all the client-metaphor based work is energetic healing work.
Because the metaphors that come up in a client’s awareness express the way the client’s meaning-making processes are organised. And when the metaphors shift and change, the energetic blueprint of our clients most inner workings change.
But also, sometimes energetic healing is at the core of a session’s content.
Like when a client starts to change the way they are rooted in the Earth. This core connection (which might involve roots or not), connects our root chakra with the energetic core of the Earth. The way that connection is shaped and functions has a lot of bearing on how a client can show up in life.
Or when a client reconfigures the way they have, draw or enforce their energetic boundaries through metaphor. This has major implications for their energetic well-being, and for how they practically are able to show up in their lives, both in challenging and seemingly easy situations.
And for an example of spiritual initiation work, the kind that can happen in well-held spiritual ritual work, see this blog post.
The key is that none of these things happen because I choose they are what is needed. But what needs to happen will come forward when we trust the client’s body, mind & soul system, through their inner metaphors.
Practising new behaviours
In conventional coaching modalities, the focus is often on identifying what new behaviour a client has to learn and on making a plan for how to do that ‘out there’, in the real world. The plan then includes accountability, to have an extra incentive to make sure the client will execute the plan.
In Soul-based Coaching, we help our clients unravel the current, not effective behaviour in metaphor. And we help them create a new process that fits them like a glove – again in embodied metaphor. We make sure that all inner parts are aligned, so nothing will come out of the woodworks to throw a spade in the beautifully designed new way of being. By going through this process, the client practices their new behaviour in embodied metaphor, in the session.
And that means they stimulate new neural pathways, create connections in their body, mind, and soul that strengthen this new way of showing up. Until the new way is the only way that exists in their inner map of the world, because the old behaviour and its triggers have been dismantled.
And that means, that the client doesn’t necessarily need an action plan (unless they want one). The new behaviour is ‘the most logical thing’ that can happen now. Of course we, as coaches, track how the client’s experience is in the next session. But if the new behaviour isn’t the behaviour that has been happening, it means that something is not in alignment yet, and that’s the focus of the new session.
All of these things (and a lot more) can happen as part of a Soul-based Coaching session.
But we, as Soul-based Coaches, do not choose which one is called for. We follow the cues from the client’s system, because even if the client’s mind doesn’t know, their system does know. And that takes the need to choose away.
And personally, I love that. I can trust the Soul-based Coaching process to help the client reveal the signposts for me to follow.
We don’t have to do generic things that have helped other people. We can do what this client needs most, here and now. It doesn’t get to be more effective in my book.
Want to learn more? Join us in Activate the Power of Soul-based Change, or Invoke Your Client’s Magic, the Soul-based Coach Certification Program.