One of the ways in which Integral Coaching differs from other forms of coaching is in its recognition that the body needs to be included as a focus when working with coachees who are trying to change their circumstances and lives. We are embodied beings and so much of the latest research is confirming what we have known for centuries – that the body has a capacity to store information beyond the brain and that so much of what we consider ‘thinking’ is a process involving many parts of the body.
For that reason, to simply work with the mind when trying to help people to craft change in their lives is restrictive and does not allow the individual to work with themselves in other ways. For this reason, Integral Coaching invites the client to involve their body. A simple concept of ‘building greater flexibility’ at work or in relationships, can only go so far if it remains an intellectual or emotional concept. Integral Coaching teaches coaches to help clients to work ‘somatically’ (the ancient Greek word for body is ‘soma’), so that flexibility moves beyond being a concept to being a capacity that can be built in the client’s body. This may mean they design ‘practices’ for the client to work to build greater flexibility through stretching exercises or yoga, for example, so that the client starts to sense shifts in how they move.
This exploration of somatics and its impact is the essence of the upcoming ‘Coaching the Body’ Masterclass to be run on 23 April at the Château de Bossey, near Geneva