Should Coaches share psychological models with their clients?

On a recent coaching course a question was asked about sharing psychological models with clients and if this is really coaching.

I wonder what you think?

For many of you it might depend on what style of Coaching you use, if you work solely in a non-directive way the idea of sharing a model may seem quite alien.

I work with the idea that there is a continuum which starts on one end with directive, hands on coaching and on the other end has non-directive, hands off coaching. Arguably Directive Coaching is really one to one training, and that may be true. There are times when this is valuable and may be why definitions of both Coaching and Mentoring can be so vague and overlapping.

Sharing psychological models falls somewhere between directive and non-directive. As an example, I teach Transactional Analysis for Coaches on my Diploma. This provides you, the Coach with a host of very useful models to explore “what makes people tick”.

The benefit for the client is that you start to move them towards using models as tools. This can help the client grow and develop and reduces the possibility of dependence on the Coach. Sharing models is a central part of Transactional Analysis (TA) and so begins with teaching the model.

Once the client has a basic understanding of a model they can then respond to non-directive questions that help them to deepen their self-awareness and their understanding of the motivations of others. This can be incredibly powerful.

So in answer to my question, yes, Coaches can share psychological models with clients as part of an excellent professional approach.

What do you think?

Melody Cheal MSc MAPP
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