The idea behind Personal Consultancy is a simple one.
The two most common therapeutic services that people access are Counselling and Coaching. They can be perceived quite differently, but they have important things in common. Generally, counselling requires a longer period of training. Practitioners tend to join regulatory bodies (e.g UKCP, BACP), undergo clinical supervision and take regular further training. Coaching is currently much less regulated, and anybody can currently set up a practice as a coach. Please note that there are excellent practitioners to be found within both disciplines.
Why is there such a split between counselling and coaching?
Practitioners often emphasize the differences. Coaches typically charge higher fees, and so wish to avoid the marketing ‘pitfall’ of positioning their services too closely to counselling. Counsellors may wish to emphasize their more rigorous training and keep a clear demarcation from coaching. Crucially, clients decide whether they would prefer to see a coach or a counsellor. Some will be more comfortable ‘seeing a coach’ than ‘being in therapy’, and vica versa.
Bringing it together.... complementary disciplines...
Counsellors tend to be trained to work at psychological depth - to 'fix the foundations' - and so provide a psychologically reparative experience. Coaches tend to be trained in ways that encourage goal-attainment - using the same metaphor, to 'build a house' - and so provide a generative experience. Personal Consultancy is about combining these things; ensuring that psychological foundations are solid, then building on top of them.
Bringing it together.... overlapping disciplines...
Counselling and coaching actually overlap considerably. Many counselling approaches are focused on solutions - they look to the future and aim to help clients develop strengths - rather than dealing exclusively with the past (and so, like coaching, are also generative). Equally, many coaching approaches draw upon techniques that can have deep-rooted effects that are reparative, just like counselling.
So.. coaching and counselling disciplines complement eachother and can be used together?
Yes. If the foundation is not there, there can be no house. Equally, why stop when the foundation is there? Personal Consultancy is about building too. Both disciplines offer practitioners the tools to work in reparative and generative ways with clients.
What is the Personal Consultancy approach?
Personal Consultants believe it is much more useful to understand whether work with a client is (or needs to be) either reparative or generative within each session and, if needed, to select the appropriate techniques drawn from either counselling or coaching disciplines.
A new wave...a new approach...
In recent years there is a growing professional movement towards the integration of coaching and counselling along the lines I describe. The AICTP (Association of Integrated Coaching and Therapy Practitioners) was setup by like-minded professionals, and the trend is strongly towards integration. The BACP has also established a coaching division further signifying this trend.