When Coaching is NOT the Answer
WHY MODERN #PSYCHOANALYSIS AND CORPORATE #COACHING OFTEN “FAIL”… (and what to do about it)
In spite of millions of hours spent on coaching and psychotherapy in the last few decades — in groups or for individuals — it appears that neither the world has become much wiser, nor that our societies or organisations are flourishing more. In fact, the ephemeral “science of the unconscious” does not seem to have resulted in much elevation of collective consciousness; or such greater awareness does not appear to translate into more responsible (collective) action.
I will go even further, and argue that (non-clinical) Psychotherapy and coaching, as understood today, are at risk of becoming an inward-looking social “defense mechanism” against ethical responsibility and more substantial, radical change.
Performance coaching, as practiced by pre-eminent global associations like the ICF, and “positive” psychology, which has accumulated a worldwide fandom in both academia and practice — in particular, often fail to integrate ethical and emotional understanding. By simplistically positing an ideal of “psychological functioning” and “positively deviant” behaviours, failing to critically examine any given role-related or commercial objectives, their practitioners quickly become unwitting henchmen of the status quo.
Sadly, the insufficient examination of ideological premises in psychology and a deeply flawed conversion of descriptive observations into normative ideals has a long tradition: “The rejection of moral free-will is an inheritance of the divorce between empirical and rational Psychology of the 19th century which leads to an increasing mutual rejection between Psychology and Ethics. As Erich Fromm declared: “Psychoanalysis, in an attempt to establish Psychology as a Natural science, made the mistake of divorcing Psychology from problems of Philosophy and Ethics. It ignored the fact that human personality cannot be understood unless we look at man in his totality.”
Maybe it is time to reopen the long-running argument, and to acknowledge that psychology and philosophy are inseparable twins. In fact, I will suggest that anyone working in (non-clinical) psychoanalysis or coaching must be schooled also in philosophy, in order not to mistake problems of the “unconscious” with challenges of “conscience”. Fact is that today’s world needs not only therapy, to cope with “trauma” and alleged problems of “self-realisation”, but above all wisdom and development, to progress “self-ACTUALisation”. The point is not to just “follow the heart”, but also to be cœurageous enough to “change heart” in order to increase our ability to responsibly face the complex problems we are dealing with.
An interesting article here (a Christian ontology as a suggested “solution” has ofc its own challenges): DEFENSE MECHANISMS: DETERMINED OR ETHICAL CHOICES OR BOTH? https://lnkd.in/enDEWHKQ
#leadership #transformation #coaching #psychology #goodorganisations #personaldevelopment #organisationaldevelopment
From: “Sunday Morning Thoughts on LinkedIn” — I will report some of the interesting LinkedIn dialogues here, paraphrased and applying the Chatham House Rule — trying to protect some of the sentiments, thoughts, and above all our stimulating discussions from oblivion ;-)