The Unitive Approach To
Personal And Professional Coaching
Charles Bentley PhD
The unitive approach to coaching is not based on any pre-conceived
theory or set of beliefs. It has evolved organically over
a period of years as a result of my own long experience in
the field of personal and professional development.
In 1971 I began working with Dr Jay Stattman, the director
of the Institute of Unitive Psychology at Utrecht, The Netherlands,
where I subsequently became an associate staff member, setting
up human potential courses, seminars and training facilities
all over Europe.
The unitive coaching process represents a comprehensive tutorial
framework within which a valid individual authenticity can
be built. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the
theory and practice of personal and professional self-empowerment
and the development of insight, true awareness and authentic
Basic principles of Unitive coaching
The unitive approach to the process of self-discovery is
not only eminently practical but also covers every aspect
of the whole person.
- At the rational level, it works experientially to bring
to awareness obsolete and redundant patterns of acquired behaviour
- At the emotional level it seeks to reconcile spontaneous
feelings with intellectual insight
- At a psychological level, it aims to empower individuals
with self-knowledge and the strength of their unique authenticity
- At the higher, integrated level of intuition, its goal is
to facilitate personal development on issues of imagination,
spirit and creativity
Unitive coaching in practice
The first requirement for those who intend to communicate
effectively in an honest and open dialogue with other people
is that they are up to speed with their own developmental
homework. To act authentically as an effective resource to
others on their individual pathways through life, you first
need to be thoroughly conversant with your own home territory.
You can't take anyone further than you've travelled yourself.
There's an old saying that goes, "We don't see the world as
it is; we see it as we are". You'll never be able to see what's
really going on in the present if your attitudes and patterns
of behaviour remain stuck in the past, with your eyes staring
at an unchanging inner landscape. If you want to become aware
of who you really are - to start feeling comfortable in your
own skin - you'll need to examine your own habitual outlook
on life; discover its hidden and negative function, and work
to bring it up to date and relevant to present reality. It's
a demanding and often difficult task, but you'll find the
rewards are enormous.
Personal authenticity is all about experiencing each event
in life in the light of present reality, instead of through
the distorting mirrors of the past. This will necessarily
involve you in what might at first appear to be a frightening
thing to do. In order to access your innate sources of personal
wisdom, you'll need first to let go of those bits of your
previously acquired stuff that's now become useless - to cast
off your old protective clothing and immerse yourself completely
in whatever new experience life may come up with.
Once you've become part of that experience, your entire being
- mind, body and spirit - will become an instrument for opening
up receptive channels of communication between your own true
responses and those of the people who share your present environment.
Instead of trying to influence events from the outside, you'll
find you've become an integral part of them. It's a magical
process: experiencing the power of the present instead of
just observing it.
Within yourself you have the potential to integrate your internalised
conflicts into a unitive whole, greater than the sum of its
Unitive coaching provides a level playing field where coach
and client face each other as equals. Instead of assuming
a directive role, it identifies the true nature of the personal
authenticity and power habitually surrendered to 'experts'
and authority figures and brings it back home where it belongs.
The ultimate goal of unitive coaching is to facilitate this
liberating insight. The true purpose of human existence is
to accept and to commit to present reality and the inevitable
imperfections of life and all who live it.
…and in that very imperfection, each individual can experience
the truth and beauty of authentic being and the possibility
of spontaneous change.
Charles Bentley PhD, founder of Life Coach UK, is
recognised to be one of the most qualified and experienced
life coaching tutors practising in the UK today. The Advanced
Coaching Course demonstrates the enormous potential of his
approach to acquiring and developing world-class coaching
skills. For more information visit www.LifeCoachUK.com.
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