The coaching industry has long been clear in differentiating therapy from coaching. This well-placed concern with professional integrity and scope-of-practice has also served to create limitations and barriers. Essential learning occurs as clients move through adversity, and integration of the lessons that exist within the pain—the intratraumatic growth that clients can experience—has been curtailed by this hesitation. Many of the typical motivators for seeking coaching are the consequence of unmitigated primary, secondary, and vicarious trauma. Clients are best served by coaches who understand the universality of trauma, recognize activation when it presents, and are practiced in the creation of psychological safety and skilled, trauma-responsive communication.
Successfully navigating the intersection of trauma and coaching is one of the most important and exciting coach-industry frontiers. Whether recognized and acknowledged, coaches are interfacing with clients impacted by multiple types and sources of trauma. Familiarity and comfort with trauma’s compounding, complex manifestations are crucial for effective coaching both at the individual and institutional level. It also enhances coaches’ self-management and emotional regulation skills when working with clients who may inadvertently trigger pain points in the coach.
Most coach training programs caution trainees to respond to indications of trauma by immediately referring clients to therapists. This dismisses a fundamental truth: the penetrance of trauma in the human population is 100%. Those committed to advancing coaching frontiers will benefit from recognizing, understanding, and implementing trauma-responsive coaching practices.
The Tridemic significantly increased coaching encounters with extremes in client emotion, fatigue, and other atypical behaviors. A wider understanding about what underpins these encounters, how to quickly notice and name when activation presents, and mindful honing of skills to move clients through their stories and into choice and aspiration is needed.
Although trauma is ubiquitous, the phenotypic expression of trauma is not always obvious. Coaches are encountering trauma-motivated behaviors regularly regardless of whether such encounters are recognized or acknowledged. Many of the typical motivators to seeking coaching (stuckness, imposter syndrome, burnout, performance improvement, bully/victim dynamics, career change/derailment, work/life balance) are rooted in some form of trauma. Experienced coaches trained and skilled in trauma-informed principles, trauma-awareness, trauma-responsive communication, and trauma-mitigation practices can engage both differently and more meaningfully. This paradigm for engagement provides clients with a richer coaching experience.
- Participants will learn:
- Stress-Trauma Continuum
- Source and types of traumas
- Coaching-therapy distinctions
- Red flags
- When more is needed
CCEUS for this Program
: 0.5 Core Competency Credit and 0.5 Resource Development Credits