Research Paper By Georgina Adams
(Transformational and Business Coach, Australia)
I recently attended the Deep Coaching Intensive (DCI) course with Leon VanderPol, founder of the School of Light & Life. As an International Coaching Academy student I was familiar with Leon’s teachings and found him to be an inspiring teacher and his classes enriching and thought provoking.
The DCI offers a unique coaching approach to supporting people through deep inner transformation and into a far more integrated, whole expression of self. The course is designed to explore the approaches, practices, and attributes of deep coaching which expand our capacity and ease in working with all those who desire to truly transform their way of being in this world and live more heart-centred, self-expressed lives.
The DCI was a wonderfully enriching experience that I now incorporate into my coaching practice and share with others so they too can have the experience for themselves. I am learning through self-reflection of my coaching practice and feedback from clients that I have a unique way of holding a safe energetic space for the client, being present and non-judgemental.
My coaching model, ‘The Caterpillar Potential, Your Cocoon for Transformation’, is based on the life cycle of the butterfly. The butterfly metaphor represents the realisation of potential, becoming who you are meant to become, and recreating yourself as you want to be.
During the DCI I connected deeply with the caterpillar/butterfly metaphors in the readings and practices, and shall continue to apply these in both my personal and professional transformational work. The caterpillar is a complete being with the possibility to transform and become the butterfly. I support my clients with an emphasis on being empowered to FLY and experience the freedom, enrichment, meaning and purpose they desire, realising their true potential and living life fulfilling their dreams.
In understanding the application of Deep Coaching it may be helpful to first review excerpts from the International Coach Federation Philosophy and Definition of Coaching as taken from the ICF Code of Ethics.
The ICF Philosophy of Coaching
The International Coach Federation (ICF) adheres to a form of coaching that honours the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believes that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.
ICF Definition of Coaching
Professional coaching is an ongoing professional relationship that helps people produce extraordinary results in their lives, careers, businesses or organizations. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.
What is Deep Coaching?
Deep Coaching is a spirit-based approach to profound inner change that supports people’s journey of self-discovery, soul awareness and spiritual awakening. In the DCI I experienced and learned to foster my personal relationship and connection with my soul and “inner life force” as the driver of my transformation. Deep coaching is about tuning into what is trying to emerge from within, at a soul level, and supporting the natural unfolding of change.
The changes that I am experiencing in myself are all interwoven. Allowing myself to be more vulnerable I am experiencing deeper connections and experiences with others. This is a journey of creation in personal and professional relationships and in coaching. I am trusting myself more in my communication, and speaking my truth in an authentic, compassionate and strong way.
So my coaching is changing as I learn not only how to nurture that emerging sense of self but create an energetic space in which my clients experience themselves as transformed. As deep coaches, we also establish a foundation for people’s ongoing growth and participate in their ‘healing into wholeness’ by activating the transformative potential of real spiritual energy.
As a coach practicing deep coaching we have a presence with the client, providing a safe space, and connecting at the heart level, allowing the client experience to go deeper than intellectual exchange, adding to a coaching process as may be described in the ICF Competencies.
To me, deep coaching is transformational and experiential compared to the more commonly practiced transactional and action focused coaching. In deep coaching we go deeper with the client, experientially, being more connected, and allowing the unfolding of change versus what may take on an element of forcing, with a focus on powerful questions, actions and results. Clients have a true sense of self, who they are, and what they want. Actions are an important aspect of coaching for clients to achieve their goals. In deep coaching the practice is more one of being and allowing, to learn, experience, being patient and connecting with self, surrendering.
The Deep Coaching Intensive includes weekly classes, readings, contribution of writings and reflections on a group forum, and the experience of coaching as a coach and a client with peer students from the class. In the DCI our learning was interactive, exploratory and experiential. We studied nine fundamental practices of deep coaching, and how to apply these concepts, tools, and skills through a coaching practicum.
The nine core practices in the DCI program
- Slow it all down; sync with the rhythm of life and spirit
- Create and nurture a healing coaching space
- Coach from the heart not from the head
- Tune into your client’s deeper sense of self and let that lead
- Attune to the emergence of what wants to happen; foster the natural unfolding of change
- Let there be silence; Deepen presence in each moment
- Live spiritual values; releasing spiritual agendas
- Increase your capacity to be with pain
- Understand the mystery and magic of the transformational process
Connection is the common thread of my experience in the DCI with Leon – connection with the class members and Leon, connection through the peer coaching experience, and a deeper connection with my true self.
Groups that come together for the purpose of learning, creating, communicating, living or celebrating are well supported when the creation and maintenance of a safe space is established. A truly safe group environment provides the basis for powerful transformation, empowering exploration, inspired collaboration and vibrant living.