Coach, therapist, or spiritual director?: An analysis of discourse about spirituality as used in professional coaching

Title: Coach, therapist, or spiritual director?: An analysis of discourse about spirituality as used in professional coaching
Authors: Courville, William J
Date: 2009
Abstract: Professional coaching, a hybrid intervention melding western therapeutic counseling and spiritual traditions, has recently emerged as a new phenomenon in executive development. The dissertation makes four broad points: first, that the field of professional coaching has developed little theory of its own and is in need of academic theorizing; second, that professional coaching plays a significant role in personal and professional development; third, that there is a definite spiritual dimension -- both explicit and implicit -- to professional coaching, and fourth, that psychology of religion is uniquely positioned to serve as an academic home for the conceptualization and theorization of the field. To make these points, the thesis demonstrates that professional coaching has antecedents, in both form and structure, in depth psychology, humanistic psychology, pastoral counseling, and spiritual direction. It traces the history and development of spiritual discourse in professional coaching, showing that the application of ancient wisdom and other spiritual traditions was eventually "psychologized" and appropriated by traditional psychology for application to business and professional development. It explores coaching methods, models, concepts, and theories to show how the language of spiritual discourse is intertwined with therapeutic language as an integral part of the vocabulary of professional coaching. It illuminates both the explicit and implicit spiritual discourse found in professional coaching and suggests that making what is often an implicit discourse explicit might re-frame how practitioners and clients see themselves and the work they are doing. It discusses the concept of "spiritual intelligence" and corresponding research that attempts to link spirituality and neuroscience and considers its implications for professional coaching, executive development, and psychology of religion. And finally, this thesis demonstrates that the study of the interrelationships among psychology, spirituality, and business has a long tradition in the field of psychology of religion and suggests that professional coaching can be seen as an extension of that research. It proposes that the field of psychology of religion can contribute to the development of established and emerging professional coaching approaches by providing a set of methodologies with which to further develop knowledge of the psychospiritual processes involved in purposeful change.
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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