A Brief History of Coaching
While the concept and practice of ‘coaching’ has been prevalent for hundreds of years, life coaching is a newer field with its origins in fitness and executive performance or business coaching.
“The first use of the term “coach” in connection with an instructor or trainer arose around 1830 in Oxford University slang for a tutor who “carried” a student through an exam. The word “coaching” thus identified a process used to transport people from where they are to where they want to be.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coaching
Coaching began to be applied in sports and even business. Someone who had expertise in ‘getting there’ could ‘coach’ someone who needed to learn how to transform their performance in order to achieve a specific, more desirable outcome.
“Life coaching formally emerged during the 1980s and grew in popularity throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Some of the earliest life coaches focused on life planning, but the field eventually grew to encompass other life areas including relationships, finances, careers, health, and overall well-being.” – Quote from article By Kendra Cherry and Medically reviewed by Akeem Marsh, MD
What has become ‘traditional life coaching’ is still very much influenced by the origins of sports and performance coaching which is primarily focused on behavior modification (about 80%), a little bit of mind-set work (10%) and some focus on accountability and support (10%). What we know is that simply addressing outside behavior change is not effective in creating true balanced and sustainable long-term transformations, changes, or goal achievement.
The results show up physically in people’s lives, however there is always deeper needs, challenges, or issues under the surface. Goals, challenges, habits, and patterns need to also be addressed at the root and resolved there as well.
Psychotherapy focuses on uncovering roots and emotionally processing them through talk therapy. Trained and licensed mental health professionals diagnose and treat mental health issues. Traditional life coaching focuses on action plans and new behavior patterns in order to create change in their clients’ lives. Integrative life coaching is the truly effective future of effective coaching. It addresses the root causes through identification, meeting the core need first, learning new more effective ways to meet those core needs, and then moving to the outer behavior modification so that when it is made, it can be sustained in a balanced, healthy, and helpful way.
Dr. Mary Lou Rane explains that “Holistic life coaching is the practice of helping clients reach their goals by focusing on the whole person’s approach to health through personal development and their physical health. This means helping clients to consider not just their physical wellbeing but also their mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.”
Integrative life coaching is holistically focused and provides the foundations and core competencies of traditional life coaching while also drawing for over 20 additional wellbeing modalities for an extensive integrative coaching tool kit and proprietary holistic life coaching model, which we will go into much detail on later.