New career paths in the coaching profession

In a relatively short time, ‘The Coach’ has come a long way from the being the person on the sports field unlocking star performance from players. Executive and business coaching are now commonplace in the corporate world. Life coaching has taken its place in the helping industry; relationship coaching is on the rise; health, wellness and nutrition coaching are becoming increasingly sought after as more and more people see the advantages of having the support of a thoughtful, encouraging, professional partner as they set and move towards achieving important personal and life goals.

“New specialisations and innovations in the field of coaching are constantly emerging as qualified coaches are carving out career niches because they have particular expertise, experience and interest in coaching people facing specific challenges, “ points out Karolyne Williams, Head of Coaching at the SACAP Graduate School of Coaching and Leadership, “The result of this diversification and proliferation is that both the perception and the practice of coaching has moved away from the exclusivity and elitism of just serving high performance athletes and business executives. And, this is an encouraging direction for those interested in coaching as a career.”

Coaching is clearly heading into a future where it would become common for any person wanting to change behaviour, get additional support and insight during a life-changing time or to reach a personal goal to seek out a coach with the specialist expertise that they need. With a growing body of scientific research attesting to the benefits and effectiveness of coaching in ever more fields, it is becoming more evident that being coached can be an advantage, and be relevant to a wide variety of human endeavour.

David Collins, who is an internationally-qualified business and executive coach, is also a founding member of the Foundation Clinic, a substance abuse and addiction treatment centre in Johannesburg. He is currently proactively building a team of Recovery Coaches to address South Africa’s need to build recovery capital. He describes client-driven recovery coaching as an adjunct service to help improve treatment outcomes that is best delivered as part of a multidisciplinary programme to addresses a systemic problem. David highlights the difference in using the coaching model to address addiction: “The responsibility rests with the client who is treated by their coach as well, rather than as ill as they are perceived in traditional treatment approaches.  In doing this, the client can unlock more of, and better use their resources to achieve their recovery,” he says, “Since recovery coaching is a short-term intervention with immediate application, there is better value for money than more long-term therapeutic interventions.  The approach is focused on performance improvement and learning new skills, behaviours and approaches to dealing with life. Success is measured by the client as they determine their own recovery plan and future direction.”

Brett Simpson is another South African coach embracing the current innovations in the coaching field. His own, gruelling cancer journey, which had impacts on his life, long after treatment and remission, inspired his move into qualifying as a coach; and he then founded Cancer Journey Coaching to help others move towards acceptance and emotional healing.

Brett can testify first-hand to the fact that a cancer diagnosis devastatingly disrupts more than just one’s health: “It affects relationships, finances, work and all areas of life. The coaching model I worked with really gave me the tools to build strategies in my journey through cancer, which dealt with not only my emotional needs but also practical demands of money, how my diagnosis affected my relationships, my ability to work and the like. It was even more valuable when my treatment was completed and I was expected to ‘get on with my life’. I was changed, I had new eyes and a brand new perspective on what life meant to me. So I worked with my coach to redefine and create a new life. It's in this area of post treatment when life is meant to get back to ‘normal’ that I find coaching really becomes incredibly powerful for defining a new path on top of the pain and gifts of what emerges from a cancer journey. This understanding has helped me heal, and is now tonic for those I support.”

If you are interested in a career in coaching or want to find out more about innovations in the field, you can learn more from and engage with David or Brett at the upcoming SACAP Coaching Information Sessions & Interactive Talks to be held on 16 March 2016, in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively or you can join their #Coach2Career Twitter Talk on Tuesday, 15 March from 1pm to 2pm – just follow @SACAPGrad_CL

Through its Graduate School of Coaching & Leadership, SACAP (The South African College of Applied Psychology) is a leading provider of coaching and leadership courses. The details of the first Information Sessions and Coaching Talks of 2016 are:

Date: 16 March 2016
Time: 18h00 – 20h00

Cape Town
Interactive Talk by Coach Brett Simpson followed by Q&A session
Venue: SACAP Cape Town Campus, 1st Floor, Sunclare building, 21 Dreyer Street, Claremont
Find out more and register online: Cape Town

Johannesburg
Interactive Talk by Coach David Collins followed by Q&A session
Venue: SACAP Johannesburg Campus, 1st Floor, 1 Sixty Jan Smuts, 160 Jan Smuts Avenue, Rosebank
Find out more and register online: Johannesburg

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