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Personal Consultancy: An integrative approach to one-to-one talking practices

N Popovic, I Boniwell International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2007

Despite a proliferation of ‘one-to-one’ taking practices that include counselling, psychotherapy and coaching, the existing approaches do not seem to by fully adequate, starting from their very names to, more importantly, the help that they can offer to clients. Broadly speaking, counselling and psychotherapy are mostly remedial, and usually lack more ‘positive’ or pro-active elements. Coaching, on the other hand, can be charged with not addressing deeper, underlying issues, and consequently being superficial. Personal consultancy approach allows practitioners to integrate the depth perspective, offered by counselling and psychotherapy, with an opportunity to make constructive, practical changes, associated with coaching. This is possible because all of these practices, in fact, use similar skills, and their domains already overlap to a large extent. In building its framework three essential elements of ‘one-to-one’ practices are considered first: the client, the consultant and the interaction (relationship) between them. On this basis four stages of the personal consultancy process are suggested: authentic listening, re-balancing, generating and supporting. The paper will expand on them, discussing the appropriate attitudes, methods, and techniques that can be used at each stage, in order to assist the process.

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