Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2012

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READER FORUM COACHING CLARIFICATION I'm writing in response to Laura Allen's article "Where to Turn for Expert Advice" (May/ June 2012, page 24), and in particular to her section on coaching. I'd like to set the record straight about this growing profession and the confusion around what it is and what it is not. In the article, Allen questions the training program the validity of of "one coaching organization" by stating [coaches] learn all they "need to know about how to advise people on how to conduct their personal and professional lives." First and foremost, coaches do not give advice: personal or professional. So, if that is what is happening in your "coaching" sessions, you may be working with someone who has no coaching training, little coaching experience, or someone who isn't doing a very good job. Coaching is a collaborative process that is 100 percent focused on the client's agenda and tangible, bottom-line results. Coaches use a particular skill set and competencies to that end. A key coaching skill is a process of inquiry—asking questions that support clients' abilities to tap into their experiences, intuition, wisdom, resources, and more, thereby enabling clients to come up with their own answers and solutions. Research shows that this methodology leads to outcomes that are far more sustainable than being told what to do and how to do it— which is the job of a mentor. Therefore, mentor is not an "old-fashioned word for coach," although clearly many interpret coaching in this way. There are a lot of people hanging a coaching shingle, and as far as I can tell, few with actual coach training. I know the difference: I'm a certified coach with more than 320 hours of training under my belt, six years of coaching experience, and membership in the International Coach Federation (ICF), "the leading global organization and professional association for coaches." I am also a massage therapist, with 27 years of continual experience. In my work with coaching clients, I am well aware of the line between coaching and mentoring. I agree with Allen: if you are interested in hiring a coach, investigate. I'd recommend visiting the ICF website (www. coachfederation.org), as well as taking advantage of coaching sessions, so that you can better understand the true coaching process, and find someone with whom you'd really like to work. Bottom line: just make sure that if it is coaching you want, it's coaching you are getting. BRIANNE KRUPSAW CONCORD, MASSACHUSETTS CREATING DIGITAL LINKS I loved the article in this month's Massage & Bodywork titled "The Epidemic of Pain" by Diana L. Thompson (May/June 2012, page 48). I would like to link it to my website so that my intelligent and active senior clients could learn how to use PubMed effectively. ADELE BOYD INTERCESSION CITY, FLORIDA Editor's response: to create a link to the digital edition version of an article, simply add a backslash and the page number after the digital edition's URL. KUDOS I've been in practice since 1997 and appreciate what ABMP does for me more than ever. I used to have a day job and thriving part-time practice, but a couple years ago, an MRSA infection caused me fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. My stressful, computer- intensive day job is now a thing of the past, and my massage practice is just a shadow of what it once was. My energy is finally starting to return and I find myself needing to actively build my practice for the first time. It seems like the last several issues were put together just for me! I'm also putting much of my limited computer time (too much and my shoulders go nuts) into making my website work for me. Once I'm comfortable with what I've got there, I'll try to put energy into electronic contact with my clients. Thanks ABMP for the free website and email, as well as everything else. ANA SNYDER PHOENIX, ARIZONA Celebrate ABMP's 25th anniversary and you may win a refund on your membership. ABMP.com. 11

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