My response:

I am glad that one reader who insists that people should be able to choose a nurse or doctor as needed chooses from 2 licensed practitioners and not between a nurse or, say, a healer. I am also glad that that the writer who insists that one's personal ethics is all that matters, when we live in times where personal ethics and morals have been changing with alarming frequency and results, I would not advocate relying on personal ethics rather than a specific standard. A lesson I have learned from the Torah that is an anchor of morality that does not change with personal whims. And speaking of religiosity or spirituality in the therapy room, therapists know that we use whatever is useful to a client, including religion or spirituality—but never pushing our own agenda—which seems suspect for that coach who is so excited about being able to use Yiddishkeit in her coaching. And I am really excited there are dating coaches, but that is a time-limited function; because when there are issues preventing engagement, a good dating coach ships off that person to therapy. Which goes for any type of coach I discussed in my article. And I am even more excited that there are people who are teaching marital coaching, but I will stay far away from them the same way I will stay far away from a person learning brain surgery without any standards of protocol for practice (such as testing and licensure answerable to a a licensing board) and will learn on the job, as needed; as one reader informs us she does with her marital coaching.

And while I respect the coach who decided to join the International Federation of Coaching, when I looked up this marvelous federation, it is a good way to make money off of people calling themselves coaches. It's code of ethics is fluffy stuff, not backed by any type of consequences for people violating whatever vague ethics they write about—because it is not a national or international standard of anything except maybe a website.

One last thing. If you ask any honest coach why they chose coaching versus becoming a licensed therapist, the reason is usually an unwillingness to invest the years in college or supervision; not because coaching is their mission in life. Coaching is what they end up doing when they are limited in their ability (for religious, financial, or educational reasons) to go for a legal license.

and the best thing of all? Those who wrote these responses defending coaching, very clearly proved to anyone reading these inadequate rebuttals that my original article still stands. Life coaching? Not on your life (or your mental health)!




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