The Importance of Holistic Coaching: Embracing a Connected Approach to Coaching

The Importance of Holistic Coaching

In today’s world, many coaching approaches claim to be holistic, but upon closer examination, it is important to question whether they truly embody this philosophy. Traditional methods of holistic coaching often begin by separating a human being into different spheres – physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and so on. However, this division seems contradictory to the concept of holism itself. If we truly view a human being as a whole entity, why are we artificially separating them into parts?

The argument made by proponents of this approach is that we are currently privileging our thinking minds and underutilizing the spiritual, physical, and emotional aspects of our beings. This perspective can be found in somatic, holistic coaching methods, as well as coaching approaches that emphasize emotional and other intelligences. However, the entire premise of privileging one sphere over another rests upon the assumption that a human being consists of separate spheres in the first place.

It is worth noting that the concept of a human being consisting of a mind and a body was popularized during the Enlightenment period, particularly influenced by philosopher Rene Descartes. Descartes argued for the separation of the body and mind/soul to support the idea that the mind and soul can survive physical death. While this philosophy served its purpose in the context of Descartes’ time, it is important to question its relevance in modern coaching practices.

Solution Focused Coaching: A Radical Perspective

Solution Focused coaching takes a more radical approach to the idea of holism. As a practitioner of this method, I do not believe it is productive to talk about separate spheres as if they are independent entities. Instead, each aspect of a person’s being is interconnected and influences one another. Our thoughts influence our feelings, our physical state influences our thoughts and experiences, and our spirituality influences our intentions and values in life. Human beings are not made up of isolated parts; we are inseparable entities who engage in various activities such as thinking, feeling, and experiencing.

When I engage in coaching sessions, I approach the client as a whole, inseparable individual. My aim is to help them explore and describe their current and desired ways of being, their identities, and their aspirations. Rather than focusing on isolated aspects like bodily sensations or emotional states, I ask for a holistic description of their desired future. This description encompasses the progress they would notice towards their goals, how their environment might perceive this progress, and how their actions and emotions would align with their intentions.

In my view, there is no need to pretend that there is a separation between the mind, body, soul, environment, and emotions. All of these aspects are intricately connected and should be considered in coaching sessions. Additionally, as a coach, I consider myself an integral part of the coaching process. The client and I work together as a team, focusing on our collaborative efforts in each session.

The Dangers of Individualization

While other coaching approaches may prioritize the analysis of the client’s body or emotions, I believe there is a risk of individualizing the client’s issues. Often, the problems clients face are rooted in their context and environment. By narrowing our focus solely to internal issues, we run the risk of overlooking important external factors. For example, if a client is experiencing bullying, it is essential to consider the broader environment. By ignoring the external context, we miss an opportunity to address the root cause of the issue.

I want to emphasize that I do not believe my holistic and somatic colleagues intend to individualize clients. I am sure that their approaches can be effective when both the client and coach agree on the methodology. However, it is crucial for the coaching community as a whole to examine the underlying principles of our approaches and the potential consequences they have on our practice. By engaging in meaningful discussions about concepts like holism and our understanding of human beings, we can elevate the field of coaching and enhance our ability to help clients.

Join the Conversation

I am passionate about diving deeper into the foundational philosophies of coaching and inviting others to join the conversation. If you are interested in discussing and exchanging views, sharing case studies, or learning more about our coaching programs, I invite you to join us for our free meet-up and exchange. Together, let’s explore the core principles that underpin our coaching practices and create a more holistic and impactful coaching community.

Blog Coaching: Develop Your Skills to Shine

If you’re looking to enhance your skills in blog coaching, you’ve come to the right place. At, we offer comprehensive online coach training, mentoring, and supervision programs that are accredited by both the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). Our courses are designed to provide you with the tools, skills, and knowledge you need to excel in the field of blog coaching.

10 Tips to Develop Your Sparkle in Blog Coaching

  1. Embrace a Holistic Approach: Rather than viewing your clients as separate entities with individual challenges, adopt a holistic perspective that considers the interconnectedness of their thoughts, emotions, physical well-being, and intentions.

  2. Foster Collaboration: Approach your coaching sessions as a collaborative partnership, where you and your clients work together to explore their current and desired ways of being, their identities, and their goals.

  3. Focus on the Desired Future: Instead of dwelling on the problems or challenges your clients are facing, encourage them to vividly describe their desired future. Help them identify the progress they would notice, how their environment might perceive this progress, and the actions and emotions that would align with their intentions.

  4. Consider the Context: Avoid individualizing your clients’ issues by considering the broader context in which they exist. Explore the external factors that may contribute to their challenges, such as their environment, relationships, or societal influences.

  5. Practice Active Listening: Cultivate strong listening skills to fully understand your clients’ perspectives, thoughts, and emotions. Create a safe and non-judgmental space where they can express themselves freely.

  6. Encourage Self-Reflection: Help your clients develop self-awareness by asking thought-provoking questions that encourage reflection and introspection. Support them in gaining insights into their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

  7. Empower Your Clients: Foster a sense of empowerment in your clients by helping them recognize their own strengths, capabilities, and potential. Guide them towards discovering solutions and strategies that align with their values and aspirations.

  8. Stay Up to Date: Stay informed about the latest trends, tools, and techniques in the world of blog coaching. Attend workshops, webinars, and conferences to expand your knowledge and skills.

  9. Seek Feedback: Actively seek feedback from your clients to understand their experience of the coaching process. Use this feedback to improve your coaching techniques and provide even better support to your clients.

  10. Practice Self-Care: Remember to prioritize your own well-being as a coach. Engage in self-care practices that help you recharge, manage stress, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Coaching for Clients in Crisis Situations

Coaching can be a valuable tool for individuals who find themselves in crisis situations. By providing support, guidance, and a safe space for exploration, coaches can help clients navigate difficult times and find positive ways forward. However, it is important to recognize the limitations of coaching in crisis situations and to refer clients to appropriate professionals when necessary. In these situations, maintaining an open line of communication with the client’s support network, such as therapists or medical professionals, is crucial.

When a Coaching Session is Off Track

Occasionally, coaching sessions may veer off track or fail to produce the desired results. This can happen for a variety of reasons, and it is important for coaches to be prepared to address these situations. If you find that a coaching session is not progressing as intended, here are some steps you can take to get back on track:

  1. Pause and Reflect: Take a moment to reflect on the current state of the session. What factors may have contributed to it going off track? Are there any underlying issues that need to be addressed?

  2. Reestablish Goals: Clarify the goals and objectives of the coaching session with the client. Ensure that both parties are on the same page and have a shared understanding of what needs to be accomplished.

  3. Adjust Techniques: If your current coaching techniques are not yielding the desired results, consider trying a different approach. Be flexible and open to experimenting with new strategies.

  4. Ask for Feedback: Check in with the client and ask for their feedback on the coaching process. Encourage them to share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions for improvement. This feedback can help guide the remainder of the session and future coaching sessions.

  5. Seek Support: If you are feeling stuck or uncertain about how to proceed, reach out to a mentor, supervisor, or colleague for guidance. Sometimes an outside perspective can provide valuable insights and help you navigate challenging coaching situations.

Remember, coaching is a dynamic and evolving process. It is normal for sessions to occasionally encounter obstacles or setbacks. By remaining adaptable, responsive, and committed to your clients’ growth, you can overcome these challenges and continue to provide valuable support.

When a Coach is a Paid Friend

The coach-client relationship is unique and differs from a typical friendship. While it is natural for a coaching relationship to develop trust and rapport, it is essential to maintain professional boundaries. Coaches should avoid blurring the lines between a coach and a friend, especially when it comes to personal relationships and conflicts of interest. Here are some guidelines to ensure a healthy coach-client relationship:

  1. Define Roles and Boundaries: Clearly establish the roles and responsibilities of both the coach and the client. Maintain professional boundaries and avoid engaging in personal relationships outside the coaching context.

  2. Maintain Objectivity: As a coach, it is important to remain objective and unbiased. Avoid taking sides or offering personal opinions that may cloud the coaching process.

  3. Focus on Client’s Growth: Keep the client’s growth and development at the forefront of the coaching relationship. Avoid getting caught up in personal agendas or trying to fulfill your own needs through the coaching process.

  4. Practice Confidentiality: Respect client confidentiality and maintain the privacy of their personal information. Ensure that any disclosures or discussions remain confidential, unless there is a legal or ethical obligation to report.

  5. Seek Supervision and Support: Engage in regular supervision or consultation with a trusted mentor or supervisor. This can help you navigate complex coaching situations and ensure that you are adhering to ethical guidelines.

By maintaining professional boundaries and prioritizing the client’s growth and well-being, coaches can foster a healthy and productive coaching relationship that benefits both parties.


Coaching is a powerful tool for personal growth and development, but it is important to critically examine the premises and philosophies that underpin our coaching approaches. By adopting a holistic perspective and considering the interconnectedness of a person’s thoughts, emotions, physical state, and intentions, we can provide more effective and impactful coaching. Through ongoing discussions and collaboration within the coaching community, we can continuously refine our approaches and enhance the quality of coaching services we offer. So let’s come together, engage in meaningful conversations, and shape the future of coaching. Together, we can create a truly holistic and transformative coaching experience.

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