How is Coaching Different from Therapy?Written by Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach
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Friends are not trained to be objective, and closer they are to you, less likely they’ll be objective. Everyone involved with you emotionally has a vested interest in what you do. They also, I’m sure you’ve found, do not have time.
So for those of us who wanted more out of our lives or particularly out of ourselves, who wanted personal and professional development not in pop-psych short-term-goal way, but as a lifelong proposition, where was there to go?
Reading self-help books gives theory for a mass market, but where could you get a personal and individualized program? It was time for something new for millennium – coaching!
About 8 years ago, I was burning out of my then career field, and looking for something I didn’t even know name for. I went to a therapist who said I was depressed. Damn right I was. I said I needed to find a new career that was meaningful, and she said she “didn’t do that,” and didn’t know anyone who did, but we could talk. She asked me about my father, a lawyer, and if I was ‘supposed to have been lawyer.’ There were no female lawyers in 1966 when I graduated from college, my father is long dead, and I was beginning to feel I was and nobody had told me. What I was looking for was what coaching is all about—finding your passion (or reclaiming it) and going forward.
USER-FRIENDLY: CONVENIENT, EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE & AFFORDABLE
Not surprisingly, since it evolved to fill a need, coaching is very user-friendly, mostly done by telephone, from wherever you and/or your coach happen to be. It uses your time efficiently. No wait, no drive time, no dress code, no need to cancel because you’re on vacation. It’s stream-lined, cyber, results-oriented, and becoming more affordable all time as it becomes more competitive.
AND WHO ARE THE COACHES?
Well, some are therapists, but they come from all walks of life. There are credentialing schools (I direct one, EQ Alive!), but “requirements” for field are established by individual consumer. As Thomas Leonard, founder of Coaching said, “Check your credentials at door and leave your Boy Scout badges at home.” He himself was an accountant who had a knack for helping people with more important things in their lives.
WHAT KIND OF COACH FOR YOU?
Coaches help people, and in most amazing ways. Soon I think there will be a coach for everything, and I think that’s wonderful. Now there’s a Potty Training Coach. If you’re laughing, you haven’t been there, as I was – thousands of miles from any family member stumbling around with my friends, blind leading blind, and confused by conflicting advice I was hearing and reading, and a pediatrician who said, “You’ll know when he’s ready.” Not this first-time mother!
There are coaches for ADHD (the Canadian Medical Association has recommended coaching as part of their multi-modality treatment plan), Depression, Divorce, Elder Care, Communication, Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Relationships, Intuition, Introverts, eZines, Marketing, Real Estate, Retirement, Breast Cancer Survival, Emotional Intelligence, Fathering, Public Speaking, Career, and Writing. If you can’t find one for what you want, visit Premier Coach Referral™- http://www.webstrategies.cc/coachreferralservice.htm . We’ll find one for you.
For those who have income to invest in personal and professional growth and are used to paying for professional services, coaching makes sense. It’s definitely an idea whose time has come.
©Susan Dunn, MA, Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach™, http://www.susandunn.cc . Offering individual coaching, coach training and certification, business solutions, coach products for licensing to jumpstart your practice, distance learning, The EQ Learning Lab™, the EQ eBook Library, http://www.webstrategies.cc/ebooklibrary.html , and Emotional Intelligence resources. Mailto:email@example.com for FREE eZine.
Sex or Gender - Part IIWritten by Sam Vaknin
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Society, through its agents - foremost amongst which are family, peers, and teachers - represses or encourages these genetic propensities. It does so by propagating "gender roles" - gender-specific lists of alleged traits, permissible behavior patterns, and prescriptive morals and norms. Our "gender identity" or "sex role" is shorthand for way we make use of our natural genotypic-phenotypic endowments in conformity with social-cultural "gender roles".
Inevitably as composition and bias of these lists change, so does meaning of being "male" or "female". Gender roles are constantly redefined by tectonic shifts in definition and functioning of basic social units, such as nuclear family and workplace. The cross-fertilization of gender-related cultural memes renders "masculinity" and "femininity" fluid concepts.
One's sex equals one's bodily equipment, an objective, finite, and, usually, immutable inventory. But our endowments can be put to many uses, in different cognitive and affective contexts, and subject to varying exegetic frameworks. As opposed to "sex" - "gender" is, therefore, a socio-cultural narrative. Both heterosexual and homosexual men ejaculate. Both straight and lesbian women climax. What distinguishes them from each other are subjective introjects of socio-cultural conventions, not objective, immutable "facts".
In "The New Gender Wars", published in November/December 2000 issue of "Psychology Today", Sarah Blustain sums up "bio-social" model proposed by Mice Eagly, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University and a former student of his, Wendy Wood, now a professor at Texas A&M University:
"Like (the evolutionary psychologists), Eagly and Wood reject social constructionist notions that all gender differences are created by culture. But to question of where they come from, they answer differently: not our genes but our roles in society. This narrative focuses on how societies respond to basic biological differences - men's strength and women's reproductive capabilities - and how they encourage men and women to follow certain patterns.
'If you're spending a lot of time nursing your kid', explains Wood, 'then you don't have opportunity to devote large amounts of time to developing specialized skills and engaging tasks outside of home'. And, adds Eagly, 'if women are charged with caring for infants, what happens is that women are more nurturing. Societies have to make adult system work [so] socialization of girls is arranged to give them experience in nurturing'.
According to this interpretation, as environment changes, so will range and texture of gender differences. At a time in Western countries when female reproduction is extremely low, nursing is totally optional, childcare alternatives are many, and mechanization lessens importance of male size and strength, women are no longer restricted as much by their smaller size and by child-bearing. That means, argue Eagly and Wood, that role structures for men and women will change and, not surprisingly, way we socialize people in these new roles will change too. (Indeed, says Wood, 'sex differences seem to be reduced in societies where men and women have similar status,' she says. If you're looking to live in more gender-neutral environment, try Scandinavia.)"
Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .
Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com