Existential coaching
(Ernesto Spinelli)

“Anxiety is freedom's possibility” Soren Kierkegaard

“Existential Coaching bases its approach upon the central assumption that life is an uncertain enterprise and that the one predictable thing we can say about it is that we will be confronted with the unpredictable at any point throughout our journey.

As human beings, we all share the experience of facing and confronting any number of uncertainties of living. These may be personal (such as issues surrounding health, employment, or romance) or work-related (such as the eruption of unforeseen conflict within one's company, or between competing organisations or nations) or, often, contain elements of both. Whatever the uncertainty may be, however, our experience of it provokes a felt sense of unease, or anxiety.

Existential Coaching recognises that anxiety is not necessarily "a bad thing" or a problematic presence that must be reduced or removed. The feeling of anxiety can be stimulating, can put us in touch with our sense of being alive, and is the source to all creative and original insight and decision-making. On reflection, a life that was anxiety-free would be empty of meaning, enthusiasm, curiosity and the urge to advance itself. However, when the anxiety regarding the experience of life's uncertainties becomes confounding, unmanageable or intolerable, we attempt to initiate ways designed to reduce or remove that anxiety. Unfortunately, the most common ways that we adopt can be problematic in themselves.

Typically, we rely upon strategies that refuse to face up to the existence of felt anxiety. Or we try to transform our felt anxiety into other sorts of anxieties with which we might be better able to deal. Or we are likely to "crumble" at our felt anxiety either by acting impulsively and irresponsibly or by continuing to "plod along" through life in the hope that the anxiety will eventually fade away sooner than we will.

While it is a "given" of being human that we all experience anxiety, just what specific occurrences will provoke the highest degree of intolerable anxiety in each of us and how we will respond to it is determined by our unique "way of being in the world" - our worldview.

Existential Coaching argues that it is not terribly useful to apply general techniques to specific and uniquely experienced life-issues. Instead, the creation of a secure and trustworthy "life-space" encourages clients to get to know more accurately and to experience more honestly just what their worldview is, what it is like to experience oneself and others through that worldview, and how the current dilemmas, concerns and uncertainties that are presenting themselves may be challenges to, or outcomes of, that very same worldview.”

Ernesto Spinelli

Professor Ernesto Spinelli, PhD has gained an international reputation as one of the leading contemporary trainers and theorists of existential analysis as applied to psychology and psychotherapy and, more recently, the related arenas of coaching, facilitation and conflict mediation. He is a Fellow of both the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), a United kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) registered existential psychotherapist as well as a Founding Member of the BPS Special Group in Coaching Psychology.In 2003, he was invited to join the visiting faculty of the I-coach Academy where he offered lectures, applied training and coaching supervision to Diploma and Master's degree trainees both in the UK and South Africa.

Ernesto's text The Interpreted World is required reading on various executive coaching and facilitation programmes both in the UK and internationally.

Jenny’s credentials:

The works of Ernesto Spinelli forms part of Jenny’s model and theory provided as part of her Master’s thesis in Executive Development (Coaching), 2006

More information: http://www.plexworld.com/psy_rapy03.html