Coaching in a cold climate

This paper builds upon previous papers such as Towards mindfulness: an holistic and spiritual model of coaching and facilitation, where I offered an alternative view of the place of health and mindfulness within a holistic coaching and facilitation relationship in the workplace.

It seems to me that coaching and facilitation has not moved very far in the last 30 years. I would venture that it is currently stuck in the mud of modernity and suffers from all the ailments that currently plagued our society. Coaching a team or facilitating a group is generally still a directive exercise where the recipients are ‘trained’, ‘educated’ or ‘instructed’ by a person Continue reading

A guide to being in Gestalt groups

The foundation of Gestalt practice is awareness, which is essentially mindfulness: paying attention to the present moment; noticing what’s going on inside you, and around you in the environment outside yourself; being aware of your thought processes, feelings and bodily responses, and being sensitive to those of others.

While there are no rules or expectations for Gestalt groups, there are some basic principles that it’s helpful to have an understanding of. If you endeavour to put these into practice, this will ensure you get the most from the experience, for the benefit of yourself as well as your fellow group members.  Continue reading

Endless watching

Have you ever actually looked at yourself? You can look at yourself in a mirror and see a reflection of your face. Do you notice how brief that actual looking is before we spot a blemish or wrinkle that requires investigation? The thoughts come rushing into mind and they are usually negative. Why are we so self critical? Why do we not just see the face without this wall of judgements issued by the self and towards the self?

Moving away from the mirror and resting my attention in the room, I see the walls, the lamp, the chair, and hear the noise of the world outside the window, distantly. I look, I simply look. What do I see? The objects around my room, which I view one after another. Continue reading

Being human: what’s it all about?

Have you ever considered the bigger questions? Why are we here? What’s it all about? I’m not concerned with the mechanics of space or on the reliance on a god demanding servitude, but rather the psychological sense of being that is ‘me’.

It seems fairly obvious that you and I are the products of our culture and time. What do I mean by that? I was born in the 1960s and bred as a Welshman. I initially acquired my knowledge and understanding of myself through the culture and people who surrounded me as I grew. It is with this subjective view and a guttural, steel-town accent that I went out into the world to explore. Continue reading


I have often reflected on what constitutes effective and high quality coaching, what is it for, what is achieved, and also in whose interest is the coaching aimed. Having spoken with numerous coaches and leaders, I’ve come to two basic conclusions on the subject. Firstly, that the answer is as unique and idiosyncratic as the individuals who offer it, and secondly, that there is very little consensus on the overall direction of coaching.

So, what does this mean to me?  That coaching per se cannot simple be limited to the aspirations of the client, nor in the limited interests of the paymasters within the workplace. It must have a higher ambition than that. Continue reading


As a bias my approach is Gestalt in practice and flavour, and I place a heavy emphasis on the group dynamics of the relationship at work within and between people.

The individual is formed from the group during development. The social world informs and creates the individual. The group is the social mirror, where the individual can begin to surface established patterns of interaction and by active testing and feedback, re-learn new ways of being and doing. The facilitation of quality feedback and interaction from peers is the glue that offers the space to continue your personal development journey.

Towards mindfulness: an holistic and spiritual model of coaching and facilitation

This paper will explore the awakening of spiritual mindfulness within the facilitative relationship. It will advance a view to suggest the centrality of spiritual growth for both the client and the facilitator within coaching and facilitation. It will explore and contrast some ideas within the approaches proffered by Fritz Perls and Jiddu Krishnamurti, a highly-respected philosopher and spiritual teacher on learning and relationship.

I will consider the similarities between these two approaches in terms of content and purpose, and where possible highlight points of agreement and crossover into spiritual development. This view purports the importance of spiritual awareness within facilitation and suggests that the direction of growth, change and health is synonymous with embracing a holistic phenomenological field and spiritual growth. Continue reading