I am aware of three good and valid reasons why someone might consider taking a coaching training. There is no hierarchy of merit in these. Each is perfectly right for a particular person.
The first reason to train to become a coach is because you love the idea of receiving support from your peers and supporting them in turn. In our context, which focuses on the embodiment of awakening, you might have found yourself tired of hierarchical spirituality: of guru-centered organizations, with rules, and membership, and a predictable vocabulary and way of behaving. You might be burning to leave the well-trodden path and take a hike into the unexplored wilderness with a group of courageous friends. This may have little to do with how you make money. You might be happy as a film maker, or an executive, or an artist, or a mother who stays at home to look after her kids. Your interest in coaching is the peer support. About one-third of the people who train with us fall into this category.
The second good and valid reason to train to become a coach is because you want to integrate the tools taught in a particular coaching school into an existing profession. In our school, for example, we train many psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, and counselors to become proficient in the basic skills of Radical Awakening, Radical Releasing, and Embodiment Practices. These people will probably never hang up a shingle as Certified Awakening Coaches. They will continue quietly with their chosen profession. They frequently report that, once they have tools to help their patients access infinite consciousness, the results are staggeringly more effective. Dr. Marc Loewer, for example, is a psychiatrist practicing in Germany. He was a psychiatrist before he trained with us, he is a psychiatrist now, and he plans to continue being a psychiatrist for the rest of his long and glorious life. He reports that the tools he has learned with us have allowed him to be more present with his patients and, when appropriate, to help his patients bypass their personal story—often of suffering, defeat, and self-doubt—and discover the dimension of themselves that was never broken. Approximately half of the people who train in our school fall into this second category. They are not looking for a new career, but instead want to bring powerful and effective tools to enhance the career they already have.
The third good and valid reason to train as a coach is because you want to start a new career. You may have become tired of being a sheep farmer, a hairdresser, or a nuclear physicist, and you want to do something new and different. In this scenario, of course, you need to take the training a little more seriously, devote more time to it, and probably do more courses. I would strongly suggest that you think about training with at least two different schools if you want to be a professional coach, so that you have a nice variety of skills to offer your coaching clients. In our school, it is certainly not everybody who wants to follow this route: perhaps one in five or even less. When someone makes the decision that they want to be a full-time coach using our method, I invite them to join an apprenticeship program, where they work with me closely for a year, mastering all the skills they need to deal with any and every circumstance, both with individuals and in groups.
This is an excerpt from Arjuna’s new book, Better than Sex: The Ecstatic Art of Awakening Coaching
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/singhflicks/1350427453/, http://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/category/professionalism/, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/03/fears-future-lamb-farming