The New Wave of Talking Therapies - Therapeutic Coaching (and the Sea Pool at Trevone Bay)

A dramatic and vibrant picture of the coast at Treyarnon Bay.
Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall

Navigating the evolving landscape of talking therapies can at times feel like swimming in choppy, uncertain waters. I am BACP Senior Accredited counsellor and EMCC Senior Accredited coach, and am working increasingly in a blended way. I am part of the new wave in talking therapies; a fusion of traditional therapy with the dynamic, forward-focus of coaching. 

This movement is a response to the changing needs of clients who seek a fresh approach; one that marries the depth of therapy with the proactive, solution-focused mindset of coaching. I wrote about this last year.

Today I had a coaching supervision session and towards the end of the session, I noticed that some of the issues I brought, are anchored in issues around this emerging wave, the shift in my professional identity and how this sits in the context of this movement within the profession. 

A picture of a walled sea pool, or tidal pool, at Trevone in Cornwall. The pool looks very clear.
The sea pool at Trevone

Last weekend I visited a tidal pool in Trevone, Cornwall with some friends. Despite being an avid, year round sea-swimmer, I had never swam in a tidal pool before. The sea was incredibly rough on Saturday, and I would not have gone in the sea had we not had this opportunity. It took all of 5 minutes to access the tidal pool which was just along the coastal path from Trevone Bay. It looked so beautiful and so inviting. In taking a dip there  I experienced the most glorious and liberating sensation. It had all the exhilarating benefits of being in the fresh, dynamic sea, but without the stagnancy of a still lake. 

The conversation with my supervisor put me in mind of this swim; something around how the concrete boundaries put in place last century mean that one can have a glorious swim and enjoy the sea water in all it's glory,  but with no risk of being swept out to sea. The walls put in place all that time ago benefitted not only the people at that time but have continued to benefit people for many, many decades and will continue to do so. Indeed the sea wall was repaired in 2013 by locals to ensure it's safety for future generations.

Just as I experienced the glorious sensation of swimming in a tidal pool for the first time in Trevone, Cornwall, I've come to appreciate the necessity of establishing boundaries and safety within this new realm of therapeutic coaching. These boundaries, which are still being developed in this emerging profession, much like the pool's concrete walls, will provide a sense of security and structure, allowing practitioners to explore the depths of this dynamic work without fear of being swept away.

With all in this mind, I am honoured to be part of a BACP consultation  in a few weeks time, on defining what therapeutic coaching means in today's shifting landscape. We are shaping the future of talking therapies. This is about ensuring that clients receive the best of both worlds—insightful reflection and actionable steps towards growth and fulfilment. Just as a tidal pool is refreshed twice a day, therapeutic coaching offers a continuous flow of dynamic support and renewal, free from the stagnancy that can sometimes accompany traditional approaches.

three people in the sea pool at Trevone, at the far end against the wall, looking out to the rough sea
                                                              My friends and I (far right) in the tidal pool at Trevone