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Coaching and Mental Health: Boundaries Setting

In an article by Maddalena Fumagalli, she talked about the changing face of coaching and the boundaries that coaches should set surrounding the renewed emphasis on coaching, mental health and wellbeing. "There is little doubt that 2020 has been one chaotic, difficult, draining year for most, if not all of us. This 2021 was already underway and, despite new hopes and opportunities, we still cannot see the end of the tunnel. For this reason, we might expect that more and more people will turn to coaching as a way to improve their lives and well being in this challenging 2021." We will as coaches might expect more people to turn to coaching there are still the barriers in place that stop people from doing this. With so much financial insecurity and worry around during the pandemic, this has come to the forefront again and asking people to take more of a risk by investing in themselves further. She further went on to add, "In my opinion, the first needed step is the acquisition of basic, minimum knowledge and awareness of what mental health is, what behaviours are most effective, and how coaching can become a suitable intervention. This would allow us to understand what type of support does the coachee require, if they are in a suitable state to fully engage with, and benefit from the coaching process, and what type of coaching relationship would be most effective. Respect for the coachee and honesty are then required to identify and communicate the best course of action for the coachee: do we feel comfortable and have the competencies to best serve them, or we would better refer them to other professionals and interventions?" This falls under the umbrella of something that I am very passionate about with is ethical coaching. Too often I see coachees being pushed through a rigid structure that doesn't help them to reach their full potential. This has to stop and awareness from coaches needs to be raised to best serve coachees. Coaches have a responsibility now more than ever to set boundaries of what areas they can help in and the areas they can't. Understanding our competencies and knowing how to best serve our clients is critical in getting them the right help, guidance and advice that they need.

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