Tomorrow’s Psychology: The Life Coach
may be one of the most misunderstood fields of science. Part of this
misunderstanding may come from the 53 divisions of psychology (Stanovich, 2007). Another cause may be on
account of the lack of a uniting theory or application of theories (Cormack,
2005). Due to so
many variables in the field, many may believe that anything that deals with the
mind is part of psychology. This other psychology
is pop psychology and may be influencing the real psychology. There is something growing in pop psychology
called life coaching. This paper will briefly look at pop psychology, contemporary
psychology and a possible direction.
The Wonder of ‘Pop’ Psychology
Pop psychology has become known as being a collection of methods for improving one’s self-worth. A majority of these methods may not have any scientific foundation (Kayne, 2009). This information is hawked by a variety of self-proclaimed authorities that often have no credentials. Self-help books brought in more than $600 million in 2000 (Gunnell, Pimlott, & Motevalli, 2004). Topics range from spirituality, self-worth, to material wealth. The information provided is simplistic and touted as being breakthrough techniques that often defy science (Stanovich, 2007). Those with credentials such as James Redfield, author of the Celestine Prophecy series, base their information on case studies and his own experiences (Redfield, 2007). Case studies only provide a snapshot of a person’s life. Other books are based on personal experience. Redfield, unlike others, uses scientific theories as possible explanations for psychic phenomena.
While pop psychology may offer some useful advice for personal growth, harmful advice is part of the mix (Gunnell, Pimlott, & Motevalli, 2004). Some may claim that these tactics are tough love and needed, others question their efficacy. Psychologist turned entertainer, Dr. Phil uses techniques that appear to break the person down, reducing them to tears. Prior to being an entertainer in California, Dr. Phil was a licensed psychologist in Texas (Li, 2008).
Not everything in pop psychology is questionable; some publish books that are supported by scientific research. Much of this can be found in the science sections of the bookstore. Topics in psychology can be found in the neuroscience and physiological sections (Stanovich, 2007). Most of these books are based on scientific principles.
Can ‘Pop’ Psychology Become Contemporary Psychology?
A developing area of pop psychology that may fall into the confines of contemporary psychology is that of life coaching. Life coaching is about goal setting and helping people reach their goals (Spence & Grant, 2007 ). A life coach works with an individual and establishes goals, develops a plan of action, then facilitates the progress of the individual (Gooding, 2006; Keene, 2006). Coaching is based on the establishment of a bond between the coach and the client. The program is based on dialogue but remains action oriented (Spence & Grant, 2007). Challenges are identified and solutions discussed. As the facilitator, the coach draws the solution from the individual. This sounds like contemporary psychology.
Contemporary psychology such as clinical and cognitive psychology depend on the client-therapist relationship of trust. This is accomplished through a dialogue. One of the core principles of cognitive behavioral therapy is education, skill building, implementation, and achieving goals (Basco, Glickman, Weatherford, & Ryser, 2000). All are similar aspects of life coaching.
An abundance of evidence supports the efficacy of motivation and goal setting. Few studies of the benefits of life coaching have been done. Many of the underlying therapeutic values of cognitive behavioral therapy exist in the methodology used in coaching. Comparisons can be seen in applications used by industrial/organizational psychologists with managers and employees (Spence & Grant, 2007).
A study by Grant (Spence & Grant, 2007 ) linked the sense of well-being with reaching personal goals. Another study by Spence and Grant (2007) found a correlation in the way a person’s self-reflection had changed from impeding goal progression to improved metacognition processes and lower stress levels. They also found that coaching did increase one’s sense of control over the environment despite not being able to confirm the connection with goal success and improved sense of well-being.
Clinical psychology is where the theories of psychology are applied to the community in the assessment, treatment, and prevention of psychological distress and dysfunctional behavior (Huey & Britton, 2002). The ability of the clinical psychologist to draw from a variety of resources is essential to his success. The same may be said for life coaching. One person describes the difference between the two fields as life coaching is about today and tomorrow, while psychotherapy focuses on yesterday and today (Savage, 2006).
Life coaching is a growing field that is filled with charlatans who make unsupported claims. The field is also fertile ground for conducting research and the application of therapies that may be a form of preventative medicine. Some psychologists, such as Anne Gooding (2006), supplement their practice with coaching. If this trend continues life coaching may become subfield 54.
Pop psychology has developed alongside psychology. Both have had a strong influence upon the minds of the public. Psychologists and self-proclaimed experts have contributed to the confusion that may exist. Misrepresentations of the field in books, newspapers, magazines, radio and television abound. Many aspects of psychology began this way. The psychodynamic perspective developed by Freud, who was a medical doctor who took an interest in psychiatry . Psychoanalysis continues to thrive despite the lack of scientific support. Life coaching has the potential to become a part of psychology as well. In the meantime, life coaching has gone from anyone can do it to a strong emphasis on certification. Educational programs have developed and journals have come into existence (Gooding, 2006). For those unable to move forward in a career in psychology, they may be able to bide their time and hone their skills as a life coach.
Basco, M. R., Glickman, M., Weatherford, P., & Ryser, N. (2000). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders: Why and how it works. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic , 64 (3), A52. Retrieved December 10, 2008 from Academic Search Complete database.
Cormack, E. (2005). Meaning making: The future of integrative therapy? CPJ: Counseling & Psychotherapy Journal , 16 (5), 19-22. Retrieved January 21, 2009 from Academic Seach Complete database.
Gooding, A. D. (2006). Status, change, and future. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association , 9 ( 3), 25. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from Academic Search Complete database.
Gunnell, B., Pimlott, D., & Motevalli, G. (2004). The happiness industry. New Statesman , 133 (4704), 10-12. Retrieved February 16, 2008 from MasterFILE Premier database.
Huey, D. A., & Britton, P. G. (2002). A portrait of clinical psychology. Journal of Interprofessional Care , 16 (1), 69- 78. Retrieved January 29, 2008 from CINAHL Plus database.
Kayne, R. (2009). What is pop psychology? Retrieved February 28, 2009, from WiseGEEK: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-pop- psychology.htm
Keene, P. A. (2006). Life coaches: A partner in accountability. Today's Chiropractic Lifestyle , 35 (1), 20-22. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from Alt HealthWatch database.
Li, D. K. (2008). Betrayal: Brit Kin's shrink rap vs. unlicensed Dr. Phil. New Youk Post , Retrieved May 22, 2008 from http://www.nypost.com/seven/01102008/news/nationalnews/betr ayal_580869.htm.
Redfield, J. (2007). James Redfield. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from CelestineVision.com: http://www.celestinevision.com/
Savage, L. (2006). You go, girl! That'll be $300. Maclean's , 119 (48), 61-65. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from Business Source Complete database.
Spence, G. B., & Grant, A. M. (2007 ). Professional and peer life coaching and the enhancement of goal striving and well-bing: An exploratory study. Journal of postive psychology , 2 (3), 185-197. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from Academic Search Complete database.
Stanovich, K. E. (2007). How to think straight about Psychology (8 ed.). Allyn and Bacon.
Predicting Tomorrow’s Psychology
University of Phoenix
Christopher B. Gargoline, MA
February 23, 2009
The chakras are like any other energy system. The sacral chakra takes in raw energy from the subtle fields and moves it down to the root chakra, up to the spleen chakra, or off to the heart chakra. Any of these points can be the second step in refining that energy. No matter what direction it is shunted in, it must pass through the throat, brow, and possibly the bindu vasarga chakras before exiting the crown chakra.
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Dr. Wilder Penfield, through stimulating certain areas of the brain, the subjects would hear an authoritative voice that sounded like that of a man. This was from the right hemisphere .
Hamilton, Mark; Alexander, Tracy; Savage, Eric & Wallace, Frank R. (2007). The Nouveau Tech Package of Inside Secrets. Neo-Tech Books
Each coaching session is not always directly tied to goal application. Sometimes, the session focuses on areas that are vague.
Goals are not always monolithic achievements. The type of goal a person aims for has an impact on the approach and the level of satisfaction.
Grant, Anthony M. International Coaching Psychology Review. 2012, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p 146-165.
When people say they don't have time to do something they want to do, they have already failed. The only thing worse is you don't know what to do.
Ellis, Dave (1998). Creating Your Future: Five steps to the life of your dreams.
Enhancing your personality may be more rewarding than earning more money or changing careers. When a person is can identify traits or habits no longer useful or problematic, and takes steps to modify their behavior, their life experiences are more satisfying. Other improvements may include better relationships and overall better mental and physical health.
Lesley S. Martin, Lindsay G. Oades, and Peter Caputi. What is Personality Change Coaching?
"...participants phoned the coach and addressed any issues about which they wanted to focus. It should be noted that participants determined the agenda of each coaching session and could focus directly on obesity-related issues or indirectly on family, career, or other issues. This may seem unusual for an obesity-related intervention; however a basic premise of the coaching model used...is that improvements in one aspect of an individual's life infuse other aspects."
Jennifer Irwin, and Don Morrow.