Friday 9 September 2016

Archetypes in Coaching Supervision

We had a very interesting exploration of archetypes in coaching supervision today.

The three archetypes we were exploring were Guardian, Teacher and Healer. Of course there are other archetypes one could identify and explore but we limited ourselves to these (which map well onto other coaching supervision models).

The Guardian is concerned with standards, ethical concerns, appropriateness of interventions in relation to the contract and so forth.

The Teacher is concerned with continuing development: what still needs to be learned, what theories or models might be helpful, and what development opportunities might be appropriate.

The Healer is concerned with offering emotional support and keeping the other safe.

All of these are appropriate concerns in coaching supervision (and coaching, of course); but it is useful to recognise to which one is more drawn, and which one neglects; or whether there are patterns such as starting with the intention of teaching, but then moving into healing (eg habitual rescuing).

And then the conversation got even more interesting as we discussed the shadows...

The shadow associated with the Guardian is the Omnipotent; thus one may feel he or she has the right (indeed the duty) to correct every perceived fault in others.

The shadow associated with the Teacher is the Omnisicient; thus one may feel he or she has  superior knowledge which has to be used to enlighten all.

The shadow associated with the Healer is the Panacea; thus one may feel he or she iss predestined to provide the perfect cure at any time.

Again, spotting preferences, habits and patterns is valuable.

I am not a great fan of Jung, and don't attach huge significance to his ideas about archetypes and shadows; but I found this a rich metaphor to provoke some different conversations and insights about both coaching and coaching supervision.

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