Tuesday 16 April 2019

Salutogenic coaching

Friday's Cumbria Coaching Network meeting, led by Sue Jackson, was on Salutogenic Coaching. (Salutogenesis is a medical approach focusing on factors that support human health and well-being, rather than on factors that cause disease (pathogenesis).

The main thesis, based on work with people who have survived stressful change effectively, and the work of Anton Antonowski, is that a Sense of Coherence is a crucial factor.  A sense of coherence reflects a person's view on life, and capacity to respond to stressful and chaotic situations.  Sue works extensively with people who have a diagnosis of cancer, which grounded the work in a particular context.

A sense of coherence has three key components: Comprehension, Meaning, and Management.

Comprehension is essentially cognitive, and is about having adequate cognitive resources available to meet the demands placed on the individual.

Meaning is seen as motivational (think Viktor Frankl); that the demands are worth investing in, leading to a new or adapted frame; it leads the individual to engage with the demands. Management is behavioural, the coping/management strategies the individual engages in, so that stimuli are structured, explicable and predictable.

Thus helping people to develop or strengthen their sense of coherence may involve helping them to reorientate their life perspectives, develop the capacity to respond to stressors, and/or set up a different and balanced path to cope with change.

And there was even a four box model (from the work of Sarah Corrie) for me to add to my collection!  The key issue from that being that if someone is low on both resources and functioning, a referral to therapy is normally more appropriate than coaching.

It was a very stimulating and useful morning; and I am interested in how the Sense of Coherence model maps onto others (such as Bridges' Transition model, and my own ManyStory approach).

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