An Introduction to forthcoming conceptual work from the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University
We would like to draw your attention to the next issue of Philosophy of Coaching: An International Journal https://philosophyofcoaching.org/ where a featured new paper by Tatiana Bachkirova and Simon Borrington will be published next month. The title of the paper is Beautiful ideas that can make us ill: implications for coaching, which implies a critical stance towards traditions and ideas that are rarely questioned in the coaching world.
The paper starts from the noticeable parallel between the growth of the coaching industry and the unprecedented growth of mental health issues in western societies. The authors recognize that the wellbeing of employees may not be the primary purpose of coaching interventions in organisations. However, it is obvious to anyone that such interventions should not undermine an individual’s wellbeing. The authors argue that, unfortunately, a number of ‘beautiful ideas’ that we cherish may be playing a detrimental role at both the personal level and for wellbeing of society as a whole. In this paper, they focus on three: ‘Positive Psychology’, ‘Mindfulness’, and ‘Transformational Coaching’. Rather than accepting these ideas as unquestionably beneficial, Bachkirova and Borrington invite us to explore the shadow side of these beautiful ideas. As this perspective has been largely overlooked in the coaching field, it would be important for us to take part in the debate initiated by this paper.