Meaning and (AURELIS) Coaching
The goal and methods of AURELIS coaching are very much meaning-related. However, the concept of ‘meaning’ is difficult and frequently not well understood.
[see: “The Meaning of Meaning”]
Common factors are meaning-related
As you may know, I categorize ‘common factors in healthcare’ into placebo and empathy. [see: “From Common Factors to AURELIS”]
It is not the placebo pill (the milk powder, for instance) that works, but its meaning to the one who takes the pill. In a pure sense, this meaning is rather needle-like. It carries the simple message of getting better ― no more sophisticated, deeper meaning. Therefore, it cannot be but symptomatic. Mostly, the action is very temporary.
The empathy-side can be much more complex, also in-depth. Thus, it can be more than symptomatic. This, to me, makes it far more interesting, durable, and meaningful. Also, opening empathy, this shows to be multifaceted in its meaning-relatedness. As simple as a placebo may be, as complex and multidimensional is empathy, especially ‘empathy beyond.’ [see RG: “Empathy Beyond the Conceptual Level”] This is the field of Compassion.
In his seminal book Persuasion and Healing of 1993, Jerome Frank (Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University) described the healing environment broadly in terms of symbols, rituals, credible healers and theories of change.
Each of these elements is contributive through its involvement with deeper meaning:
- symbols → [see: “A Symbol Is Always YOU”]
- rituals → [see: “Rituals“]
- credible healers → [see: “The Coach’s Charisma”]
- theories of change → [see: “Mental Change: How it Works”]
Persuasion and Healing is one of those books that keep being read-worthy. It has been a gentle source of inspiration towards AURELIS.
The goal of coaching: finding deep meaningfulness
Once this is found, the coachee has been put in motion.
If the coachee can go further by himself in the direction of his Inner Strength, so much the better. If help is needed, it can be given. Knowing that it can be given when needed, is already quite supportive. How? As always: through the meaningfulness of this knowledge.
Knowledge by itself does nothing.
Meaningfulness is always the driving force, thus also within coaching and as the goal of coaching. Why?
It’s about living
As research shows time and again, leading a meaningful life is one of the essential factors in a person’s deep feeling of happiness, and in longevity.
Lack of meaningfulness leads to distress, which leads to illness. [see: “Not Stress but Meaning is a Cause of Disease.”] Mentally, it leads to depression. One might say that depression IS the lack of meaningfulness. [see: “Depression Relief – Read&Do“]
Unfortunately, in present-day society, meaningfulness is less and less evident. It is increasingly being rationalized out of the picture. To many people, the world is becoming a colder and meaningless habitat. As a result, people seek meaning in consumption, but this is cosmetic, therefore, addictive. [see: “Addiction: in Search of Deeper Meaning”] This way, it’s never enough. So, people get into trouble and in need of coaching.
Meaning and coaching
Within coaching, one of the main goals is to find what is meaningful to the coachee, what is the ‘really meaningful goal.’ Most frequently, this goes much deeper than the goal as first articulated by the coachee.
Each person being different, good coaching leads a coachee to the point where he can have a pleasant, meaningful, and symptom-free life.
Coaching should not be just a means towards artificially filling some void. Meaning as a goal should always be taken seriously within proper moderation.
It is a journey towards meaningfulness as well as a meaningful journey.