Coaching Through Story


Overview of Coaching through Story

Each of us is the protagonist of our own story and each coaching client is therefore both the narrator and subject of his or her life as well. As coaches, we are most effective when we understand the dynamics of storytelling and have the skills to interpret such components as thematic content, character, setting, symbolism, point of view, poetic justice and epiphany moments. We set in motion our own narratives and can influence the outcomes by our attitudes and inner skillset. Coaches can facilitate clients’ exploration of their stories so that, recognizing repeated narrative elements, they can choose how their stories unfold rather than living repeating patterns.

This team-taught (Elizabeth-Anne Stewart and Peter Metzner) ten-hour course focuses on the power of story for coaches to open clients to unimagined possibilities, moving towards new understanding and life enriching outcomes. As a result, participants will have greater ability to create meaning and rewrite narratives for themselves and for their clients. Each participant will learn strategies to release client’s false-self stories so they can create and write their own unique, heroic and authentic narratives.

The course covers four main topic areas:

1. The Power of Story in Coaching: How Stories Impact the Coaching Process

This topic offers insight into how our self-defining stories impact the trajectories of our lives; we will look at the most common self-limiting stories and how they may be playing out in our lives as well as in our clients’ lives. We will discern how to listen to our clients’ narratives and how to understand the themes embedded in them. We will examine how stories can lead to growth and maturity and even to transformation. We will explore ways in which we can help our clients rewrite their scripts while addressing those questions that will help them move towards greater authenticity, fulfillment, meaning and purpose.

What You Will Learn:

  1. How to identify your clients’ hidden narratives about themselves and their lives.
  2. How to use story to stimulate imagination and movement towards growth.
  3. How an emotional connection to story can be empowering and offer an anchor to meaningful change.
  4. How to use proven strategies to help clients (and participants) rewrite their scripts.

2. Re-Writing Old Scripts: How to Create A Brand New-Story

This topic provides strategies for changing habitual, victim-making stories into stories with a happier ending. Many stories trap people into repeated thoughts and actions that can detrimentally affect their work, their play, their relationships, their health and even their futures. In this class, we will focus on ways of “rewriting the narrative”. Together we will explore the following questions: How do we re-write “false self-stories”? How can we become aware of the ways in which they drive us? How can we examine these stories without judgment? How can we shift our non-productive, self-destructive, habits of thinking? How can we create a brand-new story?

What You Will Learn:

  1. How to guide clients so they can re-write their hidden narratives about themselves and their lives.
  2. How to use the imagination to create alternatives to limiting thinking and situations.
  3. How to play with the components of story to transform present experiences and future outcomes.
  4. How to help clients move from false-self stories into authentic stories which are aligned with their vision, mission and purpose.

3. What Dream Narratives Reveal About Waking Life

This topic offers techniques for understanding Dream Narratives and their wisdom. Dreams hold the awareness of what we need to know in our waking lives, but often miss sight of. They are like the reigns of a horse, showing us whether we are on the right or wrong track in all aspects of our lives. Dreams have played an influential role in the Sciences, Arts, and in all major religions. They have even facilitated the discovery of many inventions that have transformed our way of life—the sewing machine, for example. Participants will discover how dreams are often the catalyst for both personal and professional transformation and how they can be an integral part of the coaching process. They will also learn how to tap into the wisdom of the unconscious, thereby deepening their connection to creativity and emotional intelligence.

What You Will Learn:

  1. How to work with your dream narratives and your clients’ dreams.
  2. How dreams reveal and offer insights about our waking lives, including our careers
  3. How dreams can empower by clarifying erroneous attitudes, exposing confusing emotions and illuminating self-defeating behaviors.
  4. How dream narratives foster healing and wholeness.

4. Stories from Dream Time: How the Wisdom of Primal People Can Help Us Live Our Symbols

This topic offers techniques for understanding Dream Symbols and their wisdom. Primal peoples not only dream dreams and have visions, but they live their dream symbols and, as a community, draw on tribal wisdom to decipher dream meaning. In this course, participants will explore the 9 symbols integral to the Maori Mandala and how the intuitive placement of the symbols indicates growth or the need for growth. These symbols can be guides towards integrating our Intellectual, Spiritual, Emotional and Physical selves. Through the Maori Mandala, we can assess emotional Intelligence, life balance, intuition, sense of purpose and meaning.

What You Will Learn:

  1. How to live a symbolic life and draw on the symbolic to be more fully alive.
  2. How to discover clients’ narratives by exploring the dominant symbols in their lives.
  3. How to use the Maori Mandala to foster healing and wholeness in your life and in your clients’ lives.
  4. How to use the Maori Mandala and the Wheel of Life so your clients can re-write new, life-giving stories

Course Prerequisites