M Rajendran
Good evening, everyone.

I have joined anew to this forum. I had been in facebook forums previously.

I would like to describe myself as a Free thinker rather than agnostic or atheist. I like to post in discussions and more than anything I like to follow discussions.

Professionally speaking I am a Coach and Trainer in the area of Self Development. I am basically a researcher and a generalist.

We as self development coaches are not necessarily concerned only about motivating people. We are also interested in the development of the whole society.

I have been always treated as an atheist by many people. I tell them I am agnostic. Being agnostic leaves me free to explore from many points of view. These people like to ask me "Atheism/Agnosticism does not have a vision for the society. Everything else does"

I can argue back, but it is not my intention or strategy to argue. I choose much milder methods. I tell them what is my vision as an agnostic.

A society where everything is available at reasonable enough price.

I simply tell them this and they look at me and become puzzled

"Is that your vision?"

Welcome to the forums!

Here are some questions, largely out of curiosity about a day in the life of a life-coach:

What sort of training and certification should someone viewing this as a career option begin to seek?

To what specialists/therapists are clients in need of special assistance beyond routine self-development coaching, directed to?

If you were to make two lists of behavioral patterns, one consisting of behaviors that readily respond to 'treatment' and others that are stubbornly deep-seated, what would these lists include?

Do clients seeking self-development coaching often expect something along the lines of The Secret?

Do professionals providing assistance to clients seeking help in general face prejudice and mistrust if they reveal their skeptical/agnostic leanings? To what does the religious faith and 'faith-healing' dominate the self-help industry on the ground?

Besides professional, contractual work in this area, what sort of possibilities and sources of credentialed guidance are available for voluntary work by amateurs?

And finally, why does the prevalence of a fair-price economy to you mean the destination of all efforts of social reform?
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Currently in India, we do not really have a rigid requirement for doing coaching, though clients would expect a qualification. I myself was trained in Neuro Lingustic Programming and I am now qualified at the trainer level, by the way.

That was a good question. Those who are not eligible for self development (I use this word, instead of personality development, because developing the personality is really superficial) are those who have serious psychotic issues. Psychosis literally means disconnection from reality. Since these people are disconnected from reality, it also subsequently means that they have no idea that they have an issue. We, generally stay away from such people. The opposite of Psychosis is termed Neurosis, people who are aware that there is something wrong with them. It is this kind of people who are considered normal and therefore is eligible for self development coaching. Others are basically to be treated by specialists, based on what kind of issue they are facing. To put is plain and simple, it is the domain of psychotherapy.

Yes, many clients have stubbornly deep seated patterns and it is not so easy to describe it in terms of behavior. As an NLP specialist, we consider the self to be perfect (yes, we think the self is perfect) and the problem is really with the behavior. You can see it now. When this assumption that the self is perfect (we have a technical word for that) is reasonably true (for that matter, we cannot spot anyone who is absolutely perfect), then the person is open to change, otherwise it is very difficult to change the person (that is, behavior). I know people who pretend as if they change. Sometimes people fool themselves that they have changed. We do have this kind of problems in our field.

"The Secret" yes there are clients who expect something like that and sometimes the very same thing. They argue back that law of attraction would work if applied properly or something like that. When we face a client who believes and argues along these lines, we have three choices. First, we tell them that map is not the territory. If that is not possible, at a second strategy we respect their model of the world and if it works for them, if it produces results, then we need to solve their issues using their belief system. In the third scenario, and this scenario is the worst, we understand that their belief system does not work for them, and they need to change their belief system and they need to realize that they need to change their belief system. It is very tough path. If the client does not expect anything like the secret, then our work is a lot easier. I know some coaches who do exclusively based on law of attraction. As NLP experts, we simply respect their model of the world.

The next question is very interesting. Because from NLP perspective, we operate on results and not on what reality is. We do not attempt to explain to our clients what is real or what is true. That is for others. Instead we identify their model of the world, and make it work for them in a way that is ecological and produces real results for them in their lives. Outside NLP, yes, to a large extent faith healing does dominate the self help industry. If asked about Brian Weiss work, an NLP expert like me would say as long as it resolves people's issues, we do not have an issue with strategies like that. There are self help models like regression therapy that are known to harm people. We would not say we have no issues with those models. It is always about models (that is behavior) never about people.

For the next question, there are courses available in counseling, to my knowledge. These courses would qualify a person to do counseling. Counseling is not the same as coaching, because counseling involves giving instructions and directions, while coaching means ensuring that the client reaches his or her result.

And finally, I think and it looks to me like that there is difference between "reasonable" and "fair". If one can get things at a reasonable enough price, it should be sufficient evidence that the society is doing good. Everything available for free looks like too extreme a proposition. Reasonable, is well, I think, is reasonable.
As a freethinker, is there any chance you would ever leave NLP and move on to any empirically verified methods of helping people? http://www.skepdic.com/neurolin.html or perhaps get onto debunking NLP and other such pseudo-scientific practices common in personality/self development domains.
The path that susan blackmore took, going from a practicing parapsychology researcher to one of the most popular faces in exposing the pseudoscience and fraud in psychic, psychic trainings and parapsychology results.

In her own words, susan blackmore->
Quote:It amounted to changing everything about what I thought; but you know, I was more interested in truth than anything else. It was difficult but it was possible! And when it is done once, it is easier to do it again. So I was no longer frightened of being wrong. Whenever I had a theory or I was trying out an experiment and it turned out to be wrong, I told myself ‘Okay I will do it again.’
No. Good Bye.

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