Viktorija Balykina (Ukraine). Existential Non-directive Life Coaching. Principal Methods and Approaches
This article presents basic principles and practice of the method “Existential Non-Directive Life-Coaching” developed by the author. This non-directive method of helping the client achieve his/her aims and objectives, creative self-fulfilment, obtain existential meanings and the fulness of life, where the coach assists in forming the client’s personality, following the client’s sense of the truth; this way, the client’s personality is formed within the client him/herself.
The principles of the methodology:
- A systematic approach. A person is considered in his/her being in the world as a system of mutual relations. There are four circles of relations: 1 – with him/herself, 2 – with another person, 3 – with life and 4 – with the world.
- Wholeness. A person experiences life to the full and has the sense of being included in his living being when he is open to his/her experiences on all levels: body, emotions and consciousness.
- A personality’s self-formation. Following his/her internal sense of truth, a person turns to him/herself, and only he/she may know what he/she wants to be like and what life he/she wants to live.
- Authenticity. To learn to hear oneself and to learn to build one’s life according to one’s internal truth, that is, to live authentically.
- Creativity. It is a way to one’s most powerful resource, it is the healing force, which is invested in us as our own inexhaustible resource.
- Energy. The principle of searching for a resource: “we are looking for a rush, no rush and no life”, where the word “rush” means increase in energy, experienced as an emotional response of joy, emotional rise, the sense of pleasure and satisfaction.
- Subjectivity. Development of self-consciousness, self-reflection, self-transcendence, independence and responsibility, that is, the growth of the Governor, able to govern and wishing to manage one’s resources.
- Uniqueness. Acceptance of one’s difference from the others, the exclusiveness of one’s inner world, one’s individual value and meaning.
- Love. Meeting one’s living self, a person becomes able to meet another person as a subject, is able to enter resonant mutual relations, is capable of deep emotional affinity, and he/she becomes able to love sincerely.
Creativity. To develop creative skills and the capacity to manage one’s creative resources, the following methods were created: “Fairy Tale”, “List of Impressions”, “Express-Method”, “Four Genuine Questions” and others. The article describes examples of applying these methods.
A creative act is an integral part of human nature, an internal part of Being. Creativity is the way to one’s real self. Creativity is the way to one’s genuine self. Creativity facilitates the formation of Person within a human being. As a result, creativity facilitates the genesis of self-respect and stable self-esteem, harmony with oneself, psychological well-being and satisfaction with one’s life. Creativity is the way to one’s most powerful resources, such as the force of motivation and vitality. Creativity in any form and of any type. And life creation is the most engaging form of creation.
Wholeness. To develop wholeness, I use the method of the “language of emotions”. This method is directed towards development of a capacity to recognize signals of our corporality and to deeper understanding of one’s feelings, emotions and causes of one’s behaviour. The method is used both for studying and developing creative resources of a person, as well as in the psychotherapeutic process. This method facilitates access to the causes of problems, it does not just facilitate, but truly opens access to understanding the causes and unpacks the entire volume of the problem. And, besides, this practice builds the habit of acknowledging one’s feelings that come from one’s body and, thus, helps to be more holistically present in the current moment. The essence of the method is to transfer the problem to the language of corporal sensations. The language of corporal sensations seems to me the fundamental and basic, supporting the entire sensitive and meaningful scope of the problem.
Examples of practical approaches and methods. A client is offered, first of all, to check any of the methods for a response, to listen to oneself and to choose whether he/she wants to do this exercise or not, that is, a client makes a decision according to his/her internal response. If there is no response, we try to alter, to modify the exercise together or look for another one. This way, gradually, a client learns to create for him/herself exercises that will help him/her solve his/her problems without help from other, that is, he/she learns to build his/her own unique technique of self-management.
Aspects of psychological maturity. One of the tasks of this methodology is the formation of psychological maturity, and the work is directed towards primarily accepting oneself as a unique, separate entity, accepting the fact of one’s solitude and taking full responsibility for oneself and one’s life, as well as learning to manage this responsibility with joy and to receive pleasure from the process of life creation.
These qualities can be considered according to four directions, indicating four aspects: 1. Relations with oneself. 2. Relations with another. 3. Relations with life. 4. Relations with the world.
The qualities of a psychologically mature personality are mutually related and mutually dependent: one is impossible without the other, and the one which has emerged gives life and generates others. They make a whole. This is why we gradually progress, sometimes returning to the processed themes, how they can be perceived in a new way and are continuously revealed. We are ascending as if up a spiral, obtaining more and more support within oneself.
We learn to put one’s life in order. We learn to govern one’s life based on one’s choice, and governance begins with accepting responsibility. We learn to tune in the process of making the choice all the time and of making it in full awareness.
We study our roles Child-Parent-Adult from the perspective of their relation to the basic existential givens, such as freedom-responsibility, life-death, meaning-meaninglessness, to learn to draw away from these roles, view and manage them consciously, to understand their value and meaning for us. Then, in most cases, we make a conscious choice in favour of the role of an adult as the most efficient one.
We study the state of solitude and learn to accept it without fear. Then the fear gradually goes away, and we have the joy of freedom and the ability to create.
We learn to tune in resonant relations. By receiving more internal freedom, we obtain openness and gain access to deeper emotional affinity to another person. This way, we obtain capacity for resonant interactions, to subject-subject relations, or, to put it more simply, we become capable of genuine deep and sincere closeness.
We apply it all in practice, using the programme methods that have already been developed, adapting them where needed to the current situation, and we also create, together with the client, new approaches.