Looking through the Rick Ross message boards, I, some time ago, came across a post by a former moderator, who goes by the username Corboy, which I would like to share with you. In it, he talks about life coaching. The concept and the points he makes could as easily be applied to Human Potential Seminars and Large Group Awareness Training (LGATs).
A legitimate Life Coach should resemble a gas station:
You get fuel for the journey, get your car fixed, and can check a road map in case you think you've got lost.
But the people at the gas station are there to help you reach YOUR chosen destination. They should not trick you into abandoning your plan to follow their plan, nor should they trick you into pitching your tent in the gas station's parking lot, and calling that your vacation!
The thing with LGATs is, they trick you into camping in the gas station parking lot and convince you it's as good or better than seeing Yellowstone, Yosemite--Sherborne Forest.
Life Coaching seems to spin off in some very legitimate ways from career counseling and brief, problem-oriented psychotherapy. If life-coaching stays within certain parameters it can be legitimate and helpful. But if it strays beyond these parameters, it is easily corrupted.
In my opinion, Life Coaching is legit only if:
1) It is made clear that life coaching is suitable for essentially healthy persons, who have clear cut goals and need to know what resources or skills they need to reach those goals.
There must never be 'bait-and-switch'
*The Life Coaching process should serve the stated goals of the client, not subtly recruit or indoctrinate clients into abandoning their goals to serve the covert goals of the group or its leader.*
**It would be a good sign if the Life Coach encourages clients to write out his or her goals and then check and re-check the goals throughout the process.
If the client is tricked into abandoning his or her goal to follow the agenda of the group, the life coaching process is no longer coaching but indoctrination and is an existing LGAT, or something in the early stages of becoming an LGAT.
2) The life coach or career counselor aims to have only short-term contact with the client/customer and is eager to foster the client's autonomy and be part of his or her continuing education, not monopolize the process.
3) The 'here-and-now' approach is only suitable for very clear cut goals (eg how to transition from one type of job to another), and only if a person is essentially healthy. A really ethical Life Coach will know how to refer you to a psychotherapist if it turns out you need one, and will have a list of qualified therapists available if referrals are needed.
4)It should therefore be a big red flag if a Life Coach tries to keep you attending course after course. That would subvert your autonomy and signal that the Life Coach's intentions are not in your best interest.
Above all, there should be no hidden agendas, such as fronting for an existing LGAT or using Life Coaching to test one's hypnotic skills or room arrangement experiments on an unsuspecting group.
Do You Need a Performance Coach?
BestLife magazine, article by Christopher MacDougall