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cultivating deeper trust & safety

Cultivating Deeper Trust & Safety is a series of 4 two-hour continuing coach education workshops for coaches.

Together, we will explore a variety of metaphors and models to learn what constitutes a supportive environment – a trustworthy base from which the client feels safe to explore possibilities and design actions. Through engaging our imaginations, intellects and intuitive knowing, we’ll grow in self-awareness and gain a greater understanding of the potential power that safe and free space can offer our clients. We will consider how use of story (myth) and archetypes can evoke awareness in ourselves, supporting us to embody the coaching mindset. From here, we’ll consider how to ask powerful questions that support the client to reframe and move beyond

their current thinking. Additionally, the series offers optional meditation practices to support coaches and clients to be mentally and emotionally prepared for and to maintain presence in their coaching sessions.


10 ICF credit hours | 8 hours of live online learning  | This material is being piloted for ICF accreditation

Series Aim:

Grounded in ICF core competencies, the series provides continuing coach education for those who wish to deepen their skills in creating safe and supportive environments, that allow their clients freedom to reflect and discover new things about themselves and begin to take action to reshape their lives. Learning is supported by keeping a reflective log as homework.


Series Objectives 

  • Move beyond calendar planning to learn how consideration of natural rhythms and locations can enhance the coaching experience.

  • Engage with metaphor to broaden our understanding of what safe space can offer.

  • Incorporate elements from the Adult’s Secure Base Model into our coaching practice to support the client’s exploration.

  • Develop self-awareness and embody the coaching mindset through exploration of the way tension is held in the physical body, the Healer Archetype and metaphor of the “heart” as inspired by indigenous wisdom.

  • Consider how our learning can be used to evoke greater awareness in our clients.


Series Outline:

As coaches, we understand the importance of creating trust with the client and supporting them to feel safe to explore their inner and outer worlds. This series takes us beyond our usual thinking. Understanding that to be attuned to the subtly changing needs of the client as they progress through the coaching process, the coach needs to adapt constantly and offer a range of skills to hold the client in an atmosphere of trust and safety as they reflect and discover new things about themselves.


Cultivating Deeper Trust & Safety will support skill development in coaches as we explore subtle differences in the quality of the space we hold and the roles we play for our clients. During the series, by considering a variety of models, new perspectives and ways of knowing, we will gain insight into ourselves, deepen our practice and settle more easily into being the coach rather than doing coaching.


Session 1: Introductions

We will start with a brief exploration of the background and experiences that influenced the development of this course and explain why and how we increasingly incorporate right-brain activities like metaphor, symbol, imagination, and silence alongside more linear, concrete left-brain models into our workshops.


Then, we will consider how metaphor, history and the rhythms of nature can enrich our thinking as we plan the location and timing of the sessions we offer. From here, we introduce “Welcome All” – an essential practice for our sessions that encourages us to be open to new ideas and learning. The session will end with an optional 5-minute meditation that coaches can use to prepare mentally and emotionally for the session.


Session 2: Safe Space as “Home”

Considering the need for our clients to feel gain awareness, to honestly explore their values, beliefs, emotions and situations, our role as coaches is to provide a contained space for them in which they feel safe and free to be their authentic selves.  One such space could be described as “home”, which we will look at from two perspectives. Firstly, we will consider a Jungian description of home as a place to revivify creativity. Secondly, we will introduce our adaptation of the Adult’s Secure Base model. We will consider how our client's experience can be enhanced by providing a sense of “home” as a place for creativity to flourish and a secure base from which our clients feel encouraged and supported to explore their inner and outer worlds during coaching conversations.


Session 3: The Adult’s Secure Base

Building on the last session, in Session 3, we will take a deep dive into the 5 elements of the Adult’s Secure Base – Availability, Sensitivity, Acceptance, Encouragement, and Non-Interference – and consider how coaching can provide optimal base conditions from which the client can “explore” confidently.


Session 4: Safe Space Brings Healing

As a coach, we have a responsibility to our participants to be sufficiently self-aware and whole to be confident that we do not project any of our own “unhealth” onto the clients/participants. In Session 4 we will learn how to check and be aware of the condition of our hearts as inspired by indigenous wisdom. We will consider the use of archetypes as guides for personal development and review 8 concepts of healing as offered by the healer archetype. By recognising the shadow aspect of the healer archetype in ourselves, we can receive the good news that behind the shadow, the positive aspects of the archetype are waiting to be claimed. As we develop awareness of the condition of our hearts and claim our hidden attributes, the healing qualities of the space we hold for our clients will be enhanced.


ICF Core Competencies covered:

  • To provide ongoing learning and development opportunities to encourage a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centred (i.e., a “Coaching Mindset”) (Core Competency 2)

  • Provide opportunities to develop reflective practice. (Core Competency 2)

  • Support the development of self-awareness and intuition. (Core Competency 2)

  • Describe how to prepare for a session mentally and emotionally. (Core Competency 2)

  • Consider the client within their context (Core Competency 4)

  • Develops an ongoing reflective practice (Core Competency 4)

  • Use metaphor as a powerful tool for creating and holding safe and free space. (Core Competency 7)

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