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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

The Group Coaching Conundrum

The first part of this article is an account of a coach's reflections on leadership group coaching. It explains the road toward becoming a group coach. It describes elements of this inner journey: what coaches are running from, and to, and why'to penetrate the mystery that is the self. The second part of the article reflects on what makes group coaching such an effective intervention technique. In group intervention, two dynamics occur simultaneously: first, there are the dynamic processes applicable to the individual in the hot seat whose life and career are discussed; second, and simultaneously, there are 'cloud' issues, themes that the group-as-a-whole brings to the table. It introduces the notion of the clinical paradigm, a psychodynamic lens that can be turned on our inner theater, and describes seven premises that characterize this paradigm. The article also highlights a number of other psychodynamic processes that take place during the group coaching process, creating tipping points for change.