What follows is an excerpt of an article entitled, The Ethical Framework for Technology-delivered Coaching: A Summary by Kate Anthony, DeeAnna Merz Nagel & Stephen Goss
Coaching as a Profession
Coaching as a profession continues to gain popularity and counsellors are in a unique position to harness coaching skills for utilisation in their counselling practices. There remains debate about whether coaching is a separate discipline and apart from counselling. At the Online Therapy Institute, we posit that coaching stands alone but may also be considered a sub-discipline of counselling and psychotherapy since coaching is rooted in positive psychology theory.
The Ethical Framework for the Use of Technology in Coaching
Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a huge increase in counselling and coaching services online as face to face services became unsafe. The Online Therapy Institute has offered the Ethical Framework for the Use of Technology in Coaching for 10 years. Just prior to the pandemic the coaching framework was updated and considering the increased need because of COVID19 this framework was recently further updated and issued as a white paper entitled, Ethical Framework for Technology-delivered Coaching. The framework was originally created as a compliment to the Ethical Framework for the Use of Technology in Mental Health, first published in 2009. While the coaching and mental health frameworks are similar, there remain nuances for those professionals who work strictly within the coaching scope of practice.
The Updated Framework
This updated framework delineates professional use of technology within the coaching profession whether delivering a coaching session via a video platform such as ProblemShared.net or managing a professional Facebook page that features your coaching business. In general, the coaching framework allows for greater transparency given that coaching is typically not a service that is offered within the healthcare industry.
This reverts to mental health ethical expectations if the professional is working within the counsellor scope of practice. The difference is that a counsellor utilizing coaching theory and technique as part of an integrative approach falls under the purview of counselling ethics and scope of practice, while a coach with a counselling background is practicing under the purview of coaching ethics and scope of practice. The role of the coach or counsellor is generally specified within the initial counselling informed consent contract or the coaching agreement contract.
Coaching During the Pandemic
The experience of the pandemic in forcing many services and individual practitioners alike to address the risks and possibilities of distance provision, even if they had not wished to do so previously, has led to a massive shift in the numbers of people working in this way and a very significant need to ensure that standards can be maintained and that services remain safe and effective. The most recent research findings available at the time of writing (August, 20204) indicates that two-thirds of counsellors intended to continue to make online working part of their core business, even if all effects of COVID19 were to be somehow magically removed from the picture, and there is reason to think that a similar pattern will apply across the coaching field too. It seems likely that the mental health professions and coaching alike will contain a large amount of technology enabled services as part of an overall blended service provision. This omnichannelling5 of communication services in the future reflects the changes in society in general since the mid-90s, and even from the early days of the development of the Internet itself. This should have happened already to keep the profession relevant to clients, the pandemic has simply fast-tracked the process.
The Ethical Framework for the Use of Technology-delivered Coaching is a frame of reference and a guide for individual coaches, coach mentors and supervisors as well as coaching schools and professional organizations. Many of our frameworks have been referenced or adopted by professional organizations across the globe and we offer this framework to the coaching profession in that same vein.
This article appeared in the October 2020 issue of Coaching Today, which is published by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (c) BACP
Link to the full article:
Link to the Ethical Framework for Technology-delivered Coaching: https://www.lifecoachtraining.com/downloads/techcoaching.pdf