Emotional & Relationship Problems © Martyn Carruthers
Soulwork does not replace life coaching nor psychotherapy. Life coaching is useful when people make decisions in controllable environments with simple objectives. Psychotherapy is useful for people with diagnosable dysfunction.
Our systems coaching is superb for people making complex decisions
in challenging environments or with ambiguous objectives.
Alternative, Complementary & New Age Therapy
Alternative and complementary therapies refer to unconventional treatments used in place of Western psychotherapy, and in preventing diseases and treating illness. Yet alternative and complementary are relative – they depend on the reference system.
In China, for example, Western medicine may be called a new alternative medicine of complementary treatments, as Western medicine has only existed for a hundred years or so, compared to thousands of years of using traditional Chinese medicine.
Terms like complementary and alternative medicine are vague and inaccurate, and do not begin to summarize or describe the work of independent helping professionals. See Evolution of Good Intentions and Is Systemic Coaching New Age?
Therapy & Law
Few Western legal systems try to restrict the expression of thoughts, beliefs and opinions, although legal systems may attempt to restrain expressions of ideas which may harm other people.
Therapist incompetence is not an offence under most laws. It is not an offence to claim to help or alleviate mental health, emotional or relationship problems; otherwise no helping professional could offer their services, no matter how competently.
In some countries it is illegal to claim credentials which you do not have … especially those of a medical doctor. However, the availability of email degrees and PhDs makes this a gray area. Many popular books about relationship coaching and therapy were written by people advertising their fake PhDs.
Some letters after a name (e.g. MD) are protected by law, although there seems to be little regulation of this in most countries and many people claim ‘scholarly’ post-nominal letters. (Using post-nominal letters to secure a job may be criminal fraud).
Example Advertisement Get an advanced degree from an
accredited academic institution without doing any coursework,
going to campus, or spending thousands of hours studying!
Some regions have laws forbidding the use of diploma mill credentials. In North Dakota, it is illegal to use a fake degree in connection with a business, and in Illinois, a fake degree must not be used to obtain employment. (The Pacific Western University, famous for selling thousands of fake degrees for high prices, changed its name to California Miramar University.)
Therapy & Conversation
Many people divide themselves into bodies and minds. Whether or not this division is real is a question for philosophers, as many people disagree on if or where or how those divisions should be made.
Minds can be described as being both rational and irrational. We may describe the rational mind as intellect, and the irrational mind as emotions. People who study intellect may be called psychologists, and people who study psychoactive medications may be called psychiatrists. We study human relationships.
Psychologists often specialize, for example in educational psychology or marketing. Clinical psychologists aim to reduce distress and enhance and promote wellbeing. Psychiatrists, broadly speaking, practice two distinct kinds of treatment – medication and conversational. Like coaching, psychotherapy is all about conversations.
Which Conversations are Appropriate?
Many people try to help other people through conversation – this is a function of friendship! Yet …
- Dissociated and immature people may not respond to conversations
- Conversational change requires skill and experience for good results
- The unskilled use of some conversational methods may damage people
Many people who seek professional coaching are strong and motivated, and seek assistance in a well-defined context. Fewer people may seek assistance for resolving life challenges or achieving philosophical ideals that cross many contexts.
Martyn, would you have half an hour some time to do a session on what is
between the me now and the being in the heart of Buddha (state)?
This email might be the best compliment I’ve had lately … Martyn
Competence of Helping Professionals
For us, competence, as opposed to credentials, is about successfully helping people decide what they want and then to get what they want. The skills to fulfill these competencies include:
Some therapists act as if you are incompetent to decide what you want, and that they must tell you what to want. If you disagree, you may be called resistant … or worse.
Damage with Good Intentions
Maturity, emotional stability and competence are essential qualities of helping professionals, yet are rarely assessed by professional organizations. Deficiencies in those areas seem to be the main source of damage to clients and patients.
As no institute or organization of helping professionals will test or vouch for the character or stability of their members, it is wise to seek evidence of competence and emotional maturity, to better avoid therapist damage.
Assess a Coach, Therapist or Counselor
How can you recognize a reliable coach, therapist or mentor?
Watch a potential mentor assisting people, and talk to people who have been clients of this person. Notice if a potential therapist or mentor:
Does this person help people to:
Contact us to manage your emotions and solve your relationship problems