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COACHING CARDS

Coaching cards, by Greet Cassiers & Ernst Knijff & Paul van Geyt.

When you get ahold of a mysterious box the urge to open it is usually irresistable. In the autumn of 2007 this happened to me. My surprise was great: a deck of cards that helps coaching a process of change demands my attention. The cards are pleasing to they eyes with colourful and dynamic pictures on one side. They smell good and entice my appetite to start working with them. The pictures which we can choose intuitively divert us from fixed reasoning, cliché solutions and deadend patterns of behaviour.

The reverse side of each card explains clearly which part it embodies in this coaching game with its rules and numerous unexpected turns. Many creative techniques are offered, such as the question: “Which object in this room represents your coaching question best?”

It is about problems that demand personal change, according to the writers. The authors add an ingenious manual. The coachee or group who want to enter in a changing process are offered tools to break the fixed patterns of behaviour. The game invites us by questions and association to be creative and find new paths by starting a process of change.

In the structure of the game I recognise the well-known fases of a creative process from A to Z: * formulating a problem * clarifying * diverting into new thoughts “out of the box” * generating new ideas * choosing the most attractive approach * taking the first step. The ‘gestalt’ approach pervades the whole concept: contextuallising your question, dwelling upon what happens now and to get going, taking a small and feasible first step that ceates satisfaction and joy.

The relationship between coach and coachee is well described. The changing processes are worked out clearly: no unfinished business! The seven card sets are called: 1. Question, 2. Refrasing, 3. Context, 4. Stop and think, 5. The first step, 6. first aid at obstacles, 7. Reflection for the coach.
You must have noticed by now that I am really enthousiastic.
The distinction between counselling, coaching, intervision and supervision may be vague for an outsider or client. The coaching partners deal with this issue during the game. They offer the safety of the six steps for the coachees.
In our profession of therapist, coach, trainer, etc. much is changing. Our culture dominated by images invites us to make better use of images, metaphores, symbols and of thinking in images. On the one hand images invade us from outside, on the other hand it is essential to accept our personal authentic images from inside. Thus our spontaneous sensual experiences expressed by our inner images may participate and become meaningful. Gestalt therapists can stimulate and coach this process.
On each card we are invited to enter this creative flow and to experiment and create solutions from our own stream of thought. Thus we experience our personal problem solving capacity. “You are more creative than you think in solving mental blocks and barriers.” The structure of the game is not compulsory, it just helps to find order in chaos.

The coachee learns to tackle his problems in a playful way, to find meaningful solutions here and now, inspired by phantasy and art in a meaningful context.
This is a wonderful instrument which invites both coach and coachee. It makes complexity manageable. I am very happy indeed with this beautiful box.
After having ended the game the coach finishes his work in style by reflecting on the client and the process created (card 7).
The game is a great asset for trainers, counsellors, amateurs and independent groups alike.

Author: Ghislaine Bromberger.
Translation: Marijke Elzenga

Price: €45,00

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