Chat with us, powered by LiveChat For this assignment you are to write a Written Occupational Thesis for your current occupation. Proper APA formatted text, citations, references; proper grammar and formal writi - Writingforyou

For this assignment you are to write a Written Occupational Thesis for your current occupation. Proper APA formatted text, citations, references; proper grammar and formal writi



Assignment 1 

For this assignment you are to write a Written Occupational Thesis for your current occupation. Proper APA formatted text, citations, references; proper grammar and formal writing style; conforming to APA Publication Manual, 7th Edition. Overall length will be 10 pages, not counting reference page and title page. My current occupation is a Police Social Worker. (ATTACHED IS A SAMPLE OF A WRITTEN OCCUPATIONAL THESIS)

Assignment 2

After you write your Written Occupational counting the reference page and title page. Thesis you must then put your thesis in a 15 slides PowerPoint Presentation, not counting reference page and title page. Each slide must contain speaker notes.   



This research was designed to define and delineate the occupation of life coaching as compared to the

roles of therapists, consultants, mentors and other types of coaches (e.g. management coaches). The

utility and roles of life coaches is considered from historical, theoretical and professional perspectives.

Literature on the subject is currently limited but expanding at a moderate rate. The life coach

occupation, in large part, remains unregulated, and is subsequently loosely defined. This composition

includes a review of literature, notes from interviews and data collected from a survey, aimed at

arriving at sound distinctions pertaining to the profession of life coaching. The utility of the various

roles of coaches is evidenced in respect to a wide range of organizations, as well as with individuals,

both personally and professionally. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of these roles, it is assessed

that the greatest need for coaches specifically is within the interdisciplinary field of human services—

due to the potential impacts on quality of life improvements to service populations. The role of life

coach is specifically addressed because it brings ambiguity to an already ambiguous discipline. What

is concluded by this research is that the ambiguous nature of professional coaching does have an

effect on the viability of the profession but not to a degree that the profession is obsolete. There are

distinctions between the roles of coaches and the roles of therapists, consultants, and mentors however

the lines are in many instances, blurred. The exception is most identifiable in regulated fields within

the scope of health and human services. Professional coaches can choose a variety of disciplines,

styles and approaches, and in this manner, the only distinguishable features within the profession are

those solicited by the individual. The role of leadership is comparatively addressed and subsequently

found to be of significance as a competency relating to coaching. Furthermore, it is determined that

coaching leadership within organizations is a viable niche within the world of professional coaching.

Keywords: coaching, leadership, competency, influence



It’s Life…Coach

The profession of Coaching is growing at an astounding rate and thus it is necessary to take a

scholastic view at the viability of the profession and its many splinters, niches and nuances. Life

coaches are the most ambiguously labeled coaching professionals of an already ambiguous profession.

This composition represents a human services approach to defining and delineating the role of a life

coach as compared to the roles of therapists, consultants, mentors and other types of coaches (e.g.

management coaches). The utility and roles of life coaches is considered from historical, theoretical

and professional perspectives. The current literature related to the profession of life coach in many

instances implicates the necessity and legitimacy of coaches, mentors and consultants alike.

However, due to the limits of relevant literature, these fields in large part remain unregulated, and are

subsequently loosely defined. In this study, a particular focus is placed on the review of literature

attending to leadership. This is due to leadership’s role as a core value synonymous with coaching,

mentoring and consulting. Additionally, leadership is arguably the lynchpin of professional and

organizational success and with such consideration the concept has been included. Furthermore, the

utility of the roles of coaches, mentors and consultants is evidenced in respect to a wide range of

organizations, as well as concerning individuals, both personally and professionally. Because of the

interdisciplinary nature of these roles, it is assessed that the greatest need for coaches specifically is

within the interdisciplinary field of human services—due to the potential impacts on quality of life

improvements to service populations. Nevertheless, considering the wide range of applicability of

these roles throughout a variety of disciplines, any standardization for such roles without

consideration of the broadest spectrum is moot, and any regulations that do consider such are generic

in nature and are, by most accounts, obsolete. In this light, it is incumbent of each discipline

respectively to consider the implications of such roles, and establish regulations concerning the

latitudes of their practices accordingly. This phenomenological study is purposed with defining the



role of the life coach within the field of human services in the 21st century (past, present and future),

which may serve to bolster a demand for governance of such within the discipline.


The life coach, according to a June 5, 2014 interview with a Human Resources Director

(anonymous), is a relatively new profession which is loosely regulated and associated with relative

uncertainty. The purpose of this paper is to determine the viability of the profession of life coach

through definition and examination; both the review of literature and the accounts from several

interviews guide the course of this discovery.

Guiding Questions

The researcher set forth in these efforts to define the role of the life coach: To distinguish the

role of life coach in the context of the coaching profession at large, explore the uncertainty related to

the delineation of the role of professional coaches from those roles accounted for by therapists,

consultants and mentors, and explain the role of leadership as a core competency requisite of success

as a life coach.

Delimitations and Limitations

In this effort, the research is limited by the extent of literature reviewed and the confines of

the geographical area of which the interviews were conducted. In an effort to describe such

constraint, the geographical area will be described as, within the states of North and South Carolina,

U.S.A.—defined as such with consideration of the protection of the anonymity of select research

participants. Despite the inclusion of references to theories, this research (in particular) is

empirically-based and results in provisions for implications for future theory development. The

researcher is a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology program at Winthrop University, Rock

Hill, South Carolina, and is currently a graduate student of the Master of Arts in Human Services

program at Amridge University, Montgomery, Alabama. At the time of this study, the researcher is in



the last semester of the Human Services degree program, and has previously completed coursework

specifically designed to promote competence in the evaluation, synthesis, design, and development of

literature, statistics, and research. The researcher understands the implications of biases and

assumptions and the necessity of the efforts to counteract both. As a means of quelling bias, the

researcher was nondiscriminatory in the selection of literature concerning this study, though the

search for literature was limited to the resources obtainable through Amridge University. The

researcher understands that there is a personal interest in his finding validity in the profession of life

coach, thus remaining open to the criticisms presented in literature, asking specifically about pitfalls

(during the course of interviews) and furthermore addressing the disadvantages and drawbacks in this

composition are all countermeasures to thwart the effects of assumptions and biases.

The survey designed and distributed by the researcher was composed of only ten questions

and reached a limited audience. The survey was available through a website, and was only promoted

by the researcher through social media and email correspondence. The survey method was not as

useful as intended. The researcher desired approximately fifty participants and only received three.

The three participants of the survey were all individuals who additionally agreed to an interview.

With that, the interviews conducted by the researcher are limited by the subjects of those interviews

which were those in the profession and those knowledgeable of the profession. The researcher did not

interview any person who had solely experienced receiving the services of individuals of the

profession. The researcher acknowledges this overlooked population would provide critical

information which he suggests be included in future studies. Furthermore, the review of literature was

performed prior to the researcher conducting the interviews, which may have influenced the

orientation of the researcher’s questions.

Definitions of Terms

Several terms are used within this composition which require being defined by the as to

eliminate ambiguity or inappropriate interpretation:



 Life Coach: an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal

with problems (Merriam-Webster’s 2014)

 Coachee: noun used to describe an individual receiving the services of a coach

 Certified Coach: an individual meeting competence-based certification requirements

of and acknowledged by a professional organization (e.g. International Coach

Federation [ICF], The International Association of Coaches [IAC] or the Center for

Credentialing and Education [CCE]) as being credentialed to perform coaching


 Professional Coach: an individual receiving compensation for providing coaching

services regardless of any emphasis or niche


Despite a growing popularity in the profession of Life Coaching in recent years, the term life

coach is recognized as having been first used in 1986 (Merriam-Webster’s 2014). Nearly 10 years

later, the International Coach Federation (ICF) was established (in 1995, in Kentucky, U.S.A.). At the

time of this study, the ICF is considered a global organization reporting that it has credentialed over

12,000 coaches and furthermore that there are over 20,000 members (ICF, 2014). The interests and

growth in this profession alone are enough to solicit the attention of researchers, scholars and

academicians alike. Due to the astounding rate the profession is growing, this attention should be

focused on defining the profession, establishing accreditation and credentialing standards, and liability

concerns. The 2014 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study found that “ninety-three percent of

clients who partnered with an ICF Credential-holder reported being ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ satisfied

with the coaching experience” (ICFHeadquarters, 2014). Unwitting to the reliability or validity of

this claim by the ICF, the statement itself begs attention and creates the questions, “what are coaches,

and what are they doing?”




This research includes the synthesis of peer-reviewed literature, notes and accounts from

personal interviews and qualitative data from a questionnaire. Notes taken from “basic” internet

searches are included (in a limited fashion) for reference, as such is deemed appropriate due to the

nature of the information transference through this medium.


Through the review of literature, the role of the professional Life Coach is delineated from the

roles of other professions such as therapists, consultants and mentors. Furthermore, the literature

reveals both similarities and differences between the various types of professional coaches (i.e.

management coaches, relationship coaches, etc.). Another significant area examined through

literature was the role of leadership, which is concluded by this research to be the core competency

associated with Coaching.


Four interviews were conducted to support the present research. The first interview that was

conducted was done so anonymously. The interview participant was a Human Resources

Professional, who was interviewed due to an assumed experience with the hiring and employment

processes. At the time of the interview this individual expressed having had over sixteen years of

experience in Human Resources. This interview was conducted face-to-face in the individual’s own

office setting. The second interviewee was Mike Duralia, a Certified Life Coach who was contacted

through email. The interview was conducted face-to-face at a mutually agreeable public location.

Mike has been in the coaching profession for approximately one year and does so from his own

incorporated business. The third interview was facilitated through the recommendation of Mike. The

third interview was with Jennifer Gage, a Certified Master Coach who was interviewed over the

phone. Jennifer has been coaching for thirteen years, and has been in the business of training coaches



for almost six. Among other endeavors, Jennifer owns and operates a coaching certification program,

the Coaching Excellence Institute. The fourth interviewee was Troy Spry, another Certified Life

Coach who has been coaching for about two years. Troy’s coaching experiences have mostly

involved relationship coaching. Troy was contacted through email and conducted the interview with

him over the phone. An informed consent form (see Appendix A) was utilized with each of the

interviews except the first. It was determined that the informed consent form made communications

more clear as the objective of the interview was clearly established in writing. It was through this

form that permissions were gained to utilize the information that was obtained from the interview in

the present research. The interviews with the coaches all began with similar objectives and, to a

degree, followed an outline centered on specific questions (see Appendix B).


The survey was intended to reach an audience of around fifty participants, but in all actuality

was only participated in by Mike, Jennifer and Troy. In this light, the results are included in a limited

fashion. The survey was distributed through technological means, and was viewed seventy-two times.

It is assumed that, to a large degree, the survey did not reach certified coaches. Additionally, the fact

that the survey required answers to most of the questions, to include first and last name as well as

email address, may have been a point of disinterest. The survey took on average 2 minutes to

complete, and consisted of ten questions (see Appendix C). Due to the limited participation in the

survey, no results are considered by the as significant for this research from a quantitative perspective,

as was intended.


The Profession

The research set out to define the profession of life coach, the conclusion of which follows via

a process of differentiation, delineation and evaluation.



Distinguishing the profession. The ambiguity surrounding the profession of coaching has

spurred debate over its likeness to other helping professions. This research was able to reveal some

observable similarities and conclusive differences between coaching and disciplines such as

therapy/counseling, consulting and mentoring. For Troy, successful coaching includes building a

network of trusted professionals that can be utilized for the purpose of making referrals, these

resources should include individuals who have skills such as counseling, mentoring and consulting,

respectively. The roles of these professionals is distinguishable by the services they provide and their

unique approaches to providing services (Troy Spry, personal communication, June 22, 2014).

Therapists. According to Gabel (2013), in psychotherapy the therapeutic relationship is as

critical to client’s improvement as the method of treatment. In this light, coaching is very similar to

therapy in that the relationship between the client and the professional is the means to an end. The

overlap in coaching and therapy/counseling extends to areas such as career development, work-life

balance and job performance (Miller, 2011). Later in this research we will discuss the role of

leadership in coaching; however, it is key to point out here that Gabel (2013) also acknowledges that

the characteristics of leadership crosses boundaries with several forms of therapy as well.

The therapeutic relationship can be understood through the broader context of the study of

leadership and specifically the raising acknowledgement of the importance of the relationship between

a leader and his subordinates (Gabel, 2013). So, while therapy and coaching share similarities in the

formation and maintenance of relationships, and certain acknowledgements surrounding leadership,

coaches themselves are assertive in distinguishing a coach from a therapist. At first glance one may

surmise that this distinction is made relative to a caution regarding ethics and/or legal ramifications.

Personifying one’s self as capable of providing the same services as a licensed professional seems to

be an obvious blunder, but perhaps it’s only obvious to certified coaching professionals and

individuals seeking knowledge in a scholastic setting. At any course, it is surprising that the matter of

ethics nor legality were brought up by interviewees. The educational background of the interviewer



in Marriage and Family Therapy was known to the interviewees prior to each interview respectively.

This may have in itself may have influenced the interviewees to not digress on a topic that they may

have viewed as common knowledge by parties present.

Unanimously referred to by the coaches interviewed as a distinguishing factor between

coaches and therapists, is the relation of the presenting problem with time. All the coaches explained

that they felt therapy/counseling deals with problems of the past, while coaching, on the other hand, is

only concerned with the present and the future (Mike Duralia, personal communication, June 8, 2014;

Jennifer Gage, personal communication, June 11, 2014; Troy Spry, personal communication, June 22,

2014). Troy believes that the general perception concerning therapy/counseling is that it involves a

time consuming process of looking into each client’s past and dealing with such items as trauma. He

explains how his coaching strategy considers the client’s present situation while focusing on the

future, and he assumes that his clients are mentally and emotionally healthy. In instances where Troy

identifies that a therapist or other medical provider could be of assistance to one of his clients, he

offers them referrals for more specified and/or clinical intervention (personal communication, June

22, 2014).

All three coaches also acknowledged the stigmas associated with therapy and have found that

clients concerned with such stigmas may prefer coaching over therapy as a means of avoiding general

perceptions. Jennifer in particular admitted that there are stigmas concerning both coaching and

therapy. Individuals may hazard to seek therapy/counseling due to the fear of stigmatizations

concerning inadequacy, fault or mental illness. Coaching on the other hand, as a profession, is in

many instances considered airy-fairy (personal communication, June 11, 2014). Despite the

challenges of defeating stigmas, the coaches all seemed to acknowledge a necessity and relevance

concerning both therapy and coaching.

This acknowledgement includes an understanding of some of the similarities and differences

in coaching and therapy. One of the most interesting points concerning this comparison was a few



observables that were presented outside of a direct discussion of the topic. These observable came in

the form of axioms that were referenced by several interviewees. Mike referenced “helping people

get unstuck” (personal communication, June 8, 2014) and Troy talked about “helping people get out

of their own way” (personal communication, June 22, 2014). Are these references to Psychodynamic

Therapy (countertransference) and Reality Therapy (Control Theory) respectively? Vice the titles and

certifications, the distinction between a coach and a therapist is relative and in many instances may

boil down to the expectations of clients.

Consultants. Charged with the reduction of uncertainty, consultants are often responsible for

creating it; this fluctuation of uncertainty is nearly requisite of the process of organizing

(Czarniawska, 2013). Frequently, uncertainties can arise from the ambiguity of contrasting

interpretations and the inability to estimate consequence (Czarniawska, 2013). Consultants use

conversation to discover thinking, which perpetuates the reduction of uncertainty through the process

of sense-making and the creation of reason (Czarniawska, 2013). Despite these outcomes, the process

of consulting can be one of tension and deconstruction. Often consultants disrupt organizational

routines in search for instability and discontent (Clegg, Kornberger, & Rhodes, 2004). Consultants

typically begin their work by gathering information from individuals within the organization. They

pay particular attention to the experiences of the individuals within the organization, as in most

instances therein lies a wealth of information gathered through experimentation and learning. In this

sense, a consultant is an observer of observers (Czarniawska, 2013). When the information has been

gathered, the consultant introduces “templates” for consideration by the client. These templates are

purposed with assisting the organization process and may by nature themselves create uncertainty.

Consultants are irritants which can provoke thought simply by discussing issues with clients in a

“foreign” language. The act of provoking thought is synonymous with the intent in a coaching

relationship. The reality is that, “consultants often effectively act as coaches to leaders…” (Miller,

2011). The consulting process is not entirely different from coaching; however, there is one key

distinction noted by Troy. Troy explained the distinction between consulting and coaching as relating



to the fact that consultants provide answers while coaches help individuals discover their own

answers. The fact that the coachee is responsible for their own answers, Troy feels, helps clients

believe in what they are doing. The discrepancy here is not merely a misunderstanding of the roles of

consultants and coaches, it is the fact that these roles are not necessarily definitively distinguishable

because of the sundry manners of practice by individuals assuming these roles. The discussion of the

differences between coaching and consulting, alternatively provides a segue to a discussion of the

similarities between consultants and therapists.

Miller (2011) expresses certainty in the skills of therapists (as well as social workers,

psychologists and counselors) regarding the latitude to adopt the practice of consultation. Miller

(2011) explains that individuals in a helping profession often have skills in designing and

implementing treatment plans, observation of self and others, as well as providing resources, training

and management. When contrasting the role of a consultant with that of a manager, consider the

difference in authority. A manager possesses a certain authority within the context of her work

environment while on the other hand, a consultant may provide advice, influence and even solutions,

yet they are seldom given direct authority (Miller, 2011).

Management consulting. Consulting has deeper roots than coaching, as the 1960’s are

marked as the timeframe for the maturity of the profession of management consulting (Mosley, 1970).

In the 1970’s, management consulting firms were increasingly integral to businesses as technological

and organizational problems blossomed out of control (Mosley, 1970). Management consultants

specifically assist businesses with the decision-making process (Mosley, 1970). Even in the 1970’s

the field of consultation was not without criticism, as positive action was called upon to quell the

presence of unethical and incompetent practitioners (Mosley, 1970). In 1970, Mosley considered the

need for a “clearing house for considering charges of unethical and incompetent consulting practices.”

Mosley (1970) further predicted that the future of organizational management would include an

increasing need for consultants for both organizational and personnel problems. Furthermore, he



warned organizations to screen consultants for competence and ethical adherence (Mosley, 1970).

Management consulting provides historical context to coaching in the organizational setting, which is

explored in more detail later in this composition.

Mentors. Troy discerns the differences between coaches and mentors by identifying that