Lauretta Cundy

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Lauretta Cundy is a Coaching Psychologist specialising in personal development and stress management. Her fascination for wellbeing, lead her to gain a BSc in Psychology and Counselling at Roehampton University. She then went on to complete her MSc in Occupational Psychology at Birbeck University in London.  Added to her continual education, Lauretta is a qualified bereavement counsellor, and an accredited psychometric and personality practitioner.  She is currently undertaking a Doctorate of Profession Studies in Coaching at Middlesex University, researching ‘The Grey Space’ where boundaries between therapy and coaching blur.

Researching 'The Grey Space'

I am a coaching psychologist with a focus on stress management, prevention and resilience. There are several core values I bring to my practice – compassion, empathy, authenticity, stubbornness and a sense of rebellion– which, when focused in a productive way, I believe create the possibility for change. I see coaching as owning these qualities.

I put forward that stress is a wicked problem. “An entry point for an inquiry into a wicked problem is usually some wake-up call, crisis event, a new idea, or shift in social expectation” (Brown, 2010, p.65). I propose that now is the time when we may be seeing such an entry point. According to research, stress is at an all-time high, affecting every area of our society.

“Stress occurs when pressure exceeds your perceived ability to cope”(Palmer & Cooper, 2013).

It is suggested that engaging in coaching holds less perceived stigma than that of therapy/counselling. Consequently, it could be argued that individuals may see coaching as being more approachable and therefore being amenable to facing challenges and concerns earlier, such as stress, prior to the difficulties becoming clinical (Palmer & Cooper, 2013). However, it is here that the boundaries between therapy and coaching may become blurred, entering a 'grey space'. Therefore, considerations of ethics of practice as a professional practitioner and the need to explore, to ensure best practice.

In conclusion, the investigation into how coaches experience and how we can collectively learn to improve our practices using action research may go some way to further our understanding and attempt to address and tackle the wider issues relating to the wicked problem that is stress. I suggest that coaching contains within its process ameliorative strategies for dealing with this wicked problem.

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