What Is Integral Coaching®

To approach life from an Integral perspective means including all aspects of ourselves and applying a vast, open means of exploration.  Integral theory provides the map, the loom, and the canvas. In Integral Coaching® we navigate the landscape, we weave the tapestry, and we paint the canvas. Integral Coaching is more than a set of tools, it is a methodology that makes Integral Theory come to life.

By deep listening, insight and a fluid structure Gayle was and is a guide, a coach and a beautiful human being. She has helped me to clarify life purpose and build the “muscles” that serve as constant touchstones in life’s journey.
– Martin, New Jersey, Certified Financial Planner®, Community Leader

Integral is a term that conjures concepts, thought, theory … it is a heady word. Integral Theory holds a compelling view and was originated by a heady guy, Ken Wilber. Most who are attracted to integral theory are powerful thinkers who delve wildly into the complexities of philosophy.  It has been used as a springboard for a universe of projects, systems and connections.

We could stay in this heady place but I’d like to make the concept more accessible. Integral simply means: to include everything. Nothing is left behind.  Instead of a partial truth, we start from the limitless foundation of truth.  There is a place for everything and everyone; we can relax.  It is really quite simple.

Through discovery, guided by Integral Theory, we look at the places that require attention.  Metaphors are applied, to gain objectivity and understanding about our present habits, and to identify with new ways of being.  Customized practices are offered, to build the muscles that the body-mind needs to strengthen in order to sustain change.  The practices can be anything: meditation, mind-ful resource allocation, accessing emotions in your body, conscious eating, weight lifting, creating a formal action plan, learning to speak the unarguable truth, even laughing.

You didn’t promise you had any magic bullets or final fix-its or answers to all my questions or perfection of any sort. What you ‘promised’ was that you could help me learn to develop habits which would serve me well in living well. And this is what I think you did for me, and continue doing in spirit.
– Kristen, PhD, Texas, Professor

For a client who felt deprived, like she couldn’t have what she wanted, I offered a practice to experience having everything she wanted.  I asked her to go to her favorite store, The Container Store, and put whatever she wanted, into her shopping cart.  I told her to fully experience owning each item in her cart.  After the experience of “owning” and enjoying enough items to fill two shopping carts, she felt satisfied; having the direct experience of feeling satisfied, she realized: I don’t want or need these things. This powerful unique practice, where she gained insight, supported her ability to make better spending choices.

Integral Theory names at least 22 lines of development along which all humans evolve.  Integral Coaching incorporates 6 of them and where aligned with the coaching topic, supports development along these lines, according to the unique needs of the individual.  What I have discovered is that somatic development (our body) is the line that is the least developed in our culture, and the one that has the most dramatic and significant impact on development and sustainable change.  My experience and years of training with the Hendricks Institute allow me to pay particular attention to this area of development.

[Gayle] keeps me on track, focused on my feelings, while helping me stop “story line” patterns that are habit but no longer useful. She does this all while guiding me toward small, measurable, objectives that assist me in getting what I truly want.
– Judith, Arizona, Writer

While Integral Theory is interesting, more important to understand is that when Integral Coaching is employed, the result is the capacity to see more, experience more, and feel more — all in service of what matters most to you.

Here’s my perspective on what makes Integral Coaching unique.

Integral Coach® is a trademark from Canada for Integral Coaching Canada, Inc. and licensed to Gayle Colman.