Several decades ago, a group of emanated psychotherapists decided to move beyond their own individual perspectives and practices to consider says in which they might work together in the creation of an integrative vision of their field. The objective was to determine were each of their “schools’ of psychotherapy most effectively addresses a specific mental health issue. They formed an organization called the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapeutic Integration. It has been a successful organization that continues to pursue this envisioned integration—or at least reduce the pull toward a win-or-lost vying among the schools for the title of best practice.
A similar initiative could prove valuable in the field of professional coaching. There is a similar need to identify ways in which each of the current “schools” of professional coaching can be particularly effective in addressing the diverse interests and needs of the professional coaching cliental. An evidence-driven set of studies and a series of constructive dialogues among the thought leaders and senior practitioners representing the major schools would be of great value in providing opportunities for stewardship of this field and contributing to its “maturation.”
In this description of PEPCI, we provide some background information, introduce an initial integrative matrix (that is borrowed in part from a matrix prepared by SEPI), and suggest some first steps that might be taken in establishing this worthy project.
As a starting point, we offer a brief description of SEPI (taken from its website) and provide a preliminary taxonomy of professional coaching that was developed and published by William Bergquist, John Lazar and Suzi Pomerantz.
Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapeutic Integration
In its website invitation for clinicians to join, SEPI declares the following:
SEPI is committed to working toward closing the clinical-research gap by fostering collaborative interactions between clinicians and researchers and strengthening a collaborative dialogue across theoretical orientations.
When identifying what it is about, SEPI (on its website) provides the following summary description:
SEPI is an international, interdisciplinary organization. Our aim is to promote the development of psychotherapies that integrate theoretical orientations, clinical practices, and diverse methods of inquiry. SEPI brings practitioners and researchers together to learn from each other to an unprecedented degree. Effective psychotherapies must be rooted in both clinical and empirical exploration and therefore we facilitate collaboration between practitioner and researcher.
Like many successful associations, SEPI provides a newsletter, a forum for sharing of ideas, an annual meeting (now in its 38th year) and a journal (the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration).