The “spiritual life coach” is a new hot commodity. There’s also a lucrative market for those who provide a certification to provide this service. What’s behind this role?
Rebranding and repackaging is a common theme in the arena of spirituality and psychology. You needn’t look far for examples; another recent development would be the training for Emotional Intelligence. It’s the same kind of repackaging with the spiritual life coaching scenario.
Spiritual Life Coach Certification?
If you are looking for someone to be an impartial sounding board or help you meet your personal and professional goals, the right kind of coach can help. So, it only makes sense that a coach for spiritual direction is a good thing. And, this kind of counseling isn’t new.
In ancient cultures, the person that provided this kind of direction and guidance was called a Shaman. But, they didn’t have professional certifications. They had specialties just like modern medicine. They developed and practiced everything from herbal medicine and counseled people on relationships and guidance in spiritual matters. Some specialized in guiding people in the Shamanic Journey. The list of counseling services ranged from dream interpretation and marriage counseling to leadership development. You went to a shaman based on their reputation in providing advice in the area you need.
Spiritual life coach certification is a hot new training commodity. If you complete one of these courses, it means you’ve spent money to receive someone’s authority to teach. The course content and the length of time can be anywhere from three days to six months. The cost for these certifications ranges from $500 to 10,000 dollars. The National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) does not give accreditation to this type of training. They are like the vitamins in the arena of counseling and spirituality.
Those who give this kind of instruction portray themselves as a type of credentialed wellness professional, but they are not. Many of these coaches copy their curriculums from legitimate clinical programs. However, they are not certified to provide this level of counseling. Most of the standard practices these coaches use you’ll find on google. Then they personalize them for sale.
The people who sell certifications like International Coaching Federation (1) say that 99% of the people who use a certified coach saw their experience as helpful, and 96% would use one again. But, of course. If you’ve spent $1,000 or more on something, you are more than likely to view it as worthwhile.
The success of these coaches is attributed more to their “likeability” rather than any measurable means of success. But, this isn’t the first time the role of the Shaman has gone through a rebranding to make it more marketable. The most recent example is the spiritualist movement which began in the 15th Century.
What does a Spiritual Life Coach Do?
These coaches provide practical guidance on a range of spiritual and health issues. Life coaches are friends; you pay for advice. They aid their clients in improving their relationships, careers, and day-to-day lives. The fact is this is precisely the type of counseling a shaman or Indian guru would provide.
What it is the latest rebranding that comes from the spiritualist movement. As we mentioned earlier, repacking and renaming is a great way to create a more marketable product. Another example is what some call, creative visualization which is a rebranding of the Shamanic Journey.
In the “life coach” phenomena, we have a repackaging of prophetic counseling, which looks like legitimate clinical counseling. Salesmanship training is often a key element you’ll find in many of their curriculums. Both the sales techniques and pseudo-counseling methods come from the platform of the spiritualist movement.
We can trace the spiritualist movement to the Gypsy and Traveler cultures of Europe as known as the Roma (1). This movement was the home of traveling sideshows and circuses. Here, the shaman’s role was adopted and went through its first significant rebranding. The selling of psychic and clairvoyant powers became popular parlor entertainment for the rich. Here is where the Shamanic journey became dream regression therapy. But, it wasn’t one of its best sellers.
Patrons preferred the techniques that centered around more extravagant showmanship. Contacting dead relatives with some form of a séance was more common. However, the stage show caught the eye of the evangelical Christians who took this to more extraordinary lengths. The actual process of the Shamanic Journey was not in fashion.
So the focus shifted toward “prophetic personal counseling,” which gave the spiritualist a constant stream of cash flow from their wealthy patrons. Here the spiritualist established a close personal relationship with the client to help them handle a range of personal matters. The best example of this is Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin. He started as a psychic healer. As a self-proclaimed holy man and mystic, and was introduced to the Romanov family by treating the Emperor’s son. Alexei Romanov suffered from hemophilia. He eventually befriended Alexandrovich Romanov or Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia. Rasputin’s influence pushed autocratic rule and the support of pointless conflicts and wars. Historians say Rasputin’s advice led to the revolt of 1918 and the assassination of Nicholas II and his family.
With the creation of the internet, a whole new market emerged for selling services. Here is where the life coach and spiritual life coach roles found a new cash flow source. Some of them use the Shamanic Journey, again rebranding it as creative visualization or various other names.
The counseling aspect has two distinct paths. One mimics certified psychological counselors’ role, but they do not have any clinical training to provide this level of help. The other follows the tactics of the conman schemes protected by the spiritualist movement almost 200 years ago. They are more apt to use tactics previously known as psychological manipulation techniques. As mentioned earlier, it is known as emotional intelligence, which sounds much better than psychological manipulation. And, the title spiritual life coach is better than a crystal ball gazer or fortune teller.
When humankind first began exploring consciousness, they developed the Shamanic Journey. With this process of creative visualization, they and explored the subconscious mind. They also started the healthcare profession and the use of plants for medical care and altered states. They had generalists and specialists, just like the modern medical community. So, in many indigenous cultures, their spiritual life coach certification was a Shaman.
The Shamanic Journey opened the realm of non-ordinary reality as a tool to heal mind, body, and soul. So, people sought the guidance of those who specialize in various spirit and soul issues. The original guides in the arena of spirituality are the Shaman.
In indigenous cultures, Shaman lived with and understood every member of the community. They had a common worldview. Today, this isn’t even possible. The modern culture moves around and fractures into multiple subcultures.
The fracturing of the culture was no accident. It was a conscious decision to create leverage. Those in control of the cultural narrative use this leverage to develop the most prolific rebranding effort ever undertaken. Today this effort is known as Western organized religion, or the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
Here is the best coach you’ll ever have. A simple paper journal is the most cost-effective, honest coach. If you learn to use it regularly, your spiritual journals will become your trusted advisor. It’s what we call the first tool. Never take your spiritual journey without one.
Think You Need a Life Coach or Spiritual Life Coach?
If you are looking for spiritual counseling, or want to become one, start using a journal. Seek out the direction of your intuition and common sense. Then, if you are so inclined, find a Shaman who can help you journey to find your answers. Take your spiritual journal with you. A good Shaman will ask if you keep one. Take an Enneagram workshop. You’ll meet many people looking for answers, and they can help you, just like you can help them.
A reputable shaman will typically help you in exchange for a donation amount of your choice. Whereas those who peddle their wears as a spiritual life coach charge upward of $100 per hour. The quality of the counseling is far better and more accurate with your journal and a Shaman.
If you want to become a coach or a guide, find a reputable teacher who can give you tools for consciousness exploration and “serious inner work.” You can gain practical experience helping others as you learn. The fact is you’ll achieve a new level of knowledge about the tools by helping others. You don’t need a black belt or spiritual life coach certification to help others. All you do is waste your money.
Are you interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (2). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission.
(1) The Roma, Wikipedia
(1) International Coaching Federation, www.coachingfederation.org
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia