Deep Coaching with the Four Depths
As unique individuals with our own perception and experience of life, how can we connect with and truly “meet” each other in the present moment?
In this conversation with integral leadership coach Steve March, we explore an emerging approach to coaching that has a radically different take on problem-solving and the different levels of depth that clients experience in the present moment.
What is Aletheia Coaching
Aletheia Coaching is an approach to coaching that was born out of Steve’s desire to integrate the many methodologies he had learned. He noticed that all of them worked, but at different levels. What he created was a way to integrate these into a single method.
In Steve’s words, Aletheia Coaching is about “Uncovering who and what we are and allowing ourselves to fully and completely be what we are in the world”.It’s about working in the present moment with exactly what is arising in that moment, relating to it, and integrating it so the client can unfold the depth of what they are.
When we do this, the client learns that they are already innately whole and complete, resourceful and creative. They end up feeling deeply resourced and capable and able to face life exactly as it is. In the immediate sense, they become aware of sensations, emotions, thoughts – the spectrum of their experience floods into their awareness.
All humans have a sense of deficiency, which is also what pushes us to want to be a better version of ourselves, but then reinforces the sense that we’re not enough. In Alethia coaching instead of trying to improve ourselves we ask the questions “Who am I”and then “What’s arising in this moment”.
Deepening into the present moment in this way develops us over time. It’s more similar to meditation practice than coaching conversation but done in conversation with eyes open. This exchange in relating brings a sense of aliveness – clients experience themselves as being both in the world but transcendent at the same time.
The Four Depths
Steve explains his understanding of how people relate to the present moment as four depths (levels). He uses this model to work out at what depth the client is experiencing the present moment and how he can meet them there.
- Depth of Parts: Everything is experienced as separate. Things are nameable, things are structure. Assumption that there’s nothing deeper. The inner experience is parts of self, that feel different things, but none of them define you – there’s room for you to be more.
- Depth of Process: Fluid view of world – everything is in process. Internally there is a flow of experience. We have a bodily felt sense that is meaningful, rich, complex – so multifaceted that it’s not easily languageable.
- Depth of Presence: In this depth we land in innate wholeness and completeness, that not only can we love but we’re made of love. Realm of virtues or qualities and understanding that these things are what compose us.
- Depth of Non-duality: At this depth there is no separation. This is the level of source, of oneness. At this level you relax into the mystery, without a need for anything to happen.
Ego formation in early development is a surfacing up from the deepest depths into the depth of parts. In a way we lose contact with ourselves through this. In Aletheia Coaching you work at the different depths, meeting the client where they’re at, and allowing the deepening integration and understanding of their lives to unfold.
- Eugene Gendlin, Focusing
- Margaret Mahler, Separation-Individuation Theory
- Reinhard Stelter, A Guide to Third Generation Coaching
- The Unfolding of Aletheia Coaching