Boundaries allow us to clearly define, articulate and explain what we do and what we don’t do. They allow us to safely create the Sanctus space for people to work on their mental health with a Sanctus Coach.
The Sanctus space is open to anyone to talk about all things, however there are some parts of mental health that Sanctus Coaches can’t work with and our Boundary Policy exists to communicate that. Please read it.
You can approach us to talk about anything, but we cannot work with everything.
Boundary Policy for Safe Use of the Sanctus Coaching Space
Scope of this policy
The intention of this policy is to create clear guidelines on what Sanctus Coaching is and what it is not, in order to ensure we are protecting to the best of our ability the individuals who use Sanctus Coaching, businesses who engage Sanctus, Sanctus Coaches, the Sanctus Community and Sanctus itself.
This document provides guidance and clarity to the boundaries of Sanctus coaching. If you are concerned about your own safety or the safety of someone else, please refer immediately to the Sanctus Orange Pages, which contain guidance and recommendations for how to proceed in relation to scenarios that fall outside of the bounds of Sanctus coaching.
The Sanctus Orange Pages is a work-in-progress and currently in draft form, however we felt it was important to share it with you even now before it’s nice and shiny.
We believe that people should treat their mental health like they do their physical health and as a result, we created Sanctus to be the gym for your mental health and Sanctus Coaches are like the personal trainer.
Sanctus coaching exists to create a safe space for individuals to talk openly about their mental health. Mental health, like physical health, spans the entire range of human experiences. A large portion of this falls within a spectrum where coaching can be valuable — that includes everything from helping people to thrive to providing a space for people to talk about whatever is going on in their lives to thinking through specific challenges.
You could consider Sanctus coaching as you would consider attending the gym, a fitness class, using a personal trainer or going for a run. A space to maintain and improve your wellbeing.
There’s a further portion of the mental health spectrum which falls outside of the scope for which coaching is helpful or appropriate. This includes diagnosing or managing mental illness, severe mental health issues or conditions, trauma, deeply entrenched patterns seriously impacting a person’s ability to live their life well, or instances where an individual is taking or considering taking actions that are or could be harmful to themselves or others.
Sanctus coaches are not qualified to work with individuals on these types of issues and to do so in the Sanctus coaching space would be unsafe for the individual, coach, business and Sanctus.
If you consider Sanctus as the gym and our coaches like personal trainers, then there are certain cases when you would not turn to your personal trainer. For example, if you had an injury and needed a physiotherapist or if you were unwell and needed a doctor.
There are certain issues people face that are too broad and complex to work on during a Sanctus coaching session and other forms of support, such as therapy, counselling, or other medical support, are better suited, more thorough and more appropriate.
If you felt ill, were injured or unwell, you would contact your doctor or another health professional rather than attending a personal training session.
While Sanctus coaches are not qualified to work with the examples listed above and the Sanctus coaching space is not the appropriate space to seek to manage or address these issues, all individuals are welcome to come to Sanctus coaching, whether to simply talk about their experience of whatever they’d like to speak about or to be coached on a topic unrelated to the larger mental health challenge they are managing.
Again, you can approach us to talk about anything, but we cannot work with everything.
The only examples in which this is not the case are instances where the mental health issue is so pervasive for a person that it effectively takes over their ability to be coached on another topic (e.g. are psychotic, in severe distress, or severely depressed). In this case Sanctus coaching would be unsafe for the individual, coach, business and Sanctus.
If you had a knee injury for which you were seeing a physical therapist, you may still decide to engage a personal trainer to work on upper-body strength, which would be unproblematic. If you also wanted to work on leg strength, the range of exercises you could undertake with your personal trainer would be constrained by the knee injury and the personal trainer would need to be informed of the area to avoid.
Occasionally, despite the above, individuals will come to a Sanctus coaching session seeking support for a challenge that is beyond the scope of coaching. In these instances, Sanctus coaches explain what can and cannot be worked on effectively with coaching, will provide the individual with information on other avenues for support that might be more appropriate, and will provide a space for the individual to reflect on how they would like to proceed. Seeking further support will be entirely the decision and responsibility of the individual.
If you went to see a personal trainer and they noticed you seemed to have an injury that you may or may not have been aware of, they would refrain from working on that area and recommend you see a physical therapist. Whether you decided to to take the steps to engage a physical therapist would be your own decision and responsibility.
Sanctus coaches will be trained in basic risk assessment and in the future we intend for them to be trained as Mental Health First Aiders to improve their ability to spot at-risk individuals in order to more aptly identify instances in which coaching is not appropriate.
While the specialty of a personal trainer is not triage or treating illnesses (and they would likely be less adept at personal training if they were also trying to wear several other hats at the same time), a good personal trainer would be trained in basic first aid in case something unexpected came up.
If you have any questions about our boundaries, please e-mail our Head of Coaching — Sophie Miller; firstname.lastname@example.org.