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Our coaching model; strong foundations

The Sanctus Coaching model and practice was one of the first, structured and regulated coaching models in the world for the workplace setting and today, still one of the most robust. 

Anyone can call themselves a coach. In fact, anyone can also call themselves a therapist, a counsellor or a psychotherapist. In the UK, there is no law against anyone working as a coach, a therapist, a psychotherapist or a counsellor – you don’t even need a qualification.

We strongly disagree with this dangerous practice. Creating a regulated, high-quality and safe coaching model has been at the very heart of our work since we were founded back in 2016

All our coaches are highly qualified, vetted and supported. 

  • Fully qualified, accredited & professional coaches (ICF, AC, EMCC, or BACP registered). Whilst much of the coaching industry is unregulated, these accreditations are non-negotiable for Sanctus Coaches. 
  • Robust recruitment & vetting process. Minimum 350 hours 1-2-1 coaching delivered pre-Sanctus. Strict standards around quality mean we have an extensive recruitment process and vet thoroughly, hiring roughly only 10% of coaches who apply to us. 
  • A relational and holistic approach. As well as being technically brilliant, we also only select coaches who perfectly align with the Sanctus mission and ethos. We want coaches who will treat humans as just that — humans, and are in touch with their own mental health story.
  • At-Risk training. All Sanctus Coaches are put through ICF-accredited training to ensure they are able to effectively identify and support individuals who may be at-risk.
  • A Coaching structure that’s fair on our coaches and fair on you. No more than 6 sessions a day, 10 minute breaks between sessions and a compulsory 1-hour lunch break as the standard means our coaches are well looked after and so are you.
  • Mandatory Head Coach & Supervision.  All Sanctus Coaches are in supervision and we have our own in-house Supervisor who has 14+ years of experience leading mental health teams in the NHS. All Sanctus Coaches are assigned a Head Coach as a clear line of communication and support. 

Coaching with heart.

Our approach is informed by our unique coaching philosophy and a caring and supportive structure that allows every single one of our coaches to bring the best of themselves, and in turn bring the best out in others.

A mantra we often use in Sanctus, is: “Bring your Whole Self to Work.” In order to encourage that in clients, coaches need to have the skills to invite and meet all different parts of a client – both the comfortable and not-so-comfortable parts.

By relating to our clients as whole persons, we also encourage them to show up in that way, and support them to navigate every up & down of life from a holistic, whole-person perspective.

Sanctus Coaches have 4 qualities that inform how they work:

Holistic

Human beings are complex. Each of us have multiple facets – physical, emotional, cognitive, imaginative, etc. It’s important for us that our coaches work with this holistic view in mind. Instead of simply focusing on your feelings, your work or your mindset, our coaches aim to bring awareness to, and work with the whole person: including all the facets of life in our sessions. 

Relational

If you’ve ever been in an exchange that was purely transactional, or analytical, you’d know what we don’t want a Sanctus coaching session to feel like! Many people have this view of therapy as a grey-bearded man sitting in the corner with a clip-board. The client lies on a coach and talks into space, while the psychologist makes notes. Almost like a fly on the wall. This is not how Sanctus coaching works. 

Working relationally means that the coach knows how their way of showing up impacts the client, and works on building a trusting, connected relationship with the client. Our coaches don’t sit impartially out in the distance, but are involved in the coaching process. We believe that the value of our coaching depends on the quality of relationship we have with our clients. If you don’t feel connected to, and trusting of the coach, you won’t feel safe enough to explore your mind, emotions and reality, and coaching can’t progress.

Contextual 

It’s important for us that our coaches have the skills to contextualise their coaching. A single 25-year old guy will have very different challenges from a 40-year old mother of 4. Further to that, our culture, family, beliefs, race, life-experience: all these influence how we view, and respond to life. 

We work by acknowledging and exploring these unique contexts, being curious, playful and sometimes challenging our clients about the roles they take up. 

Process-oriented

If you want a plant to grow faster, it won’t help to triple its water-supply. Or, if you want to lose 10kg, you don’t just stop eating for 10 days and speed up your weight-loss. Sanctus Coaches recognise that there are natural rhythms, limitations and processes of growth and development. We trust these processes. Just like an optimum amount of water, sun and fertiliser are needed for a plant to flourish, we humans need an optimum amount of care, support, nourishment, rest, resources, etc. in order to grow and flourish. 

When we say we coach the ‘process’, it points to this ability to trust the natural processes of life to support our healing and development. We can’t force a client into a place they are not ready to go; we don’t psyche them into an altered state or challenge them to push harder, stronger, more in order to achieve a certain outcome. Instead, we recognise that by trusting the natural processes, and helping a client unlock these capacities, they will naturally get ‘there’ (whatever ‘there’ means to them).