Life coach as midwife: reflections on a Socratic metaphor

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Life coach as midwife: reflections on a Socratic metaphor
Coaching Jounral

Philosophy is often considered to be abstract and not really applicable to actual living. In this article I suggest that there are similarities between the practice of philosophy and coaching. In particular they are both interested in the transformative practice of helping people give birth to their true self. Socrates famously used the metaphor of philosopher as midwife to help explain his particularly unique approach to philosophy. He considered it his primary goal to function as a midwife of the soul. There are several lessons that can be gleaned from this metaphor that are equally applicable to coaching and philosophy. In brief the midwife metaphor provides a model of sorts for how coaches can lack knowledge about the specifics of a client’s situation and yet assist them in becoming what they truly want to be.

Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice Vol. 5, No. 1, March 2012, 43-54

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