Integrating Coaching & Therapy? Positive Existential Coaching as a form of ICT (Integrative Coach-Therapy)

In the light of the upcoming Conference on Integrative Coach-Therapy Practice (taking place in London on 21st January 2017 and being the 1st of its kind signifying a historic step in the development of integrative practice) I have summed up my approach and journey into working integratively, meaning combining elements of various helping-by talking practices. While writing this I had potential clients in mind who want to learn more about how I work as part of the newly emerging ICT Practitioner’s Directory (hosted by the AICTP). I have written about the topic in a more academic style in a chapter I contributed to the first book on the topic and an article I wrote a few years ago. There’s also an interview published in the AICTP Journal. What I wrote below reflects what I think about life and how my approach to ICT may be of value to clients. Here it goes:

Choose Life – You’re in Charge

You’re in the driver’s seat! It’s up to YOU what you make of the time you have in this world. Each person needs to choose the life they want to lead. I’m here as a fellow traveller. I notice things, I’m open, honest, direct, unafraid, I’m challenging, loving supportive, inspiring and switched on. I won’t tell you what to do, but I will help you figure things out! Positive Existential Coaching is a safe space to share your thoughts, visions, dreams and anxieties. It’s place to get to know yourself, figure out what you want and then take action so that you can live the life you want to live. Along the way you will discover some the paradoxes, conflicts and inevitable dilemmas that the human condition brings with it. I’ve embraced life’s many challenges and so can you! But only if you choose to face them courageously and then actively “Choose Life!”

My Journey into Integrative Practice:

As soon as I started seriously considering a career in helping-by-talking I was interested in covering the whole spectrum of human experience with my clients. Due to a lack of integrative programmes at the time that I was looking for training opportunities, I chose a coaching approach that seemed to naturally integrate elements of therapeutic and counselling: Existential Coaching. Along the process of studying, practising and reflecting on who I was and what people are going through, I created Positive-Existential Coaching (PEC) drawing on my academic background in both fields as well as my experience of living in a number of different countries and having authentic and deep relationships with people from across all walks of life, character and social classes. Life is full of paradoxes and inner conflicts and I’ve seen and experienced them first-hand across the range of people. I learned that some degree of friction and anxiety is just inevitable as a result of being alive and in the world with others, so I decided that instead of avoiding discomfort a life-well-lived is happening in between these poles of “positive” and “negative”. Energy, drive and motivation are a result of dialectics. It’s not easy, you’ll fall at times. But I decided that it’s SO worth it to throw yourself out there and choose life.

“On this journey you will need a fellow traveller 
who can be what you need them to be, to
switch roles (or hats as I call them) as necessary.”

E.g. sometimes I’ll have my therapist hat on (and we can discuss what that means), sometimes I’ll be your coach, at times I can perhaps offer a piece of advice, a relevant theory, book or model that may be of help, sometimes I’m just going to be your “professional friend”. These are just a few examples of what this relationship can be for you (read more about the various roles that a coach may inhabit here). A good practitioner will know when to switch and this may happen fluently as we travel together.

What I Do Professionally

Next to seeing private clients as a Coach, Mediator (conflict resolution) or Happiness Mentor. I am currently the Program Leader for the MSc Coaching Psychology at the University of East London, I teach on UEL’s MSc Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology programme and I am a visiting lecturer for the MA Existential Coaching at the New School for Psychotherapy and Counselling/Middlesex University as well as a few other institutions. The coach training module I run at UEL is core to students from several masters programmes including the ground-breaking MSc in Integrative Coaching and Counselling and the MSc Applied Coaching Psychology and Coaching Psychology, both of which are unique in the world as of 2016 . I have also designed and currently teach ICF accredited weekend training course in Existential Coaching and Positive Psychology Coaching for Animas. I am also currently finishing a training programme where leaders and managers can open some of the philosophical doors in order to develop what I call Existential Resilience (learning to convert inner conflict into energy and success). With a group of fellow teachers and academics I have also developed a comprehensive once-a-week, 7-year curriculum for social and personal education, helping kids grow into happy adults and take charge of their live by teaching them the core skills of successful living.

Learn More – Get in Touch!

If you would like to read a little more about my approach, my work or myself, why not  read my chapter in the first book on integrative coach-therapy?


Yannick Jacob

As a coach, mediator, coach trainer & supervisor and as a creative, critical thinker who’s determined to introduce effective programmes to schools, companies and individuals, Yannick helps his clients explore their world, build a strong foundation of who they are and as a result grow, resolve conflicts and embrace life’s challenges.