By Andrew Wong      24th Oct  2009
Number Psychology and Energy Psychology  Articles Series

Coaching Territory Mapped by Coaches

NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)

SF (Solution Focus)

EP (Energy  Psychology)

NP(Number Psychology)





The following article  was published in ICF Malaysia (International Coaching Federation) Newsletter Issue no. 003 / 3Q2009.

“The map is not the territory” is a remark by Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski, encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself.

Coaches, trained or certified, may have been taught by the coaching institution, the importance and mechanics of such a concept.  Nevertheless, in coaching, this idea is applied, consciously or not.

For example, a coachee comes with a challenge or problem, describing his or her situation as the current reality. A reality, implies something “real” like the territory, which is “concrete”, is the problem or obstacle, as per his or her “mental picture” (map)  preventing him or her getting what he or she wants, or feeling lost and does not know what to do.

A coach’s job is to help him or her to see the so called “reality” or “territory” from different perspectives, thus creating different options for action to create the results desired or achieve better situation.

To shift from one perspective to another is the key objective of the coaching.

Sometimes to create such a shift, is more difficult than shifting a physical mountain to another location.

Currently held perspective can be a well anchored labeling, judgment, belief, reinforced with powerful emotion and psychology.  example: “My financial loss is due to the market crash” “My deteriorating health is due to the cancer or diabetes, etc.” “My poor performance is due to my unjust boss or demanding and un-reasonable work pressure.” “My difficult business operation is due to my lazy and dis-honest staff.”

If one is lost in a wilderness and he has a map to help him out, surely he will hold on to the map tightly, defends it fiercely when someone tries to snatch it away. He may even kill you if you try to suggest the map is not real, or the map cannot help him out.

A cancer patient firmly believes in Western medicine and chemo treatment, ignoring other factors like positive lifestyle, calm mind, proper diet etc. may eventually meet the fatality, though other cancer patients, paying attention to those factors, get well from the Western medicine and chemo treatment.

What is Cancer? Or, the understanding of cancer?

‘Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth, invasion, and sometimes metastasis.”

The above is a definition or explanation. Simply it is a labeling.

Such a labeling or definition by the medical professionals, works within the confine of science – (physic, biology, chemistry) something that can be tangibly measured, analyzed, tests performed with consistent results etc. They do not take into account other factors like state of mind, feelings, beliefs, degree of stress, emotion, attitudes etc. of the cancer patient.

Have you even come across a drug with prescription like “Take 2 tablets when your unhappiness or fear is X units, take 3 when you experience 50% more of X units”?

A labeling is a Map painted (as per the definition of the problem), trying to explain the “territory” (disease) from a set of underlying assumptions or pre-suppositions.

When a person’s mind is entirely possessed by such a labeling, like the above cancer patient, he will act (within the confine of that labeling) and meet the consequences.

Rigid and restricted labeling, then, becomes not so useful.

On one hand, we create complication to our life by mistakenly taken the “map” as the “territory” or the reality.  Furthermore we reinforced it with labeling. Labeling is a serious matter – each of us has a name, which is a label. Once labeled, you stick with it for life, like you do not change your name, as that may destroy your identity. Isn’t that true?

As coaches, we cannot avoid not to have formation of maps on coaching profession. After all, coaches are human beings too.

We have a lot of labeling in coaching profession. For example, Executive Coaching, Life Coaching, Sport Coaching, Coaching for Performance, Coaching for Success, Parent as Coach. These create a lot of specializations in coaching, like in the medical professions: heart specialists, lung specialist, skin specialist, etc.

“Coaching”, apparently a simple profession, can be very complicated. For example, the definition (labeling) on coaching is a big challenge, or often a tense debate among the coaching professionals in such related fields: such as making distinctions from other similar fields like Mentoring, Counseling, Therapy.

Some of us may have experienced as a patient, we are being passed from one specialist to another specialist, which can create more complication to us as patient.

In a similar like, we could have a situation for a coachee to be passed from an Executive Coach, to Life Coach, to Counselor and Therapist. Good business for the many different types of coaching professionals, just like good business to the many different medical specialists.

Is that really good for the coachee?

Labeling of different coaching professionals is also being further reinforced and anchored. Here comes Certification. Certification is already being well practiced by medical professionals in different specializations.

Because of the above labeling, or mapping of coaching territory, more activities are generated in debates, different seminars, training to advocate a particular labeling of coaching. This can create many different fractions and camps, each championing their own correct version of coaching or label.

Hence we observe a “X” coach, after witnessing anther coach applying NLP, “Sand Play method” reacts strongly: “that is not coaching, that is therapy, which should not be applied in coaching session!”

Or,  “The coachee jumps from a high rise building, commits suicide, after a coaching session from an un-certified coach” trying to prove a point the importance of certification to be a qualified coach or rather therapist. Of course this person who makes such remarks ignores many cases of coachee or patients commit suicide after sessions with qualified and certified coaches / therapists.

In our coaching work, we help coachee to generate more maps, or options so as not to get stuck in the current situation, perceived as the reality or territory, and facilitate a good focus for action to produce desired worthwhile results.

After all, when the map is not the territory, what is viewed as territory is Not a reality, but could be an illusion, or incomplete reality.

Perhaps as coaches, we can help ourselves to steer away from excessive labeling, maps that still cannot fully describe the coaching territory, as that can never happen anyway – a full and perfect labeling or definition, under the question “What is Coaching?”

In the above example, medicinal prescription does not take into account the mental state : e.g, unhappiness level. This is because the medicine is researched, designed and manufactured under the definition or labeling of the diseases and such a labeling is a restrictive map.

As coaches, we also need to be mindful of the restrictive mapping we made in our coaching service to clients. E.g.  “Dear coachee, please refrain from bringing up emotional issues or spirits affecting your performance, just stick to GROW (Goal Reality Options Will Do) process.” – this obviously is the coach’s agenda, mapping on what is coaching and what is not coaching and impose on the client.

Perhaps we should pay FULL  attention and focus on the coachee – our client, his or her agenda and desired outcome, using whatever tools and techniques, coaching, mentoring, therapy, counseling etc.

Perhaps we do not need label for coaching, oops!, “coaching” again.

Let’s just call it “helping people business”.

Andrew Wong

Note: The writer is practicing the above concept, minimizing coaching labeling, thus providing services to clients (individual and organizations) on various types of issues, problems or challenges. For details, please refer QuaSyLaTic Learning  System –

20th Sept. 2009

EP Coach, Andrew

Introducing EP Coaching to Corporation

Energy Psychology Coaching Service for Corporation (6-8 months follow up services)

A new service is launched - "NP-Your Potentialities Report Writing Service"

Number Psychology training for the public  refer : “Number Psychology” (English), "數字心理學" (Chinese), with Participants feedback (English), 学员学习心得 (Chinese)

Energy Psychology training for the public  refer : “Energy Psychology (English), "能量心理學" (Chinese), with Cases  (English), 处理过的案例 (Chinese)

Or, your are welcome to communicate with your HR Director / manager to bring this training to your organization / corporation.

Numerology (Number Psychology, helps to get more information for effective coaching like the above. Unlike many profiling tools used by corporation / companies (more expensive too), it is a much simpler and effective tool, with revelation of more hidden messages.

Energy Psychology helps to balance the negative energies.


This coach is most grateful to the hundreds of clients (public and corporate) who provide greater learning for the coach in the coaching sessions, thus gaining more experience and insights on what and how coaching works. As a result, this coach is more ready to provide services to the public and corporation more effectively.

While the public continues to benefit from the one-to-one coaching carried out (refer Energy Psychology Coaching Service, and [Money Clinic] Coaching Service) , the corporation and organization can benefit from customized training on Mindset Emotion and Energy Psychology Training to develop internal skills as masterful coaches. (refer Specially for Organization / Corporation). Currently a long term contract is ongoing with a corporation on one to one coaching to the management, and developing them to be masterful internal coaches, thus creating a coaching culture.

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Training and Coaching Services to Corporation / Public  
  Introducing EP Coaching to Corporation  
  Energy Psychology Coaching Service for Corporation (6-8 months follow up services)  
  Number Psychology Training (1-day)  
  Energy Psychology Training (1-day)  
  Unleashing Organizational Potentials (2-days)  
  Energy Psychology Coaching Service (one on one)    
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Number Psychology Report Writing Service

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