Coaching to the Human Soul - Ontological Coaching and Deep Change
Volume III: The Biological and Somatic Basis of Ontological Coaching

Acknowledged as the world’s leading authority on Ontological Coaching, Alan Sieler again breaks new ground in the coaching literature in his third volume of Coaching to the Human Soul.

In this book he brilliantly articulates the indispensable role of biology and the body for the transformation of being and sustainable change. Through his careful research of biology of cognition Alan makes complex scientific ideas intelligible and accessible, and skillfully provides a practical understanding of the inevitably biological nature of the change process in coaching. Alan also masterfully draws together the thinking of major philosophers and renowned somatic practitioners to provide a robust framework for coaching to the body as an integral part of the facilitation of deep change.

Like the two previous highly acclaimed volumes of Coaching to the Human Soul, this book is an immensely rich source of personal and professional learning.

Part I: The Biological Basis Of Ontological Coaching

Drawing on the biological research of Humberto Maturana and Francesco Varela, Part I of this volume lays out the biological underpinnings of Ontological Coaching and their applications for facilitating the transformation of being and deep change in coaching engagements.

The original scientific body of knowledge developed by Maturana and Varela, known as Biology of Cognition, was later expanded by Maturana to Biology of Love and further expanded more recently by Maturana and Ximena Davila as The Biological and Cultural Matrix of Human Existence. It is enormously gratifying that in reading Volume III Maturana has commented, "This book understands in a beautiful and coherent way the integral part of biology in coaching”.

While brain science now features in some approaches to coaching, the power of Maturana and Varela’s ideas is that they go beyond brain science to encompass our entire biology and the whole body. Much of the wisdom of their scientific body of knowledge is belatedly being realised in findings that have occurred in neuroscience.

Biology of Cognition and its later developments provide a robust foundation for the relevance of the body for the transformation of being and deep change. This is because change happens in the nervous system, which is all throughout the body and is not limited to the brain.

Part II: The Somatic Basis Of Ontological Coaching

Part II of this volume sets forth a solid philosophical and pragmatic rationale for the indispensable place of the body in the facilitation of profound learning and deep change. Just as there is a strong philosophical basis for the domains of language and emotions in the ontological methodology, somewhat surprisingly to some, there is also a very sound philosophical basis for the domain of the body, which is detailed across two chapters.

Much of the focus of the second section of the book is the pragmatics of the body. The reader is invited to not only understand foundational concepts developed by renowned somatic practitioners, but also to apply them to (i) how they understand and use their own body and (ii) explore potential somatic shifts that could enhance the quality of their perceptions and behavior, and hence the quality of their personal and professional life.

Personal engagement in Somatic Learning provides the basis for understanding how to coach to the domain of the body and a wide range of strategies for somatic coaching are outlined and illustrated in coaching examples. Commenting on Part II, noted author and executive coach Lyn Traill has commented, “Alan has skilfully woven knowledge gained from his extensive coaching experience with the insights and wisdom of great masters in the somatic realm”.

Contents - Chapters

PART I: The Biological Basis of Ontological Coaching
  1. Biology, Body and Transformation
  2. Introducing Biology of Cognition
  3. Biology of Cognition I: The Autopoietic and Structurally Determined Nature of Living Systems
  4. Biology of Cognition II: Structural Coupling and Biology of Interaction
  5. Languaging and the Mental Life of Humans
  6. Emotioning, Bodyhood and Biology of Love
  7. Conversations, Culture and Social Change
PART II: The Somatic Basis of Ontological Coaching
  1. Somatic Philosophy and Ontological Coaching I
  2. Somatic Philosophy and Ontological Coaching II
  3. Perspectives on the Physiology of Doing
  4. A Compromised Physiology of Doing
  5. Towards a Poised Physiology of Doing
  6. Coaching to the Domain of the Body
  7. The Existential Context of Ontological Coaching
    Glossary: Biology of Cognition

Begin reading Coaching to the Human Soul Volume III

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Price for Volume III

AUD$68.20  (incl. GST for Australian customers)
AUD$62.00  (for International customers)
Postage and handling extra

Discounts are available when ordering 6 or more copies.

For further information, email or phone +61 3 9878 5501.


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This book understands in a beautiful and coherent way the integral part of biology in coaching...
Ximena Davila and Humberto Maturana
Co-founders Matriztic School of Santiago, Chile