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Book Review in Professionalism in Practice


30 PIP (Jan 2008) 10

Doc. No. 2007.021


'Do You Need a Life Coach?' [Short review.]

Page 10


The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything You Need To Be An Effective Life Coach by Curly Martin (Crown House Publishing Limited 2001, reprinted to 2007) ISBN 978-1899836710. Paperback 204 + vii.


This book is written for people who wish to become life coaches. Inevitably it contains a lot of information about what life coaching is; so it is also for people who wonder whether they themselves need a life coach. The author turns out to be a woman, though usually “Curly” is a male nickname. She says she is an excellent coach and has a 100% success rate. She assures us that life coaching improves all aspects of life for both the client and the coach.


The client needs to change, and the life coach assists in this. There are “towards” clients and “away from” clients. The object of the former is to advance on some desired goal and achieve it. The object of the latter is to retreat from some predicament and escape from it. A “towards” client seeks to pass an examination, or achieve a weight loss, or conquer an addiction. The “away from” clients want to move away from their current job, partner or life.


How can the life coach help either of these types? Their role is to lead clients out of their weakness and empower them to change; to help identify the obstacles to change and remove them. The coach needs to get results – “results, results and nothing but results”. Then clients will change into “successful, confident people”. So Curly says.


Curly’s book raised doubts in my mind, which I have not space to go into here. A much longer review which will be found at


Francis Bennion, Chairman Emeritus, author PROFESSIONAL ETHICS: THE CONSULTANT PROFESSIONS AND THEIR CODE (Charles Knight, 1969).