Impact of Intergenerational Patterns on Coaching Effectiveness

Authors & title 

Schlüter, J. H. (2021). Impact of Intergenerational Patterns on Coaching Effectiveness. Coaching | Theorie & Praxis 7:1, 81-97. 4



This exploratory study examined the influence of intergenerational family patterns and transgenerational transmissions on coaching effectiveness. It specifically focused on the potential impact of coaches’ intergenerational patterns on their countertransference risks and development of coaching resources. Fifteen executive coaches were socioanalytically interviewed with a focused genogram and a self-as-instrument approach to understand the impact of intergenerational patterns and underlying family dynamics on coaching effectiveness. Results indicated a relationship between these factors and coaching effectiveness. This was especially the case with regard to the development of functional and adaptive coping behaviour rather than transmitting dysfunctional, maladaptive behaviour only. Analysing and debriefing live coaching situations with a focus on potential countertransference reactions would further validate these findings in future research. Given the results of this study, it seems essential to integrate the reflection of intergenerational patterns and related countertransference risks into the training and supervision of coaches.

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