The Coach and the Therapist: A Conversation with Rick Maguire, Part Two

This week on The Allender Center Podcast, Dr. Dan Allender continues a conversation with his friend, Rick Maguire, who recently left a successful career at Microsoft to launch Futurity Resources and pursue work helping others as a life coach. Dan and Rick start by talking about what it is that a life coach does, especially since the word “coach” might carry negative connotations—like the coach who cares only about winning, or who yells from the sidelines without getting involved.

rick-maguireRick: “In its essence, coaching is partnering with people in a working alliance toward moving forward […] and doing the inner work and the outer work that’s needed to do that.”

The coaching Rick describes is different than the deep inner work that is pursued in therapy, but Dan points out that there are profound similarities. When asking questions about future goals, the process of change, and both internal and external roadblocks to change, we will inevitably encounter ways in which our current lives are impacted by even our earliest stories and experiences.

After Dan and Rick talk about the need to balance individual attunement with institutional awareness, Rick engages a few of the overarching categories that shape his coaching work: humility and curiosity about the person sitting before you, a commitment to locating what is most essential and bringing it to the forefront, and an instinct for locating the energy to change and the capacity for change in the individual.

Rick: “It starts with, what is it that is tugging at you, that’s saying there’s something here that feels like it needs to change?”

All good therapy involves some degree of coaching, just as all coaching involves something of the work of therapy.

Toward the end of their conversation, Dan volunteers to have Rick coach him for five minutes. The playful demonstration turns weighty as they engage significant and crucial themes, and it quickly becomes apparent how beautiful, difficult, and holy Rick’s work is.

Dan: “This is a really important matter for those who are either launching their lives in that sense of—as Father Rohr would speak about—the incline, or if they’re in—like my life—the decline. These are important questions. Whether you interact with Rick, or whether you interact with somebody in your own area, these are questions that we’ve got to wrestle with to be able to live out the kingdom of God in the way we were meant to do.”