Julia Vaughan Smith

Thought Leadership Conversation

Julia Vaughan Smith and Robert Stephenson, CEO Animas Coaching

I had the pleasure of talking with Robert in a life webinar, about coaching, trauma, trauma-informed coaching, Covid-19, the importance of supervision, and the difference between coaching and therapy. This conversation is now available on Youtube:

As a response I have written a blog on the difference between coaching therapy in relation to trauma. It is a topic I am often asked about, and I know some are concerned about coaching having anything to do with trauma.  My response is we can’t fail to as developmental trauma is so widespread. It is about maintaining our practice boundary and staying within our professional competence and the contract with have with our client. In short coaches are trauma-informed in their work and therapists work with the early trauma.

We discussed the importance of supervision to hold us in our boundaries and skills, to support our self-reflection and growth and to protect both us and our clients. In several conversations recently the issue of supervision has come up and how many coaches have a supervisor.  I have always had, and valued, my supervision. It has been a still point in an often busy world and a great opportunity to learn about myself as a coach.  I would advise anyone who is coaching to get supervision for their work. This is important  all the time and when we are working with people who challenge us and where we think the coaching isn’t working, or if we think we have not responded to a client in the best way.

And of course, we discussed coaching, trauma and Covid.  The pandemic will bring up different issues in the coaching space, in ourselves and our clients. Some of our clients might be having significant changes in their working life. Others’ trauma may be triggered by isolation or lack of control or boundaries.  However, coaching has all the skills and techniques it needs to respond. Jenny and I write about this in our forthcoming article ‘Recovery from Covid-19’ to be published in Coaching Today.


Julia Vaughan Smith

May 2020