Thailand, the land of smiles; not really known for Life Coaching, Counseling or long history of therapy, or is it?
For a while I wondered why there were no Counselors or Life Coaches or therapists in Thailand until I saw a monk in a temple conducting what I know only too well as a “family therapy” session. He was sitting on the floor cross legged under an open sided pagoda in a temple complex and sitting cross legged on the floor opposite him was a young couple with a baby. The baby was fast asleep over its mothers shoulder and they were all talking very animatedly.
I use the word animatedly here as code for “a bloody great shouting match.”
The woman was clearly distressed and accusing her partner of something. He looked sheepish and she would occasionally get up and storm a few paces away and then storm back, shouting and pointer her finger at him. There was no quiet respect for the saffron robed holy man or the rather beautiful surroundings. He was clearly right in the middle of things, doing his best to counsel the young couple and calm things down. He seemed as fraught as any Life Coach, Counsellor or Therapist in a similar situation and would glance around desperately hoping for an answer to all of this unravelling mayhem. He would occasionally try to intervene and calm things down.
Every so often things would calm down. The woman would stop shouting, the monk would talk quietly and soothingly and the man would nod sagely and sometimes look ashamed and stare at the floor.
What made this interaction so unusual was it’s location; not in a Life Coaches office, or family therapists rooms but an ancient wooden temple on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was an interaction that I’m sure takes place all over the world. Arguments and disagreements happen all the time. It was the stunning setting and the serenity that was so unusual.
Life Coach Thailand: An Alternative Approach
I realized that a Life Coach in Thailand is actually a Buddhist monk! So too I guess is a counselor and therapist. And show me a Counselor or Life Coach who have offices more stunningly attractive than the ancient Buddhist Temples that are scattered throughout Thailand.
Therapy Time Lag
When I first arrived in Thailand I was invited to do some guest lecturing work at Chiang Mai University in the Psychology Department. I gave a few presentations to students and staff and ran through my usual specialist areas of Motivational Counseling, Life Coaching, Couples Therapy and Group Psychotherapy.
After the sessions the only thing people asked questions about was the relationship between the topic I had just been speaking about and Freudian Pyscho Analysis. It was like dear old Sigmund had just published his first revolutionary works. It seemed to be all the rage and there was a notable degree of unhappiness when I explained that Life Coaching or Motivational Counseling has very little (if any) links with the great mans work. It feels like Thai university Psychology has some way to go to catch up with recent thinking. In the meantime if you are looking for a Counselor or Life Coach in Thailand you may want to consider the serene, beneficent faced monks in your local temple.
Please contact us for details of our Life Coaching Thailand Holidays, Counseling Retreats and Couples Therapy Retreat.