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Professional liability insurance  


New Member
Joined:3 weeks  ago
Posts: 2
06/03/2018 4:13 pm  

Medical professional have access to liability insurance in case mistakes are made, as transpersonal coaches we don't have access to the same kind of protection.

Do you ask your clients to sign some kind of waiver or disclaimer before they see you?

I was wondering if it may be an inappropriate time to ask someone to sign a legal document the moment you meet them for the first time to get help with some kind of crisis or personal problem - as it may be the last thing they want to do if they are in need of a supportive coach to listen and be open with them.

How do each of you handle this in your own practice? 

And what would be good points to include in a document like this... as I think of this myself I would say something like:

- I'm not a medical practitioner, only a transpersonal coach and will help where appropriate within my limits.
- I will do the best that I can, and you (the client) will also agree to do your best.
- I will keep your personal information and sessions confidential.
- In case of an accident or mistake, I (the practitioner) won't be held personably responsible.

What do you think? Is it even necessary or is it assumed by everyone in the situation.

Active Member
Joined:10 months  ago
Posts: 11
23/03/2018 9:18 am  

Hi Daniel,

You've raised an important point, one that professional coaches should be considering.

Aside from adhering to the legal requirements that may apply in one's region, coaches need to take their client's safety and well being into consideration, while protecting themselves in case their client holds them responsible for being unable to cope with unpleasant phenomena that the coaching process may evoke, for example: spiritual emergency, abreactions, decisions resulting in negative outcomes, personalty changes, etc.

Having the client sign a waiver or disclaimer upfront is safe, but as you identified, this can be disruptive and damage rapport with the client. This should be treated responsibly, but with sensitivity. I take bookings via my website, where the T&Cs are displayed on all pages.

Member Moderator
Joined:9 months  ago
Posts: 8
23/03/2018 5:32 pm  


This is not dissimilar to having to discuss payment terms and other formalities. 

I try and get as much as that done before the first session e. g. by sending the agreement/waiver via email and ask the client to read through, sign and bring with them. Unless of course they want to discuss it first. In any case, when done with sensitivity and awareness, this type of discussion is not all that disruptive.  In fact, taking care of business first could even create a sense of normality and structure for a nervous client while allowing the coach to build rapport in Open Awareness simultaneously in the background before the "real work" begins.

There's a wider discussion, of course, on how money and business relate to the coaching process. Thoughts?

On liability insurance. In South Africa, there is no liability insurance for coaches, and I doubt in many other places in the world. If the coach happens to have an additional professional affiliation, such as psychologist or counsellor, insurance may apply for that portion of the job. For example, I have medical liability insurance. However, that wouldn't cover the coaching portion of the job.

As Jevon points out, legal liability in general, is based on demonstrating training, experience and competency in what you do. Quality of training and certification to high standards becomes important. 

I wonder. Should coaching, and coach training, be more tightly regulated? 


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