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Commentary coach: 1976 Book, EST Making Life Work

by Ravier Leonardo7 enero, 2015

EST Seminar Training and Coaching


Understanding how we make history, and why Werner Enhard and EST seminar training are unrelated to non-directive coaching

Tiempo de lectura

32 minutes (whole external debate)


RAVIER, L., Commentary to BROCK, V., "1976 Book, EST Making Life Work" [on line], The Coaching Commons, 2008. [date of consultation January 25, 2015]. Available in


Foto (CC BY-SA 4.0): "Dreaming Hands" de Gisela Giardino

Citar artículo

RAVIER, L., "Commentary coach: 1976 Book, EST Making Life Work" [en línea], International Non Directive Coaching Society, 2015. [fecha de consulta DÍA de MES de AÑO]. Disponible en

Hi Vikki,

I still believe that the issues you bring us are vital to understanding and advancing the discipline of coaching. And this, despite the fact that we have major differences from our position in the discipline of coaching.

Here is my point of view.

There are basically two ways to “make history”. The first one, has to do with an “objective” reconstruction, from which one seeks the truth about past events. This kind of “make history” tells us that, without previous prejudices it is possible to reconstruct the objective facts.

The second one, understand that to “make history” necessary a previous “theoretical framework” . Therefore, depending on that previous “theoretical framework” the result of historical study can be radically different.

The first one is adapted for studies, for example, within the natural sciences (statistics, cause-effect, etc.).

The second one is adapted for studies, for example, within the social sciences, where the variables cause-effect cannot be known or controlled.

When I investigated, wrote and published “Art and Science of Coaching: It´s History, Philosophy and Essence”, I began with a previous theoretical framework: coaching is essentially a non-directive methodology. For this reason, in my pages I do not mention any influence of Werner Erhard (or EST).

I say this because, if we understand that coaching is a non-directive discipline, not only Werner Erhard could not be considered a legitimate root of coaching, but as a bad influence. But if we understand that coaching is essentially a “follow-up support”, where any tools or knowledge is useful and legitimate application, then, we must accept that Erhard was a clear influence.

I understand that you are (reason why you have commented, for example, “Psychology, Landmark, education, organization development, leadership, personal growth, … the list is endless … all support what I see as the end goal of coaching”) in this second position.

I´m clearly in the first one.

When you say “both styles are appropriate depending on the client, the coach, the context, and the situation”, we are agree that there are two basically styles (this is the first step). However, from my point of view, their opposing methodologies require that sooner or later they must be differentiated more clearly in the market. What is clear to me, is that they can not be “the same thing” (I consider this is a serious problem to be solved within the coaching).

Personally I have studied Jack Rosenberg (the real name of Werner Erhard, the founder of EST) through the biography written by W.W. Bartley, III in 1978, entitled “Werner Erhard. The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of EST”. According to Bartley, III “It is the story of Erhard´s life, education, and transformation, and tells how a poor boy from Philadelphia, a car salesman named Jack Rosenberg, a liar, an impostor, and a wife-deserter, got to that Califormia freeway: how he became a man of integrity and compassion. It is also a universal story of the search for true identity and for Self” P. XX.

It does not have to be strange to us, therefore, that EST is more near to therapy than to coaching.

Therefore, answering your question, this is part of my experience/study on EST and his founder; and personally I do not feel influenced by its theories or practices.

I believe that in coaching all historical influence must be studied clarify the previous “theoretical framework” that allows the historical understanding, otherwise the confusion will remain between us.

Leonardo Ravier
PS: To access all the discussion, click here.

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Ravier Leonardo
ESPAÑA // Leonardo Ravier es doctor en economía por la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) y en psicología por la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). Autor de la "Teoría General del Coaching" (primera tesis doctoral y sistematización teórica de la disciplina y profesión del coaching que, además, obtuvo la máxima calificación posible: "Sobresaliente cum laude"). Fundador de la International Non Directive Coaching Society (INDCS), marca y entorno que facilita la autogestión en red del movimiento internacional del coaching no directivo, de manera voluntaria y gratuita en base a los principios de libertad, responsabilidad y coherencia frente a la idea y práctica de la no directividad en el coaching.

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