By Cedric Lefebvre (Belgium)

Some people have difficulty expressing their emotions, ideas or concepts using simple words. When faced with challenging life transitions, others struggle to verbalise the future they desire or even to say what they wish for. In the particular context of career coaching, clients – influenced by their experience – are often more inclined to describe the job they no longer want, instead of spontaneously building what it is they dream of. Needless to say this has an impact on the expression of their objectives. In cases such as these, projective methods that open a new communication channel is a tremendous support for the coach and the coachee, offering detachment, thereby facilitating the dialogue and opening up new possibilities.

A brief return to the source

We have to go back to 1939 to discover the first usage of the expression projective methods, in the Journal of Psychology. The American social scientist L.K. Frank had invented this expression to draw a line between several psycho-diagnostics, one of which was the Rorschach, the famous test using ten black and colour inkblots against which patients were invited to share what they saw.

In fact, years before that, Sigmund Freud used the term ‘projection’ to describe a situation wherein a subject represses an inner perception and its content – transformed – reaches his consciousness as a perception of something external. Later, Freud also used this term for when a subject misunderstands his desires and emotions and associates them with an external reality. Somehow, projection was for him a sort of shifting, where content is preserved but attributed to another object.

Source: iCN Issue 18  (Career Coaching); pages 66-69

About Cedric Lefebvre

Professional certified coach (PCC), registered psychologist and passionate educationist with 25 years experience within leading pharma, telecom and marketing services companies. In parallel, Cedric is Co-President of International Coaching Federation (ICF) Belgium building, promoting and preserving the integrity of the coaching profession.

Creative, enthusiastic and passionate about the arts, Cedric is also a photographer whose works have been featured, exhibited and published in United Kingdom, China and Italy including by Vogue Italia

He is based in Brussels, Belgium and coaches internationally.