Models & Framework
All of Seven Stones’ training and coaching programs and services are rooted in cutting edge research that’s combined with decades of practical experience with and observations on how the human brain is wired to process emotions and thoughts, how those emotions and thoughts show up in the body, and how both affect personal achievement and social dynamics.
In our Transformational Coaching program, we generally look at the way a client thinks, behaves and takes actions. We then create a series of coaching interventions that address both shifts in thinking and mood management and alterations in behavior (thinking, feeling and doing), thereby shifting results. There is, however, one crucial element missing from this widely used change model. All mental phenomena and all actions in the world happen in the context of a subject’s physical body.
Generally, we are unaware of how the physical body informs, shapes and alters our thinking, our mental maps, our moods and our actual behavior in the world at large. In contrast, what makes Seven Stones unique is that we employ a somatically informed coaching methodology, working with clients at every level of their being: the physical body, the mental structures, and the spirit.
We are, first and foremost, biological beings who eat, sleep, reproduce, fight, run and freeze all in an effort to survive. Under pressure, any biological organism responds in certain ways. The human organism is no different. For instance, you walk into the board room for a meeting with your executive team and the CEO. Within the first several minutes of the meeting, the CEO fires someone in front of the whole group. Every organism in the room is instantly perturbed: blood pressure changes, heart rate speeds up, hormones are released and the reptilian brain registers this experience as one of imminent danger. The room is so quiet it seems like everyone is frozen in their seats, and from a physiological perspective that would be correct. Any biological organism would either fight, freeze or flee in the face of this kind of danger.
Though not exactly the danger presented by a tiger on the tundra, this scenario is our modern-day equivalent. Most people are likely to take no action (i.e., freeze) rather than confront the CEO or leave the room. What the most recent neuroscience illuminates is that when a human being alerts to danger, they lose their capacity to think creatively and quickly, and to act nimbly and flexibly. When perturbed in this way any organism has its attention focused exclusively on its survival.
Innovation, strategy and reflection all happen in the neocortex of the brain, to which we have limited access when in this kind of agitated state.
Somatic coaching teaches people how to work with the physical body in order to mindfully focus and proactively return to a physiological state in which they once again are capable of effective action, and to condition themselves to operate with ease, grace and efficacy under pressure or perceived conflict. As with any top performing athlete, we offer clients a range of practices that build stamina, presence, focus, empathy and integrity so that mind and body are operating in concert and on command.
Our somatic discourse draws most specifically on the latest neuroscience and quantum physics, on the work of somatic trauma expert Peter Levine and most deeply on the pioneering teaching of Dr. Richard Strozzi-Heckler, who has singlehandedly championed the relevance of the body in coaching practice.