Billing himself as the best selling author of all time with sales of 30 million (http://www.marsvenus.com/degreeinfo.php) John Gray's Mars/Venus brand is internationally recognised. He is included in this review of the super coaches because of his development of the Mars/Venus coaching franchise that is based on is best selling books. His website claims accreditation through the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
At Mars Venus Coaching we provide training programs, workshops, life coaching and executive coaching services that dramatically enhance personal and organisational performance in the areas of leadership, teamwork, communication, relationships and life management skills. (http://www.marsvenuscoaching.com/what-is-marsvenus.html)
Since publishing Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus in 1992, Gray has been a prolific author with 14 books written covering almost every aspect of the relationship and organisational spectrum. Dr. Gray has authored 14 other best-selling books: What You Feel You Can Heal (Heart Publishing 1984), Men, Women and Relationships (Beyond Words Publishing 1993), Mars and Venus In the Bedroom (HarperCollins 1995), Mars and Venus Together Forever (Harper Perennial 1996), Mars and Venus In Love (HarperCollins 1996), Mars and Venus On a Date (Harper Collins 1997), Mars and Venus Starting Over (HarperCollins 1998), Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus Book of Days (HarperCollins 1998), How To Get What You Want and Want What You Have (HarperCollins 1999), Children Are from Heaven (HarperCollins 1999), Practical Miracles for Mars and Venus (HarperCollins 2000), How To Get What You Want at Work (HarperCollins 2002), and Truly Mars & Venus (HarperCollins 2003). John Gray's latest book, The Mars & Venus Diet & Exercise Solution (St. Martin's Press 2003). In addition to his prolific publishing schedule Gray also is an ever present expert on American talk shows and writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column.
While the original Mars/Venus concept was very helpful in making information about relationships accessible Gray's subsequent books have tended to expand on predictable themes. They tend to follow an expected pattern that is largely repetitious regurgitation of the original Mars/Venus theme.
What are interesting is the questions that arise concerning Gray's credentials. A note from his website suggests that these questions have impacted on Gray because he sees the need to officially respond with a note about the legitimacy of his degree.
Gray received his degree in 1982 from Columbia Pacific University. The school closed their doors in 2001. Prior to that date according to the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education:
CPU degrees awarded before June 25, 1997 are legally valid. Your degree, and any credential or license you received by virtue of the degree, should not be affected. CPU had legal approval to operate until June 25, 1997, and the degrees it issued before June 25, 1997 are legal. This was taken from http://www.bppve.ca.gov/press_releases/cpuweb_dec2000.htm
Cult watch e magazine claims that it can find no evidence of Gray's degrees through any accredited university. They actually were unable to trace the awarding of his High School diploma. They also question the ethics by which he has attained membership to the American Counselling (ACA) association and the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC) stating that he does not meet the minimum educational requirements to gain their membership (http://www.rickross.com/reference/gray/gray2.html). Membership is based on an honour system that doesn't require verification of one's credentials.
It would appear that although Mars/Venus coaching is accredited through the ICF this is exactly the coaching model that it is trying to weed out through a process of accreditation and professional skills. By claiming PhD status Gray has assumed an unearned legitimacy that has aided his movement into the coaching field.