Here’s a conversation that I’ve had fairly frequently –
You: “Are you a therapist?”
Me: “No, I’m a coach.”
You: “So what’s the difference?”
Me: “A coach is someone who helps you to navigate the change process and to clarify what it is you want, identify goals, what needs to change and how to go about it.”
You: “Don’t therapists do that too?”
Me: “Yes, however, therapists generally focus on mental health symptoms that a client is experiencing and often gives a diagnosis. In the therapeutic setting, much time is spent on childhood experiences and the present. Then the therapist will work with the client to provide treatment for the problem, trying to reduce symptoms and assisting in the pursuit of recovery, a return to a former way of being or making your present life manageable and better. Therapists work with psychiatrists or other medical professionals who can provide medications that may help in the client’s recovery. Therapists are highly trained, licensed and are often invaluable.”
You: “I’m still confused.”
Me: “There are many similarities between coaching and therapy. Coaches also dig into the client’s past in order to identify how certain mindsets and behaviors were established with the goal of changing to healthy and growth mindsets. Existential crises, feelings of purposelessness or stagnation are often the motivators to seek out a coach combined with frustration, confusion and blindspots about solutions and how to start. Getting help from an experienced coach is often a way to quickly find solutions. A coach can see your personal landscape clearly and can assist in instilling an exciting desire for personal growth and transformation. The client – coach relationship focuses on strengths and potential and is usually short-term. Progress toward beneficial and positive change can be seen and measured quickly with clients who are motivated and who have identified a clear vision about their values and living a values-based life.
A coach is like an experienced guide – someone who knows the terrain and can walk with you, helping you collect the necessary tools, pointing out the hazards and shining a light on the beautiful moments as you find new ways of living and being. Is working with a coach what you need right now? Let’s chat.