Coaching? Or Therapy?
What is the difference?
Several years before I became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I studied to become a Certified Life Coach. I trained in various programs, did some classes and a lot of reading on life strategies. I had always felt that my life experiences and people skills would lend to helping people in their lives to achieve their dreams. I had used many of these skills that I had acquired to improve my own life.
As a therapist, I have used my training as a life coach in my work with clients and in my education and training for my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy; I learned that coaching is a big part of the therapy process. Coaching however; is not therapy. Here are some descriptions and quotes about coaching that may help you to understand the differences. Those who do meet criteria for mental health services benefit greatly from therapy and coaching can help them support and maintain changes in their lives. However, coaching is not a substitute for therapy services.
Profession Coaching: Professional coaching provides an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaching helps clients improve their performance and improve the quality of their lives. s needs. The coach seeks to elicit solutions and strategies from the client, and they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has (International Coaching Federation, 2007).
Life Coaching As an Operation System: Life Coaching is a powerful human relationship in which training coaches assist people to design their future rather than get over their past. Through a typically long-term relationship, coaches aid clients in creating visions and support achieving those goals. Coaches recognize the brilliance of each client and their personal power to discover their own solutions when provided with support, accountability, and unconditional positive regard (Williams & Davis, 2002).
In my own words, I would describe coaching as a partnership based on future thinking. s past in reference to looking for strengths that the client can use to achieve their goals. In therapy we are first looking for pathology. We want to discover why the client is not able to meet their goals so we can diagnosis the disorder and develop a treatment plan for their disorder. We do emphasis their strengths but we are more focused on the areas in which the client is struggling to function in his life.
Diagnosis is an important part of therapy. It is one part I find that, I have reservations about. I must diagnosis clients every day using the criteria required from the DSM-5, as my bible of my professional standard and ethical code. I understand the need for determining the best treatment approach for the client. However, I may or may not share the diagnosis with the client, as some client do not wish to know, and often do not find that the client meet any or all of the requirements for a diagnosis. I do treat those clients, because many of those clients do need therapy services. On the other side, I have many clients who present to therapy with no need for mental health services and talk therapy services, but do need coaching services. They need that partnership that they have not been able to find in any other arena in their life. They need accountability, support and the feeling that they have someone who believes in their dreams. Often clients will explain that they have desires, and dreams for changing things in their lives, but feel no one else believes they are capable of achieving those dreams. They may express they have accomplish many things professionally, however, they have been on a path that was not of their choosing or at one time was comfortable, but now they are tired of that path. They have possibly never voiced their deepest desire or idea for what they would really like to do in life to anyone but you. This is one of the amazing parts of the work that I do. I love hearing the stories, and the dreams that my clients have, both in therapy and coaching. They always inspire me.