As a psychotherapist and certified life coach I have accompanied many people on their journey’s through the messiness of life. Some people reach out to me in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy while others wait decades to seek healing from the grief of childhood atrocities. I always aim to be present, empathetic, and supportive to my clients no matter what they are facing. Like many helpers and healers, I am a wounded healer, so relating to people in the depths of despair is quite natural for me. However, as I observe the events around racial and social injustices in America unfold, I find myself at a loss for words and understanding. I wonder how we will heal from this grief.
By now we all know the stories of people like Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Their combined hashtags on Instagram alone reach almost 3,000,000 and growing by the hour. I observe in horror, like most Americans, the disgrace and injustices betrayed upon these black men, and countless others, at the hands of a merciless few and yet I have no idea how to proceed. I have no idea how to make a sustainable impact on our society, our leaders, our communities, or our collective unconscious in these turbulent and unjust times.
I have been wanting to write about Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT Tapping for a long time now. The 12th annual Tapping World Summit inspired me to get started. For 10 days, thought leaders in the world of psychology, medicine, science, and holistic healing came together to share insights and strategies for reducing stress using Emotional Freedom Technique.
Before I go any further, I want to say that I am not paid or rewarded for plugging this tapping event, I just love it and my clients love it too! The summit is free, completely online, packed full of amazing in-vivo EFT tapping experiences, and it will be attended by over 600,000 people annually. You can find out more at www.thetappingsolution.com You also watch my quick YouTube tutorial on the EFT basics.
When the days draw-in and sunlight begins to wane (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), you may notice a drop in your energy levels, motivation, and mood. This most often rears its ugly head in the workplace. Maybe it is a missed deadline, a skipped meeting, or a lack of follow-through on a commitment. Maybe it is increased anxiety about job security due to your poor performance. However it is showing up for you, stress is a problem and you may not be able to solve it on your own. According to the Washington Post depression and anxiety cost the global economy over $1 trillion in lost productivity. In the USA alone that is upwards of 200 million lost workdays every year! With numbers like this, everyone will benefit from workplace wellness initiatives that respect and create a work-life balance.
We all go through periods of time when we could benefit from some wise, objective, and thoughtful support to reach our goals. Friends and family can be great for offering advice, but life coaching isn’t about advice-giving. Life coaching is about empowering you to identify your desires, set your intentions and then, of course, achieve your goals.
As a psychotherapist and life coach, people always ask me the difference between my two roles. People are always curious about what I do. They are also want to know how to discern what they need. Basically, is their problem coachable or therapeutic in nature?
So, with this blog, I want to address frequently asked questions about the differences between psychotherapy and life coaching. It’s not uncommon for people to confuse these two professions and to be sure, similarities do exist. However, these professions are not interchangeable. These waters can become even murkier as many counselors, like me, are practicing as both licensed counselors and life coaches. However, when you a hire a coach with a Masters in Counseling, like me, you can rest assured that the foundation of our work together is rooted in my innate understanding of the human psyche.
It’s important to note that as a potential client, you are not expected to know exactly what you need. As a trained professional, I am here to guide you to the right service based on your needs, capabilities, and desires. That is where my expertise comes in. In any event, it’s still important to be an informed consumer so I have laid out this simple bullet points to help guide you through the decision making process.
differences between counseling and coaching
Coaching sessions are focused on the agenda set by client
Coaching is action oriented and results driven
Coaching takes place in the here and now, not in the past
Coaching assumes that you are resilient, strong, capable and healthy
Coaching focuses on aligning your strengths with your stated goals
Coaching assumes that you are the expert of your own life purpose
Coaching is a collaborative process
Coaching is credentialed in many different ways by many governing bodies but in reality, no certification or credential is required to call oneself a coach
Coaching can take place by phone, video or in person across the USA or worldwide
Therapy is process oriented
Therapy focuses on emotions, behaviors and thoughts and the root of these feelings
Therapy helps the client relate current situations to past traumas or learned experiences
Therapy assesses for and diagnoses mental health disorders
Therapy provides treatement for mental health disorders
Therapists are trained at the Masters Level and are required to be licensed by their state in almost every state in the USA. Each state has their own regulation and reqirements, all are rigourous to ensure client safety
Therapy is often considered “medically necessary” and is covered by health insurance
Therapy is a medical model which is governed by the laws of HIPAA
Therapy can only take place in person or by secure video; most therapy laws prohibit the use of many technologies
The therapist is often considered the expert within the relationship
The practice of therapy or counseling is regulated by the state board in each state across the USA. A therapist may only practice or do counseling with a client who is located in the state in which the therapist is licensed.
similarities between counseling and coaching:
Both professions require specialized trainings, certifications, course work, internships and in-vivo field practice
Both professions have the same inherent goal of assisting clients create fulfilling lives
Both coaches and therapists are highly trained, empathetic, and intelligent
Both professions recognize and honor that each person is different and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ recipe for healing and success
Both professions adhere to ethical guidelines which foster safety within the relationship
It’s the job of the coach to help you, the client, understand these differences so that you choose the appropriate service for your needs. As the consumer, you are entitled to understand what coaching is, and is not, so that you can knowledgeably enter the coaching contract. In traditional psychotherapy, we would make this part of the informed consent process. A thorough initial phone call or video call should include: establishing rapport, assessing your readiness for coaching and explaining the limitations of coaching.
It’s my belief that both coaching and therapy are vital and helpful services for many people. There is no ‘better’ or ‘less than’ helping profession. It’s actually this diversity which allows us to have access to the services we need most at a particular time in life.
If you would like to explore the possibility of life coaching or counselling with me, please set up an appointment here. I provide mental health therapy in the state of Maryland only and you can find out more about my counseling philosophy here.
“Just as the boat is guided to shore by careful planning, following the map and visualizing the light house, we too must have these tools to reach our goals. Without preparation, planning and a vision of the future we are just afloat in the sea at the mercy of the winds”