When you’re needing someone, it can be difficult to determine what exactly you need and who to get it from. Going from therapist to coach, hopefully I can shed some light on it for you.
Someone you connect with
Above all, change has to happen with someone you connect with, that you trust, that you feel comfortable with. You need to be able to share your vulnerabilities, ask questions even if you think it is stupid, and trust that the person will respond to the best of their ability, even if the answer is “I don’t know.”
It honestly is difficult to say the differences because I see coaches out there advertising things that I have only been privy to by proving my degree and licensure in order to get into trainings. So it’s honestly been a bit shocking, so really, I can only tell you how I personally see these differences and how I am approaching things as a coach now vs. when I was a therapist. I’m not saying that only people with degrees and license SHOULD receive this training, I’m just saying, that’s how it has been.
As a therapist we are suppose to take a step back. We can educate you about the nervous system and how things often work and the science behind changing them. We are expected to provide a diagnosis and treat people in the framework of the diagnosis. We are encouraged to take in bio-social-physical and even spiritual components into play here.
We are supportive and considered to not take an active role but more of a passive role. We are to be validating and understanding. We are suppose to support you on your quest to find your right answers.
We are expected to take responsibility for you. If you hurt yourself or someone else it’s on US not you. We take on a burden of responsibility, leaving self-determination not to be number one here. As a result we have to judge your judgement on certain levels and take a more active role here.
Therapists dive into the past and spend a lot of time here and work on “holding space” for you to feel through things that happened long ago, to help you life a burden that isn’t yours to carry.
We teach coping skills, and evidence based methods that have shown to reduce symptoms as they relate to the diagnosis that we have given you.
As a life coach, I don’t work based on diagnosis. I work from a framework of “human problems” vs. a diagnosis problem. I may reference some understanding or info from your past that could be upsetting something currently going on, but will not spend a lot of time there. Instead we will work on flipping the outdated belief or perception for you to move forward.
We spend more time focused on where you are now and where you want to go. We work on building the foundation and framework for you to achieve your goals. Some healing often happens along the way, but the focus isn’t on healing itself.
I am more challenging, directive, and take no responsibility for you. I think this is the biggest difference I am attracted to. I fully believe in autonomy and self-determination (even if there is no free will). And taking responsibility of your life and decisions I feel like energetically clouds the relationship. I believe it is a burden to me, and a way for you to not be in full power of yourself.
Coaching allows for more flexibility. I can work with anyone who is a good vs. regardless of location or how you came to work with me. We can bring in whatever modality fits best without it having to be an approved approach. Intuition can be of more use here. I can provide support and help through any medium and not be restricted to certain platforms. I can fully embody who I am personally as a coach as well, without having to leave parts of myself at the door.
Which is right for me?
Overall I think of therapy if you’re really struggling with a lot of symptoms and are not in a good place. I think of coaching in that you may be struggling in an area and want help with something, but overall you’re functioning well. You’re gonna get out of either what you put into it, but the energies are different for both. I’ve done both and they both fit at different times in my life depending on what was going on. When I needed more support I was in therapy. When I needed to take more action, I’ve found coaching to be better.
Most therapist and coaches will talk with you before meeting/purchasing and I think that is a good idea if you feel like this person is a good fit for you.
I’ve talked to many people that reach out to me, and if therapy feels like a better fit for them, I tell them that. I think it’s helpful for me to feel out what is best since I have that background. But for some people either or could be best, and some the coaching is best. Like I know for me, right now in my life, coaching fits best and I have coaches as a result.
Personally I’ve found freedom and liberation from the coaching and spiritual path, but not saying you can’t find that from therapy, as many people do. Just feel things out, and follow the little voice in your head on what direction to go for you!
If you’re interested in possibly working together, please schedule a consultation, to make sure coaching is right for you.