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Is Life Coaching for me?

So you are not sure if you need a counselor/therapist or a coach? You may have even heard people speak of finding a mentor to find the peace you are searching for as you move toward a new version of yourself. 

 

“There are a lot of people trying to cope with life adjustments, anxieties and personal challenges,” says Lynn Mitchell, a member of the American Counseling Association. “Coaching can help, and there is something positive and preventative about it. Wellness is a trend, and coaching is part of it.”

 

Let's explore what is the best approach for you as you navigate the ends and outs of loss and transition as you grieve the person or persons that you hold dear in your heart.

 

Misconceptions about coaching and counseling are abundant. 

There are indeed many overlapping areas, the most prominent being that they are both ‘helping professions.

"I think good coaching should start with the disclaimer that coaching is limited and that more serious, deeper issues may need therapy.” (April Summers, a counselor at a maximum security prison)

With a better understanding of the roles that each professional plays, a collaborative perspective may be forged. In fact, many therapists have made a move to practice both approaches. I have listed below some of the characteristics of each approach to these helping professions.

Therapy vs. Life Coaching

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10 Things on Therapy

1. Focus is retrospective

2. "Why" oriented

3. Both short and long term approaches

4. Theory-driven

5. Work with persons needing help with healing past trauma

6. Explores psychological impact on wellbeing

7.Trained in human development, sexuality, family dynamics, and mental health conditions

8. Typical to utilize diagnosis in treatment

9. Counselors and clients work in a more structured environment such as a "doctor-patient" relationship

10. Explores the origins of problems and ways to confront those problems.

10 Things on Life Coaching

1. Focus is prospective

2. "What" oriented

3. Short-term approach

4. Achievement focused/goal oriented

5. The work involves specific goals and often futuristic

6. Clarifying for clients

7. Can make a counselor/therapist job easier

8. Not diagnostic, orientation on solution and capacity for change

9. Coaches and clients work in a less structured environment as a team

10. Provides support to enhance the skills, resources and creativity that the client already has.

Therapy is about uncovering and recovering while coaching is about discovering.
-Patrick Williams, psychologist, coach, co-founder of ICF

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