Do You Need Therapy or Coaching?
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You are looking to make a change in your life by improving your outlook and making positive changes. So which is the right choice for you- individual therapy or coaching? Are they just the same thing?
The answer is a resounding no. I am going to break down the differences to help you make the best choice for your needs and the stage you are currently at in your life.
What Is Therapy?
Therapy is a catch-all term for any licensed mental health professional. This includes:
The phrases may vary from state-to state. Ultimately a therapist needs a Master’s or Doctorate degree in addition to supervised experience following graduation in order to qualify for a state license.
Therapists, counselors, and psychologists specialize in treating mental health diagnoses including anxiety disorders, depressive/mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and any other diagnosable mental disorder.
Therapists, generally speaking, help you progress from a place of crisis, trauma or difficulty coping with emotions that are negatively impacting either your relationships, work, school, or daily functioning.
When you go to therapy, the work is both past and present focused. Therapy involves exploring your past to help you process past difficult experiences or traumas that may still be affecting you in the present to help you move forward towards positively coping. While at the same time, you are focused on present-moment functioning and learning methods to cope with difficult emotions, change your ways of thinking, improve your relationships, and implement behaviors and habits that will positively impact your mood.
Is Therapy Right For You?
Therapy may be right for you if you are having difficulty coping with your day-to-day life as a result of your emotions, thoughts, behaviors, or other psychological symptoms. The goal of therapy is to take you from struggling to cope and to ultimately teach you the skills to be able to cope with difficulty and stress on your own.
This might be you if you are struggling with:
Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. If it sounds like you might benefit from the support of a therapist it never hurts to ask for help. You don’t need to have a severe mental illness to seek out therapy. Speaking with a licensed professional can help you get through difficult moments in your life.
Read the article I posted below to help you learn more about your options for seeking out therapy.
You can only work with a licensed therapist located within your state (if you live in the United States) as a result of licensing board requirements.
Do You Need Therapy or Coaching?
What Is Coaching?
Generally speaking: when you seek out coaching it is to help you achieve a specific goal. You work with an experienced partner in the process who can provide you with guidance and accountability.
Coaching helps you move from a level of being able to set and achieve goals but feeling stuck to:
Coaches do not focus on processing and exploring your past in the same way that you would in therapy. Instead, a coach will work with you to identify a plan to achieve and accomplish future goals.
Coaching is currently an unregulated field, so there is no requirement for a degree, license, certificate, or specialized training. Therefore, it’s important to seek out a coach who is qualified in the field they are coaching.
Master’s level clinicians are uniquely qualified to provide coaching services as a result of our significant education in psychology, development, and human behavior that complement the field of coaching and goal-setting and achievement nicely.
Is Coaching Right For You?
Coaching may be right for you if you are looking to level up in your life. This could be you if you are already coping and doing well when it comes to work, school, relationships, and your day-to-day functioning. Keep in mind that nobody is perfect, and everybody experiences stress, some levels of anxiety, and daily changes in mood- this is called being human and having emotions.
Coaching is for you if you aren’t in crisis and you can cope with daily stress that comes up. You are ready to crush your goals, be held accountable, and create a life you love. Or maybe you’re feeling stuck and you know you want to move forward but you aren’t sure where to start.
Coaching can also be a good choice for you if you have “graduated” from therapy in the past, or if you are currently in therapy and would also like to begin coaching. You can sign a consent form to allow your therapist and coach to communicate with each other so that they can support you in reaching your goals in the best way possible.
The coaching relationship is a partnership where you are provided with the tools you need to move forward in life, as well as accountability to push you out of your comfort zone so you can accomplish your goals.
The foundational questions to help you determine which one is right for you are grounded in the idea of:
Both coaching and therapy are an investment in yourself and your well-being. I know asking for help can be difficult, but it is also so incredibly rewarding.
If the concept of coaching interests you and you are interested in diving deeper, learn more about working with me here.