A pertinent question to ask is, “What is the difference between coaching and therapy?”
Before I became a Coach, I had the same question.
Aside from the obvious length of educational differences, it really boils down to focus.
A therapist will deal with acute and long standing mental health concerns and disorders, trauma and incidents from your past that are affecting your present. They can prescribe medication in some circumstances.
A Coach’s focus is on your present; what’s going in in your life now, what concerns you wish to address, goals you wish to achieve, to work towards a better, more productive and fulfilling future.
You can tell a Coach you are feeling anxious or depressed, but we can’t treat you for that in a diagnostic sense. I can explore your feelings with you, ask about coping mechanisms, question the circumstances surrounding the incidents when you feel this way and how you’d like to feel instead. We can work on strategies to help you manage those feelings, redirection if you feel like you’re stuck in a negative cycle of behaviour, or focus on perspective changes, involving self compassion and a more positive mindset. But I cannot treat you.
As long as a Client is aware of that, then we can explore anything you desire. However, I will always be upfront and honest if you are delving into an area that is outside the bounds of my area of specialisation. You can always be a patient of a therapist AND a Client of a Coach, but there will be boundaries on the areas each will support you with and focus on.
Most importantly, a Coach does NOT give advice. That is not our role.
I believe every Client holds the answers to all of their concerns and problems, they just don’t have anyone asking them the right questions. No one to sit with them and listen, truly listen, to what they have to say.
Prior to becoming a Coach, I was a trained investigator. I know how to elicit answers from you that you never knew you held. In a caring, considerate, safe space, I can let you speak your truth, then ask a few targeted questions to help you focus in on changes you wish to make, improvements you want to institute and goals you long to accomplish.
As the photo attached says “We don’t always need advice. Sometimes we just need someone to listen, be present and hold space for us in comforting silence.”
As a Coach, this truly is my superpower.
I won’t give you advice. I won’t criticise and I certainly won’t judge you.
What I will do is:
Only YOU, as the Client, can put in the work to make effective changes to your life. I can’t do that for you, nobody can.
But I can show up for you. Be present. And be your companion, supporting you on a journey to a happier life.