Therapy or Coaching
I get calls from people saying they know they want and need to make a change in their life or relationship but they're not sure whether to choose Therapy or Coaching. When a client contracts me as a Therapist, I integrate coaching approaches when we together determine that it will support your overall goals for healing and growth. I also work with clients who have successfully completed therapy and are seeking a purely coaching approach. I can assit you in understanding the differences between the two and choosing which approach would be most beneficial for your intentions and needs.
The International Coach Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching honors the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believes that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.”
As a Therapist, I also operate from the belief that the client is creative, resourceful and whole. Therapists recognize however that sometimes due to trauma, long-standing challenging or harmful conditions or a persistent sense of feeling stuck, a person may have experienced his/her ability to access, believe in or engage her/his creative, resourceful and whole self as blocked or disrupted. Whether I am working as a Therapist or Coach, I always keep in my awareness your inherent resilient, creative and whole self and collaborate with you so that you may regain access to your resilient and whole self.
People often seek Therapy and Coaching for similar reasons: wanting improved relationships of all kinds, desiring more fullfilling work, feeling overwhelmed with self-doubt and fear when making a personal, vocational or spiritual transition, wanting a more healthy lifestyle and body, moving on from a significant loss and going through a spiritual awakening. When I work with my therapy clients I integrate into my practice what is often refered to as coaching approaches but what is also considered an integral part of effective Therapy: Being person centered; believing in, discovering together and engaging the client's natural strengths and gifts; being growth and creativity oriented -not problem-centered; listening and learning deeply with the client on several levels at the same time; attending to both what the client is wanting to create in her or his life while also being curious about potential limiting habitual patterns and beliefs; assigning co-created homework and exploration activities to further client's intended growth, to name a few.
Both Therapy and Coaching use evocative inquirey, discovery dialogue and activities to engage clients in significant and new thinking and ways of being in their relationships and vocation and developing a resilient self-love. As both a Therapist and Coach, I integrate body-centered, mindfulness and heart-centered simple practices and meditations in the learning, growth and change process. Neuroscience continues to demonstrate that change requires intentional engagement of the breath and the body, not just the mind through words.
Both Therapy and Coaching employ approaches which support the releasing of negative emotions and or conditioning so that the person can regain access to his/her empowered, whole self. Coaching by it self is not an appropriate avenue for addressing mental illness, substance misuse/abuse issues, any kind of crisis, or harmful patterns of behaviors or emotions. In these cases, a therapuetic approach would be required.
I am happy to consult with you as you explore which approach fits your needs and wants best at this time.