Life coaching is about helping clients achieve their desired goals in life, perhaps to overcome some stalled spots, so that they can be, at best, an auxiliary support for mental well-being, rather than directly addressing mental health problems. I met Mike Bayer a few months ago when he was a guest on The Verywell Mind Podcast. Since then, I have also had the pleasure of being a guest on his podcast, Always Evolving. We do a lot of the same things: we write books, speak at conferences, and work with people who want help to achieve their goals.
The people we work with have some of the same problems, such as depression or substance abuse. I'm a therapist and Mike is a life coach. We know that our work often overlaps. However, there are big differences between the way we work with people.
So I thought it would be interesting to sit down and talk to Mike about the differences between therapists and life coaches. Historically, coaching has been thought of as a professional development tool for people with high performance at work, but its applications extend far beyond that. However, given the shortage of providers, perhaps a more prudent approach (to ensure that therapists work to the maximum of their licenses and largely care for people with clinical needs in the red zone) could be to commission alternative providers, such as coaches, to deal with the yellow and green zones. Life coaches don't need certification to practice and are not subject to any confidentiality laws, such as HIPAA.
Mental health counselors are trained psychotherapists, but they are not clinically licensed in the state where you receive your care. Like therapists, coaches listen carefully to their clients to understand their personal needs, challenges, and hopes. During the sessions, coaches will look for ways to empower their clients to overcome any obstacles that stand in the way of their goals. There are several types of life coaching, as well as lots of advice on whether life coaching is a viable option for mental health patients.
As you mentioned, life coaches aren't subject to HIPAA, and the client-coach relationship is more informal. Coaches ask the kinds of questions that help clients see themselves in new ways and open up new avenues of transformation. Life coaching is a practice in which a life coach helps his patients achieve their goals in life through regular debate and allows them to move towards their goals with a holistic approach that takes into account all aspects of patients' lives. He spent more than 12 years honing his communication, leadership and training talents in the advertising industry before expanding on his own to help people better align who they are with the work they want to do every day.
However, since depression is not about a person's character, personality, or level of confidence, but is a mental illness that varies greatly from person to person, mental health patients living with depression should at least consult a general practitioner or mental health professional before seeking help from a life coach. And yes, many people do very well and will work with a coach when they want to evolve or advance more in a certain area of their life. While the field of coaching is largely unregulated, the International Coaching Federation has become a trusted source of accreditation standards in the industry. Mental health counselors cannot officially treat mental health conditions, since they are not licensed in their region, but they are still trained to help those with mental health problems.