Both counseling and coaching provide solutions to bring you closer to the life you want to live. Some say that counselors work on the “why” of the problem, while coaching focuses on “how to get out of the problem”; they also say that counselors will analyze the past and coaches will look to the future. Coaching advocates say that they provide a different service that helps clients work on their goals for the future and create a new life path. They say that counselors spend more time examining the past, seeking solutions to emotional concerns, and seeking the diagnosis that insurance companies demand.
Coaches suggest that the relationships they establish with clients are also more collegial in nature. Coaches and clients work in a less structured environment such as a team, rather than establishing a “doctor-patient” relationship. Coaching helps you set and achieve goals, while counseling helps you recognize and resolve your problems in life. Unlike counselors, coaches will make recommendations and help you think of solutions and strategies to change things in your life.
Ideally, a coach would be cautious with this and not impose his ideas on you if they don't fit. An ethical coach will always ensure that the solutions he proposes are consistent with the client's belief system, circumstances and personality. However, people seeking help often seek guidance in the real world. When to seek support from a coach vs.
Therapists are mental health professionals trained to treat mental illness. In recent years, we have seen an overwhelming mental health crisis. The onset of COVID-19 brought the issue of mental health to the forefront, which has helped to reduce some of the stigma (although we still have a lot of work to do). We know that mental health is a spectrum.
Some people live in more serious areas, while others have moderate or mild symptoms of mental health problems. Regardless of where you are on the scale, if you're living with a mental illness, ask for support from a therapist. Over a period of time, my therapist prescribed medication to help me overcome difficult moments in my life. But today, I no longer take medications and I feel much better prepared to face whatever life throws at me.
Between working with my coach on how to proactively care for my mental state and working with my therapist on how to take care of my mental health, I have a multi-faceted and personalized approach to how to overcome myself. What can make this more confusing is that both psychologists and licensed mental health counselors can provide therapy or be referred to as therapists. In addition, terminology, licensing requirements, and ability to prescribe medications vary from state to state. In most states, therapists can't prescribe medications unless they are doctors (usually a psychiatrist).
Since psychotherapy requires medical professionals to diagnose and treat mental health problems, there are additional licensing requirements. This is another key difference between a coach and a therapist. Psychotherapists generally have licensing boards to approve, some specific to the state in which they practice. Therapists and psychotherapists have higher levels of professional education, such as a master's degree or even a doctorate.
Some are licensed clinical social workers, such as my therapist. While each training program differs depending on specialization, therapists require higher credentials. However, coaching is not a substitute for therapy. Coaching can certainly feel like a therapeutic relationship.
After all, you're working one-on-one to solve your problems. But if you're living with a mental health condition, seek support from a therapist as well. Coaches and therapists overlap in some areas. For example, both coaches and therapists have specialties and different areas of expertise.
While modalities and approaches may differ, coaches and therapists may share the same goal. Both types of professionals draw up action plans. And with these habits, customers create lasting behavioral changes. Of course, each scenario is approached differently.
For example, I set goals with both my therapist and my coach. I wanted to live a happier and healthier life, one in which I could achieve my goals in life. Finally, coaches and therapists share a common goal. Both are determined to help you overcome yourself.
Your health problems will help you determine what type of mental health or mental health care you should seek. Here's how to know when you need the support of a coach instead of a therapist. The question between a coach and a therapist doesn't have to be binary. With BetterUp, you can take control of your mental conditioning journey.
A coach will help you create a personalized plan that works for you. A coach can help you make significant progress in everything from writing a book to losing weight, and identifying the goals you want to make progress on in the first place. However, there are different requirements for credentials (and governing bodies) when it comes to the world of coaching. Coaching advocates also say that most legitimate training programs describe the limits of the coaching profession and make it clear that coaches should not offer counseling services.
However, like stereotypical step-siblings, although counselors and life coaches know each other and even share some similar traits, they are sometimes prone to less positive feelings of competence and sometimes to mistrust. In general, they agree that coaches should be certified through a solid, formal process that requires a great deal of study and experience. A good coach will help you understand what, specifically, is causing your sense of stagnation or dissatisfaction. While there can be a great deal of overlap between therapy and coaching for life in practice (especially the early “exploration” phases of training), the objectives of each are very different.
More and more therapists are choosing to offer therapy and coaching services because they see the value of both. And since mental fitness is for everyone, everyone can benefit from having a coach to accompany them in their growth process. However, educational requirements are just the beginning of the differences between a counselor and a coach. It's not a good idea to move from working with the same therapist to treat mental health symptoms to a coaching relationship.
If you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve something that you feel ready for, but you feel like you need a little help to achieve it, a coach might be exactly what you need. In theory, there is a different type of coach for each type of need, and the specific role of the life coach is to help you clarify your overall vision of life and work towards it. In my professional experience, in the absence of a psychiatric diagnosis, coaching is a much more effective, direct and empowering method for helping people achieve growth and positive change than therapy. .