How is coaching different from therapy?

Posted on December 26, 2021

While I am a formal mental health counselor and have been trained in various forms of psychotherapy, I am not a licensed therapist and I do not practice therapy.

Here’s how I see the difference:

A therapist helps a person heal their present by addressing what led them to this point (e.g.: trauma, core beliefs, emotional avoidance, etc.). Especially in clinical settings, it requires a “problem/ solution with measurable progress” paradigm. It is the surgery of the psyche, going after the root of the issue.

A coach helps a person change their present by addressing their thoughts, beliefs, and actions in the present moment and moving forward. It can operate as both problem/solution and also support/ celebration/accountability. This is the physical therapy of the psyche.

A healer helps a person change their present by addressing their energetic and physical health in the moment and moving forward. This is the medicine of the psyche.

While there are some overlaps, they largely have their own areas of focus.

When I’m coaching, we honor the past and acknowledge that it has an impact, sometimes profound. But we don’t go digging for it. We don’t go back to the past to try to heal it. That’s for therapy, which I usually recommend be trauma-informed.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also be interested in…

Octobers

Octobers

I feel like I'm not here. But my body is.The pain roaring beneath my skin, slicing through  my organs, curdling in my...

The Connection Between Trauma, Body Pain, and Authenticity

The Connection Between Trauma, Body Pain, and Authenticity

We know for a fact that animals naturally and instinctively shake off their stress. Whether or not they do it while singing Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off is another matter. We also know for a fact that humans don’t do this instinctively. We’re more likely to engage in therapy of the alcohol, retail, or epicurean kind. That physical shaking is a signal from the brain’s limbic system (responsible for the fight/flight/freeze response) that the threat has passed and the nervous system can return to pre-stress levels. In humans, when the limbic system takes over, the prefrontal cortex can go offline temporarily, making it impossible to think our way out of the situation.

Skip to content