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.

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Dear Body

Dear Body

Dear Body,
I’m trying to listen carefully to you, but I’m still not understanding what you need from me. Please be really, really clear with me about what you need so I can take appropriate action.
Sincerely, Me

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