Perhaps the easiest way to differentiate the two is to understand that a therapist and a coach have different “lenses” through which they view and work with their clients.
A coach has a future oriented lens that encourages you to look forward and to discover the “what” and the “how” of the future that awaits you, regardless of your past hurts and disappointments. Your past only comes into play in the areas you may have developed limiting beliefs and false messages – the roadblocks or obstacles that are preventing you from accomplishing your goals. The ideal coaching client may struggle every so often with defeated thoughts or anxious moments – but they are not debilitating and do not keep the client from living the day to day.
A therapist primarily helps you look back into your past to help you discover the “why” (why you think, feel and act the way you do) and will diagnose and treat any mental health issues you have. If you are suffering from a mental health issue such as debilitating depression and anxiety, have PTSD from a traumatic event (including an unsafe childhood), or struggle with personality disorders such as BPD, then you need the professional expertise of a licensed therapist – coaching can come later.
It is critical to understand that a life coach credential is not a license to diagnose or treat what are known to be Axis I or Axis II disorders as defined by the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM). This is true even for coaches like me who hold a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Do your homework and know what level of care/assistance you need.
Side Note: If you struggle with mental health issues and you don’t have a therapist – I highly recommend you seek one out. Working with a therapist was the start of my journey, but healing was only the beginning of it. Soul wounds can be overcome; don’t get discouraged and don’t let them keep you from the future God designed for you.
Prior to your first session, I will ask you to complete a “welcome packet.” This packet will help me to gauge where you are at and where you are going, but more importantly it serves to help you organize your own thoughts, goals and desires and can accelerate the coaching process. We will review this initial information and establish your initial goals in our first meeting. Our first meeting together will typically last 90 minutes.
Routine Sessions are typically 45 minutes and done either over the phone or via Zoom or Facetime. They begin with a rundown of your prior week’s goals and then focus on your “next steps,” new goals and any obstacles you are facing. The best part of coaching is that you are the one who determines the focus of each session; my job is to serve you by facilitating the process through reflection, questions and feedback.
As for what to expect from me personally? A passion to help others grow, personal and professional integrity, honesty and authenticity are what best describes me when it comes to coaching and what drives me to keep fulfilling my own dreams. I will always be direct and honest with you – even when it hurts! Your success is my number one priority and because of that, you can expect me to be your number one encourager, advocate and motivator, always filling you with the courage to step outside of your comfort zone.
This will depend on your goals and level of need and can be established during our first meeting together. Typically, I would say between 3 – 12 sessions are needed to accomplish the work.
Yes! You absolutely can afford me as your Coash. I believe that everyone deserves access to a coach who will help them become the person God had always intended them to be. For that reason, I have developed a pricing model that is affordable for the everyday person. It may mean you skip the morning trip to your favorite coffee spot or skip dinner and drinks on Saturday night – but it comes down to priorities and believe me, this is worth every sacrifice – you will never regret it!
CBC is based on the therapeutic model of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). At the core of this modality is the belief that our emotions, attitudes and behaviors are primarily driven by what we believe (or think) and not necessarily by what we know or the information we have gathered.
The CBC approach is vast in theory, technique and styles, but my focus is typically centered on using CBC models to first identify your vision and goals, as well as your current and desired strengths and abilities. This part is often easy for most – the hard part is understanding the roadblocks that prevent goal attainment. CBC is essential for uncovering and then changing the core belief systems buried deep in your heart and preventing you from living the life you imagine and dream of.
For a more scholarly and comprehensive definition of CBC, there is this one:
CBC is a collaborative, goal-directed endeavor using multimodal learning methods to help individuals develop their capabilities and remove any psychological blocks that interfere with the process. (Cognitive Behavioral Coaching in Practice, Neenan and Palmer; pg. 1)