Coaching can be a better choice for getting results & maintaining privacy.
Psychologists and Mental Health therapists have the most training of any profession in understanding human motivation, behavior, learning and change. And if they’ve done clinical work, they have a depth of one-on-one experience far greater than that of people who aren’t mental health professionals. Coaching is actually a great fit with what most of us already do.
Coaches use such methods as helping clients verbalize their desires and set goals to achieving them; asking questions to help them overcome obstacles to those goals; and encouraging them to enlist allies for support.
Coaching and therapy clients differ, too, at least in theory. These clients are supposedly “healthier” than traditional therapy clients and seek to attain excellence or extraordinary results in live. (That said, many high-functioning people are depressed or anxious, and these people may benefit from coaching if they’re also getting mental health counseling in psychotherapy to address mental health issues.)
We should see psychologists differentiate coaching performed by qualified psychologists and licensed mental health therapists from coaching conducted by those without advanced degrees in human behavior and to create a clear taxonomy of coaching.
Psychologists should work to specify required training, credentialing and continuing education in coaching.
Because we are trained as both therapists and a life coaches, it’s extremely important to educate yourself about both approaches so that you can choose the right person to help you on your journey of growth. I hope the following information helps you decide what’s best for you.
Education for Counselors
The biggest difference between most coaches and counselors is their educational requirements. For example, in Florida , a licensed counselor or therapist (interchangeable terms for a mental health professional) is required to have a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy or Clinical Social Work. Everyone on our team has at least one Master’s Degree and / or a Doctorate.
Licensed counselors have had education and training around many aspects of the human experience. They’ve had classes in human development, human sexuality, family systems, ethics, research, and a variety of counseling strategies. Furthermore, they have had many, many hours of supervised training around how to be effective as helpers.
Education for Coaches
In contrast, at least in the state of Florida , any kind of coach — a Life Coach.
LIKE ALL EXPERTS ON MY TEAM, I have spent years doing therapy under qualified supervisors. I spent several more years in “clinical supervision” meaning that I would discuss all my cases with a seasoned therapist to make sure that I was doing everything right, and thinking through every aspect of how to help my clients.
In addition to everything else, traditional therapists have education for depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues. We have also been exposed to research and best practices for facilitating personal growth and change.
Education for Coaches
In contrast, at least in the state of Florida , any kind of coach — a Life Coach, Career & Success Coach, Executive Coach or Relationship Coach is not required to have any training or education in coaching at all. Literally anyone can call himself or herself a “Life Coach” and go into business as such.
While many coaches do pursue some training or education around coaching (anything from reading a book on how to be a life coach to attending a weekend seminar to going through a coaching program) this is not a requirement.
Difference Between Coaching and Counseling: Ethics & Boundaries
Counselors are required to maintain very strict ethical guidelines around the way they handle professional boundaries and confidential information with their clients. Because there is not any regulation or educational requirements for life coaches, ethical standards for coaches are highly variable.
Furthermore, coaches are not beholden to the same guidelines around client confidentiality or professional boundaries.
Best of all, if you come for coaching from a licensed mental health, there are no reports required, no insurance records. 100% confidential! And you get the immediate relief and the best results