I’m in therapy. And I’m an integrative coach. I believe in the power of coaching and am even sometimes cavalier enough to say its methods are superior. And therapy is where I’m at right now.
I’m asked all the time what’s the difference between coaching and therapy? So I sought a great therapist to find out.
Um, no. That’s not what really happened. I needed a therapist. And I am grateful that I can speak from experience about the value and profound healing available in each. I am no stranger to psychotherapy. I believed I had outgrown it after profoundly positive changes in my life as the result of working with a life coach…
Yet, I found myself stuck in some old patterns. I had recently experienced
too many some traumatic life events. I needed some serious help in excavating and understanding my past and needed someone to lovingly guide me through a grieving process.
So what has this coach learned in therapy this time around? Good therapy, coaching, and other emotional healing work have more in common than not and this becomes more true as the fields evolve…
S0me differences include:
- Therapy is often sought during crisis or emotional turmoil
- Coaching is often sought after you have already done some therapy and are ready to build on strengths
- Therapy examines the past to understand the present
- Coaching focuses on the present and relies on the wisdom of your future self
- Therapy relies primarily on the therapist’s wisdom and analysis
- Coaching relies primarily on your wisdom
- Therapy operates mostly with the mind and memories
- Coaching includes and integrates cues from the body and your kinesthetic experience
Both (good) therapy and coaching:
- promote emotional healing
- require deep listening
- encourage adopting a different perspective
- help you in making a shift
- accept you exactly as you are
- see you as whole and capable of healing
I’m happy to report that my experiment with therapy is being met with success (wink). I have a profound respect and reverence for any work that helps me feel more alive, experience more freedom, and allow more joy. Both types of work require courage, strength, vulnerability and an open heart.