There is a lot of confusion in the general public around why and how to use a Life Coach and more specifically with understanding the difference between a Life Coach and a Therapist. There really is very little difference, although the difference is significant.
Therapist / Counselors are trained and licensed to work with mental health issues, which includes coaching type training on creating and achieving goals and creating success in your life.
Coaches are trained to help you create and achieve goals and create success in your life. Coaches are NOT trained or licensed to work with mental health issues.
Most states have specific training and licensing requirements for anyone working with mental health issues, while most states do not have training or licensing requirements for people doing life coaching activities
Mental health issues are things like:
- A traumatic life event (death, divorce, etc)
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Multiple personalities.
- Pretty much anything that is associated with a clinical diagnosis.
- Although not a mental health issue, sometimes you just want someone to listen to your problems and maybe provide some guidance. A Therapist / Counselor is the person for this situation as well.
Coaching types of things are:
- I have dreams I want to achieve, teach me how.
- I want something more / different in my life, but I’m not sure what, why or how. I just feel like something needs to change.
- I don’t seem to ever have fun, all I do is work.
- My life feels very out of balance, I’d like to get it back in balance.
- I want to make a difference in the world, but don’t know how.
- I’m not passionate about anything and want to be.
- I’m passionate about “something your passionate about”, but don’t know how to make it happen, or fit it into my life.
- I’ve lost my “happiness” and can’t seem to get it back.
- I want a better / different job but nothing works out.
- My life circumstances have dramatically changed (got a divorce, alimony is ending, kids are out of the house now), I’ve dealt with it, now where do I go, what do I want to do?
- Why do I keep attracting the same type of partner/relationship, that I don’t want.
- All my bosses are bad and I can’t find a good job.
- I want a relationship but can’t find anyone or the right one.
- I can’t seem to lose weight, even though I’ve tried lots of proven programs.
- I started my business because I loved what I was doing, but now I hate it and it’s failing, why?
- I just feel “stuck” in my (job, relationship, or any other part of your life), and would like to change that feeling.
- I want something different, something more.
- I’m ready for a change.
In my opinion, Therapist and Life Coaches are like most other people, we get into a business because of a passion for some part of the business. Therapist have to have some kind of passion for working with people facing the difficult challenges they typically work with, such as suicide, depressions, sociopath, over whelment with life. It takes a lot of years of school to learn how to help these people and it takes a special type of person to guide them through the darkness and on to success. Of course I’m sure they love helping people find greater success in life, but that’s really a different passion.
Again, in my opinion, most coaches start coaching because they have a passion for helping people achieve even more in their life than they often thought possible, going after and achieving bigger dreams and greater success. Sometimes it‘s because they went through something that was traumatic and hard for them and now they have a passion for helping other people navigate those same waters.
When hiring someone for “coaching” type of work, I feel you should consider a few things like:
- Do you feel comfortable talking to them and talking direction from them?
- Do you trust them?
- Do they motivate, encourage and challenge you?
- Do they understand where you really are right now and where you want to be?
- Have they been where you are and now have what you want?
- Do they have their own coach helping them become better?
A Therapist / Counselor will usually take a more scientific or “scholarly” approach to working with you. A Life Coach will usually take a more Life Experience, and/or “unconventional” approach to working with you.
Personally I feel everyone needs coaching. Having that independent view is very valuable, on the other hand, any coach that says everyone should be coached, but them, is not someone I would want to work with.
Almost every professional “anything” has a coach to help them continually get better. Is this because the coach is better than them? No, it’s because the coach has an independent view of what you’re doing and want, and can see what you’re “really” doing, versus what you “think” you’re doing. Which is very often different than most people think it is.
The perfect candidate for coaching is anyone who wants something more and to continually grow in some part of their life.
People tend to think the main candidate for coaching is that “negative Nancy”, or “Donny downer”. While yes, coaching could help them immensely, they aren’t a good candidate because most of them aren’t ready to change. In fact most of them feed on the negativity and sadness. It’s their “badge” or “identity” and life without it would be terrifying for them. They know exactly what to expect every day and that is a comfort, even though they spend all their time complaining about it.
Find someone to work with whose passion for teaching and guiding is lined up with what you want to achieve and where you want to go and it will be a great process for both you and the “coach” you choose!
Call or email me today if you’d like a complimentary one hour coaching session to see how I can help you Create A Habit Of Achieving Your Goals!
Phone – 888-350-5060
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