Recently I took a breath work class that had an interesting section on stress, the different types of trauma and when to refer out to a licensed professional. As most people know, a breath work class is not a substitute for therapy. However as a breath work facilitator, there is a need to be “trauma aware,” which is basically the ability to recognize signs of trauma in order to be able to refer the participant to a licensed professional who is trauma qualified. Not all therapists are trauma qualified so it is important, if you are looking for a therapist to help you process your trauma, to seek one that is also trauma qualified.
So this got me thinking, what is the difference between a coach and a therapist? And, when is each appropriate?
According to Tony Robbins, therapists focus on “why” certain behavioral patterns occur, and coaches work on “how” to work toward a goal.
Life coaches identify and describe current problematic behaviors so that the client can work to modify them. Therapists analyze their client’s past as a tool for understanding present behaviors. And you can choose which you believe would serve you best.
Covid-19 has definitely brought the mental health conversation to the forefront.
According to Betterup, different types of therapy and specialties include: cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT), talk therapy, EMDR therapy, depression, anxiety, and anxiety disorders, marriage and family therapy, addiction and eating disorders, significant life milestones or transitions (including grief, loss, and trauma).
Both therapists and coaches should help you to work on creating long-lasting behavior changes, are invested to help you better yourself, provide a safe place to be listened to and heard and be non-judgemental and supportive.
A therapist will treat mental illness, focus on the past and healing from it, and can help with personal or family issues.
Therapists are ideal for those seeking help with a mental illness. If you suspect you have a mental illness it would be best to find a therapist.
While coaching is not a substitute for therapy, a good coach should be able to help you build practices for mental fitness, supplement your mental health care, help you to be proactive about your well-being, help you with personal and professional goals, and focuses on the present and the future.
“Wellness coaches are good for those who want to achieve goals and improve their overall well-being and they can also help to address and help build healthy habits so that you can prevent feelings of stress, overwhelm, decision fatigue, and burnout.”wellnesscoach.com
Here are some great questions to ask coaches and therapists before working with them.
Some great questions to ask of therapists:
- What is your approach or therapeutic orientation?
- How much experience do you have in treating the specific issues or concerns I’m seeking help for?
- What is your availability and what are your scheduling options?
- What are your fees and do you offer a sliding scale or accept insurance?
- How long are the therapy sessions, and how frequently do you recommend sessions?
- What are your policies regarding confidentiality and privacy?
- How do you handle emergencies or crises outside of regular session hours?
- Can you explain your process for goal-setting and treatment planning?
- How do you involve clients in the therapy process and collaborate on treatment decisions?
- How do you approach cultural diversity and inclusivity in therapy?
- Can you provide references or testimonials from previous clients?
- How do you handle missed sessions or cancellations?
- Are you open to collaborating with other healthcare professionals or incorporating other forms of treatment if needed?
- How do you approach termination or ending therapy when the time comes?
- Do you engage in ongoing professional development and attend trainings or workshops to stay updated in the field?
And here are some great questions to ask Coaches before working with them:
- What is your coaching experience and background?
- What is your coaching approach or methodology?
- What specific areas or niches do you specialize in?
- Can you provide examples or testimonials from previous clients?
- What is the typical duration and frequency of coaching sessions?
- How do you structure coaching sessions and what can I expect during a session?
- How do you establish goals and measure progress?
- What is your availability and preferred method of communication between sessions?
- How do you handle confidentiality and privacy?
- What is your policy regarding missed or rescheduled sessions?
- How do you handle challenging or difficult coaching situations?
- Can you share any certifications or professional affiliations you have?
- How do you handle potential conflicts of interest?
- Are there any specific tools, assessments, or resources you use in your coaching practice?
- How do you approach accountability and support in the coaching process?
I hope that you found this helpful.
I found life coaching and fertility specialty coaching to be immensely helpful during the time that I stayed in Sofia, Bulgaria, where I did 8 rounds of egg retrievals within 7 months. You can read more about my fertility-related travels here. In fact, I was so inspired by the coaching I received I began to study different healing modalities in order to become a certified NLP coach and also received certifications in EFT and am working on certifications in RRT and in breathwork so that I can assist others on their journeys.
Everyone navigates their fertility journey uniquely, and if you suspect you have a mental illness or a diagnosable condition like depression or thoughts of suicide, please seek professional help immediately.
If you would like to learn more about Vanessa Emily you can visit her website here.