It is quite common that people confuse life coaching with being a therapist. However, they are not the same thing.
Coaching does not involve the diagnosis or treatment of mental disorders. It is not used as a substitute for counseling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, or other professional advice by legal, medical or other qualified professionals.
If this is what you need help with, then you need to seek independent professional guidance – a counselor or a therapist.
Here is a short video that explains the difference between life coaching and therapy in its simplest form.
Description of the Coaching process
It is important for you to understand the difference between life coaching and therapy. A Coach is NOT a therapist or psychotherapist (like stated above).
Coaching is a partnership (defined as an alliance, not a legal business partnership) between the Coach and you (the Client). It is a thought-provoking and creative process in which you are inspired to achieve maximum self-awareness and personal and professional growth. It can involve different aspects of your life, including physical, mental, emotional, and financial.
The coaching process is designed to facilitate the creation and/or development of your personal and/or professional goals by carrying out a strategy/plan for achieving these goals.
The Coach-Client Relationship – Duties & Responsibilities
- The Coach is there to act as a guide and provide structure and method to the processes required in order to analyze your challenges and aid you in developing strategies and perceptions to help accomplish the desired change.
- The Coach is not going to prevent, cure, or treat any mental disorder or medical disease that you have (that is the therapist’s job).
- You get to decide how to handle the issues you are facing, incorporate coaching principles into those areas, and implementing them.
- You have to communicate honestly, be open to feedback, and to create the time and energy to participate fully in the program.
- Your sessions and information shared in these sessions will be confidential and if you want to raise any confidentiality questions or concerns with the Coach, you can do so.
- You can terminate or discontinue the coaching relationship at any time.
Processes and Techniques
Some of the common processes that coaches employ include visualization, affirmations, hypnosis, meditation, relaxation and many others. Sometimes discovering your ultimate intention and clarifying how you want to feel helps to kick-start a new perspective and can make things clear for you moving forward.
A coaching session will be slightly different depending on what methods your life coach uses and what stage of coaching you’re in. The relationship with your coach will change over time and techniques will change and develop depending on what stage you’re at.
Coaching sessions will always be tailored to your needs and so will naturally change over time.
Your coaching sessions will gradually reveal what’s holding you back in reaching your goals. Through the sessions with your coach, you will find out exactly what you need to do to get over your mental and emotional blocks.
A life coach is there to help you see what’s in your blind spots and getting you to look at things from a different perspective. Life coaches are valuable because they give an outside perspective that you might not be able to see by yourself.
Outcome of a Life Coaching Session
The outcome of a life coaching session is a feeling of direction and purpose. Instead of those feelings of being lost or constantly frustrated by either not being able to reach your goals or just disappointment in failing to try, you will feel energized and mobilized to move forward.
When you are finally able to set yourself realistic goals and take the correct steps to follow through, it is an amazing feeling. You will finally feel ready to achieve your goals.
Your life coach is there to guide you to these conclusions and get you moving forward. You’ll begin to feel more confident and therefore more productive! The happiness that comes with having a clear vision and actually achieving your goals is validating, and the best thing that comes out of spending your time and money in life coaching sessions!
So with this, you now have a basic foundation about what life coaching is and what you should be expecting from your sessions.