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What makes coaching different from other professions? 

I highly recommend and support good professional counselors. They offer special expertise in exploring past trauma and I have personally experienced them doing wonders in helping my brain process trauma.  Coaches will refer to psychologists if there are significant psychological concerns.


While psychotherapy may try to diagnose what is "wrong" with you, coaching comes from the perspective that you ALREADY have everything you need to be fully whole.  You are not broken beyond repair. You may just need someone to come alongside you. Someone to guide you to be an authentic person underneath the parts of you that have developed coping mechanisms that ALL of us have. I firmly believe that while one person's coping mechanisms (behaviors) may look different than another person's, they all serve the same purpose- to help us avoid uncomfortable feelings or pain.

With that said, therapists and coaches often work in tandem because the focus of each complements the other.  For example, a client might recognize in a coaching session that their lack of boundaries stems back to abuse as a child. They can then take that to their next session with their therapist and they might use EMDR or Brainspotting for example, to help the trauma get unstuck in the brain. Conversely, a client might resolve their trauma with the therapist but need a coach to help support them as they learn to implement new behaviors going forward. The therapist may then refer the client to a coach for support. 



The following analogy may help further clarify the difference 

Lioness in a trees shutterstock_1651967416 .jpg

If a client wanted to learn to climb the tree in this picture of lions; this is how the client sessions may go depending on the professional.


A therapist will ask if you climbed trees as a child, what your parents thought of you climbing trees, what you remember about climbing trees with your friends, why you decided to give up climbing trees, and if you had previous trauma with lions. They may then do Brainspotting  to help you process the time you were attacked by a lion. 

A coach will ask what makes it important for you to climb that tree today?  They will allow you to explore what does it mean to you to climb that tree and what do you think is stopping you from climbing the tree?  Creating a new awareness about why you feel you want to climb the tree and challenging what you think are your obstacles. A coach can help you sort through the obstacles and ask questions to help you formulate a goal, plan and next steps. A skilled coach will open you up to a whole new perspective that you didn't think possible. A coach will walk with you as you move forward in your life.  By the end of your coaching relationship, you will have accomplished your goal of climbing the tree and may feel like a lion. 


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