The Difference Between Coaching Versus Therapy

What is the difference between Coaching and Psychotherapy anyway?  I have researched this topic myself only to find that there is a lot of contradicting information out there. I will tell you what the difference between Coaching and Psychotherapy is in the way that I work. When I am only working with parents in the "Parent Coach" capacity I am focused solely on their present and future experience and goals.  We may talk a little bit about their child's behavior in the past, but mainly we are focused on how things are in the present and determining their goals for the future.  I do a lot of parent education in coaching.  I focus on helping parents to understand their child's developmental level and needs, temperament, creating age appropriate goals for the child, and personal goals for parenting.  I meet with the parents alone, unless it is deemed that an observational meeting would be good with the child and parents together.  I may meet with parents every week, or our meeting dates may vary depending on the parent's needs. Our meetings are always structured and goal oriented.  My goal as a Parent Coach is to help you to be the parent that you want to be, and to improve your relationship with your child.

Coaching and Psychotherapy are two different things.  In my role as a Psychotherapist I may include some Parent Coaching from time to time if needed, but as a Parent Coach I never do Psychotherapy.  Coaching and therapy can go hand in hand.  I sometimes use coaching techniques in therapy when it is appropriate and helpful. In Psychotherapy we will invariably talk about your history and gain insight into how that relates to your present experience. In Psychotherapy we will look at how you feel or why you behave the way you do.  My view on therapy is that it is entirely client specific.  I always start with you and what your needs are.  Sometimes our work maybe time limited while other times it is open ended.  With some it is focused on practical help and skills building, while others it maybe more focused on intimacy andgeared towards building self-esteem.  Sometimes the help I offer is based on insight, other times in helping to provide corrective experiences.  We will delve into your past if it significantly helps you understand and master the habits, feelings, and thoughts that hold you back from achieving your most important goals and living your best life.

So there you have it!  In therapy we may do some coaching, but in coaching we will never do therapy.  If I am engaged in a purely coaching relationship with you, and it becomes apparent that you are not reaching your goals due some issues from your past I may suggest that you find a Psychotherapist to work with as well.  If you are ever unclear about the differences between coaching and therapy in your work with me please let me know and I can help define the two more clearly for you.  

Keep up with my latest articles!

Sign up for my email newsletter.