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Coaching vs Therapy

What's the difference between traditional psychotherapy and coaching?

Therapy has, at times, been a godsend. I've dealt with unresolved hangups about family relationships, PTSD, depression...just to name a few issues.  But when I was ready go beyond by achieving lofty goals, defining purpose and increasing motivation, I wasted a lot of time and money in therapy. It wasn't the right tool.  Traditional psychotherapy begins with the assumption that there's a dysfunction that needs to be diagnosed and fixed. In other words, you need a professional to heal you. Sometimes that's true, and it's perfectly OK, and I've been there. That's also why it's covered by medical insurance. It's medical.  Most people (including those who take a low dosage of antidepressants) can be considered "non-pathological". They aren't seeking medical attention for their dreams and aspirations because that would be weird. They're high-functioning and perfectly OK members of society, and as such, have things they want to change. The problem is when people confuse wanting a change with being wounded. It's like confusing the desire to get in shape with a sprained ankle.   Wanting to change doesn't mean there's something wrong with you.

In fact, the opposite is true. Recognizing you want more out of life and deciding to do something about it is a major first step toward greater life satisfaction and success. 

When you meet a therapist, they look for how they can heal you from your "sprained ankle", while a coach will be curious about your strengths and how to help you grow.

That's because coaching assumes that you are whole, and capable of achieving what you want in life, and that everyone can benefit from a great partnership.  Coaching draws from similar research and tools as traditional psychotherapy but the process is different. It helps you get where you want to go faster, builds skills that don't require longterm dependence, and empower you to be yourself to the max! If you are seeking purpose, direction, motivation, clarity, creativity, support and forward movement...I say stick with coaching : )


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